Huzzah!

Picture credit: theborgenproject.org

Picture credit: theborgenproject.org

I think I must be really good at getting internships, even if I seem terrible at getting real jobs. Maybe that can be my thing. I can work terrible jobs to make money and then do a lot of side work for internships doing stuff I like. It would probably be pretty annoying, but at least it would be better than just working the terrible job and sitting on my ass all day.

So, yes, I received an email today informing me that they liked all my stuff and the interview went well and BOOM I will be writing blogs for The Borgen Project!

I should be starting that in about a week, and I’m very excited. I am really starting to think 2013 could be a good year. Maybe not the year where everything turns around for me, but at least a year that acts as a stepping stone or something.

 

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Murderous Anticipation.

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I have been applying to so many jobs in the last ten months that I actually forget about a lot of them. I do write down all the places I applied to and the position and what site I used. But they cease to stick in the forefront of my mind anymore unless, and until, I get the seemingly inevitable “We appreciate your interest in the position but at this time bla bla bla you suck bla bla…” email. Recently, though, I sent in my resume and a writing sample to be considered for a blogging internship with the NGO, The Borgen Project.

Blogging? Talk about a dream come true! Plus, writing for a great organization that works with politicians to end extreme global poverty? Hell yes. My levels of anticipation have been mounting for days.

I actually got an email back from them at the end of last week informing me that they liked what I sent and that I had been moved forward to the second stage of the hiring process! Yes! All I had to do was write a 400-500 word article on one of two topics and send it on in with a good title and sources, and if that was a success there would be a phone interview.

So I sat down and researched my topic, how ending global poverty could benefit the United States, for a few hours. After studiously taking notes and making references to quotes and data, it was time.

Can I just say that going from writing academic papers for Literature (usually 5-10 pages) to writing personal blog content (whatever feels like a good length without too much rambling) to trying to write a 400-500 word blog that is essentially a news article is…super damn complicated. Basically I had to write out the whole thing and then spend two hours tweaking and deleting and rewording before I had something informative that came in at just 487 words.

After hours of editing I finally realized that I was no longer getting anywhere and that it was what it was going to be and just went ahead and smashed my hand down on the mouse to send it. What a relief!

Psh. Nope. I proceeded to agonize over it endlessly and get no sleep. Then worried about it all day. Actually, for the last three days I’ve been checking my email every couple of hours, holding my breath, and then furrowing my brows when I realized there was nothing there. There has been a constant battle in my head about “Well not hearing anything right away is a good sign” and “Seriously? Why did I even try, I fail. Wahhhhhhhh”

Today at work, though, I pulled out my phone to figure out how to spell some complicated flower name so I could put it on a chalkboard sign (oh, working floral) and out of habit I checked my email.

Re: Blogger Internship

The conversation in my Gmail between HR and myself was all bold and highlighted, signifying that an email had been sent to me.

There was a moment where I was totally convinced I shouldn’t poke that email until I was off. But I stabbed worry and caution in the face and opened it.

Hi Chelsea,

You passed the writing exam! I would like to set up a phone interview for…

And then I started jumping up and down and flinging my arms about.

What a relief!

PSH!

FryPhone interview means “Lets start frantically researching the organization and reading all their blogs and liking them on Facebook and researching SEO writing and generally panicking and rereading the email.”

I wish I was lying when I said I’m getting a haircut tomorrow. For a phone interview. 

It’s just that this could be a monumental internship for me. I finished my social media marketing internship with Environmental Paper Network in a very anticlimactic fashion last month. And the other marketing and communications internship I started with Out Network is apparently on hold as the founder/my friend/my mentor recently started a new big boy job, went to Maryland to get married, and reenlisted in the Reserves and he has yet to message me back (I’m letting him get to it when he gets to it). Aside from pumping up the volume on my pathetic resume, it will give me something else I need SO desperately. A writing portfolio.

It has been so frustrating to find posts for writing jobs only to read,

Requirements:

  1. ___ years experience
  2. Portfolio of published writing

I mean, technically blogging isn’t really the same as getting published in a newspaper or a magazine or an academic journal. But it’s a start, and the fact that I’d be writing for an organization’s blog and not my own is a plus.

So, here’s to 2013 actually working out and this being what helps me get a real job.

A Quandary.

So I have this interview tomorrow. But I’m unsure of what I want to do. See it’s this marketing internship with a well-known and respected IT company. $12 an hour and 40 hours a week. Pretty sweet deal, right?

But, here’s the kicker. It’s only 60 days. At the end of the period there’s a review. If I’m doing really well and there’s a job opening they’ll give me a job. A real, business, marketing fucking job. If I do horribly, they’ll just terminate the whole thing. If I do really well and there is not a job opening…I don’t get a job…

So I realize that the only way to succeed in life is to take chances and make waves and all that. But I also realize that there are these very real things called bills. And I have quite a lot of them. And if I don’t have a job at the end of 2 months, then I don’t have a way to pay my bills. I also forfeit the raise I’m about to get at my current job, dental insurance I’m getting, and quite probably my full-time standing. I can’t take a leave of absence because I have only been there a year. My coworkers have informed me that if I leave on a good note I can get my job back in 2 months if things with this other company don’t work out. And judging by the amount of people I know there who have left and come back repeatedly, I know this to be true. Mostly. What I don’t know is that my specific job will still be there. The job as the only actual full-time cashier/respected department floater who has been depended upon for the last week to run a department while the department head was working at another store. So I could come back, lose any and all benefits, and only be working 15 hours a week. Do you see the issue?

My mother does not see the issue. She’s says to go for it. And I understand where she is coming from. But, my mother and I have always differed in the way we think about the future. As well as money. I like to know that I can pay my bills and eat my food and be what I consider to be a contributing member of the household and not a total drain on my wonderful boyfriend’s money. She responds to this with “Well, just get a different job.” Yes. Because that’s been going so well for me thus far. I actually have amazing jobs thrown at my head every day, I just find the joys of working at a service job even though I have a degree to be really rewarding… I get that too I guess. As a woman who hasn’t worked for “the man” since about 1982 when she and my dad went into business for themselves and who is currently a real estate agent who, while she works at Century 21 and technically has a boss, still essentially works for herself, she might not have the best idea of getting a job these days. Frankly getting a job in the 70’s when having a 4 year degree was still impressive and the population was a lot lower and so was the cost of living (and hitchhiking across the country was still considered relatively safe) was a bit of a different experience. I try to explain that “just getting a new job” really doesn’t exist anymore. As I ‘ve discussed I’m over qualified for a lot of things and under qualified for the rest. It becomes a matter of finding someone who is either willing to hire me even though I have too much education and experience or hire me even though I don’t have enough. Quite the gamble.

It seems like settling to stay at a job where I make just enough to get by and that is not a career. But it seems silly, also, to take a chance on something like this without the guarantee of a career. If I was still a college student, this would be a no brainer. If I was younger and still having things like my car and health insurance as well as my cell phone paid by my parents, this would be a no brainer. But as an almost 26 year old entirely on my own with an all too familiar understanding of what happens when you don’t give companies the money you owe them, I’m unsure. I guess if I take it, don’t get the job, and can’t go back to the one I have now I could go back to writing about the woes of being totally unemployed. Without the benefits of receiving unemployment…

Thoughts?

Intern…or independent contractor?

IMAG1727.jpgOne of the most complicated things about starting a new job is getting into a good grove. One where you feel comfortable and knowledgeable and know that the people around you are good to work with. I am reaching that place of comfort with my grocery store job, to a degree. But now I’m having to start all over again with my new internship. The drive there is enough to be stressful, but having to acclimate myself to a group of new people in a new place doing something I’ve never done before makes my once a week excursions to my meetings quite the effort. It doesn’t help that we’re all sort of in the dark on this project.

Normally I think of internship opportunities as a learning experience. Someone within the company takes the intern under their wing and teaches them how to do a specific job. The intern then does the job, for free usually, in return for experience for their resume and possibly a recommendation letter.

My internship, on the other hand, is a little different. There’s one full-time person named Joshua, he’s basically the CEO of Environmental Paper Network. Suzanna, who only works on Thursday and is in charge of the newsletters and organizing the member organizations. And another woman I haven’t met yet named Kim. I’m not entirely sure what it is that she does. None of them is overly familiar with social media marketing. Suzanna has some good ideas and knows her way around the internet, but she is by no means an expert.

So it appears that I have been hired on as an independent contractor who has to teach herself how to do marketing. Everyone is very nice and I’ve been enjoying it so far. But I kind of have the constant feeling of flying by the seat of my pants.

Thank goodness for online tutorials!

Writing Work

What’s this?  There is literally a job posting on my Alma Mater’s Career site for blogging. Yep. And another one for copywriting. I’m jumping up and down (inside, lol) with the idea that I could get a job or internship doing something fun like writing. Of course I am hardly a professional blogger. And I have limited experience with copywriting. But, I do know how to write and I love to write.

There’s another posting for a local medical magazine. They need someone to interview doctors and such and write articles to the editor’s specifications. I would have to provide a writing sample to prove my abilities. But, I have no idea what I would submit. I’ve never really written an article. So I have to figure out whether an essay or a critical analysis would be appropriate.

What this really does for me, even if I don’t get a job, is give me hope that I could have a future job that I actually really enjoy. It makes me feel that, even though most people label my degree as useless, I can actually do something with what I learned in college.

And in turn, this relieves my sense of hopelessness. It sort of appeases the feeling that I am doing nothing more than drifting through this life.

And that, that is just a fabulous thing.