A Little Bit of Wonder is where I journal about the somewhat roundabout way that I have been working to establish a career and a strong sense of self--I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about "direction" and "identity." I have a Master's Degree in Literature, but I'm no longer working as an English Professor; I'm starting the next step in my life as I work to establish a career as a writer in the non-profit sector.

At my companion blog, Little Wonder's Recommended Reading, you will find reviews for both books and other blogs that I enjoy. The two blogs are inter-linked, so you can access my reviews and reading challenges from the sidebar on the left.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Little Comedy, Even in the Land of Terrified Disenchantment

Attempted Job Search #1: Employment in the Field of Editing.

Available positions: Senior Editor/Speech Writer for Global Financial Company, must have general understanding of brokerage business. (Ahhhh, no.) Proof-reader for pharmaceutical marketing communications. (Oh joy.) Content Writer to “develop some very industry-specific content for the automotive and high-performance drivers education markets.” (Uh-huh.) Technical Documentation Specialist for ConsumerReports.org. (Isn’t that the website you consult when you want to buy a vacuum or a car?) Grant Writer for a Medical Research Facility, or “Sector Institute Writer.” (What on earth is that??)

My mind wanders, my eyes start to blur. I am going to have to take a job in some office, proof-reading page after page filled with words like dividends, risk management, derivative, capital gains, or alternatively, words like biomolecular simulation, molecular mechanics modeling, periodic boundary conditions, implicit solvation and subcutaneous injection. Words that all have one important thing in common – I don’t know what the heck they mean.

Welcome to the Land of Terrified Disenchantment.

Attempted Job Search #2: Employment in the Field of Communications.

Paid Advertisement at the top of the page: Earn a Certificate in Social Media at the University of San Francisco Online. (Really? You need a certificate to show that you know how to use Facebook and Twitter?)

Available positions: Marketing/Communications Specialist for a Billing Company. Public Relations Associate for a University Hospital. Senior Information Delivery Specialist for an Insurance Agency. (My eyes start to blur again.) Clinical Research Coordinator for… Office Manager for…

Slightly more amusing is the listing for a “Marketing Director for Nice-Pak Products, the global leader of pre-moistened wipes for cleaning, sanitization, healthcare, cosmetics and personal hygiene.” But wipies??!? Seriously?!

I’ll admit it – I think I’m too good for this job. I'm such a snob sometimes, and I'm not proud of it.

I start skimming the page again, and then I see it –

“World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. has an exciting opportunity for a dynamic Corporate Communications professional to join our Corporate Communications team as a Publicist.”

I nearly choke on the chocolate covered pretzels that I am devouring to keep myself awake during this depressing job search. As I crack up, I can’t help but think of Steve, a friend of mine from high school. He loved the way the wrestlers put on such ridiculous performances—I think he even had one of those gigantic gold champion wrestling belts. He would be so proud if I were a wrestling publicist.

Could I even keep a straight face when telling people what I did for a living? I try to picture myself at a family reunion, amongst my more straight-laced, religious relatives, telling my ninety-two-year-old grandmother in a loud voice that “Yes, I promote wrestling events! Yes, those shows on TV—Raw and Smackdown!”

Now I am experiencing a different type of disenchantment. I won’t necessarily have to become an office automaton. But as a trade-off, I’ll have to sell my soul to the absurd wrestling industry.


multimediaculture said...

If you're unemployed, you're not too good for any job. Thinking a job would be more embarrassing than not having one makes you sound pompous. It sounds like you have it pretty good because you can turn your nose up at so many jobs, meanwhile there are people out there who would be happy to take any of these jobs if their background fit. This is kind of an insult to the people who need work to get off of unemployment and live only slightly better. Your life is way too easy compared to so many others...

Little Wonder Lauren said...

Believe me, I know I'm spoiled. That's why I've been blogging about needing to accept the way that the world really works and get a "real" job. Because both my husband and I have advanced degrees, we are a little bit luckier and afford to be a little more picky -- in some ways. But I still need to suck it up and live in the real world. This is a hard thing for a princess such as myself to accept. Some jobs still seem a little bit too "real" for me. I know this is a character fault... and I know that am pretty snobbish about certain things. I'm working on it. Meanwhile, I try to make fun of myself and entertain others with my flippancy. I'm sorry if it rubbed you the wrong way -- I do know that there are plenty of people out there who need jobs and would take anything they could get.

Knowing me, however, do you really think that working for the WWE fits my background and experience?? Do you really think the WWE would hire blonde little me? I'd be more likely to get hired by the Wipies people.

multimediaculture said...

I have an advanced degree, as does my fiancee. I still can't afford to be the least bit picky. Employment is employment. Working somewhere you don't like is still better than not working at all because you're at least accumulating more job experience. Even if you can afford to sit back and coast for a little bit, there are employers who look at that sort of thing and ask quite pointedly why there is a gap in your employment history. Some people might say, "Think about what you might say in that situation." I never say that because it is license to some to come up with a story. I say this: Would honesty about your choices be appealing?

My problem with what you said isn't about whether or not they would take you. It's about the attitude. Would you make light of it if your background made you a great candidate for a publicist and you needed the work? "Could I even keep a straight face when telling people what I did for a living?" is what you said. Which is more embarrassing, a professional publicist for a company recognized worldwide or being unemployed and scoffing at available opportunities? And every opportunity you take may possibly lead to another more appealing one.

Flippancy isn't entertaining when there is a dearth of opportunity available for people. It's entertaining when people can relate to it. Unfortunately, that isn't exactly a common position for many people these days.

Jami said...

I can relate to what you're saying. I also see the humor in imagining myself holding various positions that are completely out of my comfort zone. Everybody wants to find their purpose in life and have a career that fulfills them, whether it's promoting RAW events or something more noble. Sadly, not everyone has the luxury of holding out for that dream job.

Have you ever read Jen Lancaster's Bitter is the New Black? She is the first to admit that she's spoiled, but I can't help liking her.

Little Wonder Lauren said...

@Jami -- thanks for the reading recommendation! I googled her and it turns out that she has written several books and has a blog... do you follow her blog?

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