After graduating college, I pulled together a poetry tour of the East Coast with three friends. We couch-surfed and split small sums from homemade book sales and venue entry fees. Our biggest check—$2,000—came from working with a small city’s public library. That money made it possible for us to break even after a month on the road, but only just. It was a start, we thought.
Years later, one friend is in graduate school for archival science; another is in school to become a Unitarian Universalist minister; and the third works at cash-for-gold stand in the mall. I schedule appointments at the office of a moving company.
None of us have been able to rely on writing as a sole source of income. None of us have jobs in the arts that pay our rent. There was a time when this would have surprised me.
Jeff is an economist in Washington, D.C. After a six month job search, he’s got some advice for finding a new job. He is very smart, and his advice is very smart.
To start, he writes, do anything:
1. Get something current on your resume. Now. No one will talk you if your plate is empty. Employers think you are a pariah if there is a blank space for your current position. When I returned to Washington, D.C., in March 2013, I already had a gap in my resume. I almost never got to explain this gap until I got something to fill it (with a part-time opportunity in my field that started in July). After that, responses to my resume were more enthusiastic and my interviews were more successful. Even if you are waiting tables or waiting out a big life event, volunteer or consult part-time in your field (or on the edges of it). You will be more desirable if you seem already desirable.