Looking back it seems so gradual that saving the world and being a writer, my two life’s goals, have become increasingly separate from what I get paid to do all day. While it’s taken some getting used to, I am learning to like it this way. There are certain benefits to severing your creative endeavors from your financial needs. And the rhythm of my days and weeks at a boring desk job still allow quiet moments here and there where I can take a minute, or even a few minutes, and write.
I have heard there is a hidden job market. I have listened to countless stories of people getting jobs via friends or friends of friends. In the decade since my graduation from college, I have had virtually no first-hand experience with these phenomena. [byline] I am a shy, introverted person, and I find it difficult to ask for favors. I’ve forced myself to do so on a few occasions, but I don’t think I’ve been very convincing. Although people have “put in a good word” and “passed along my resume” a few times, their generous acts have never resulted in a job or even so much as a freelance assignment. So I look for posted jobs and apply to them. I have been lucky enough that this has worked a few times.
Midway through my senior year of college it dawned on me that I was months away from graduating into a terrible economy with a liberal arts degree and no job prospects. I wanted to go abroad desperately but didn’t have any money. After I was rejected from my *dream* international fellowship (still bitter about it) I started googling “Teach English no TEFL free” and eventually found one program that didn’t require any certifications and was completely free. The assignment was in Thailand. Though any country that boasts a monsoon season isn’t my first choice, I figured that learning more about Thai culture other than the obvious (beaches and Pad Thai) would make the whole trip well worth it.