Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mitchel Stevens' Guide to Employment and You

Editor's Note: The Editorialiste welcomes a new feature to the blog this week: a column chronicling the struggle of a new, young journalist out in the working world. With publications slicing inches and staff numbers, career prospects for a new journalist are rapidly changing. This humorous column will follow the effort of our young, anonymous author as the search for work unfolds. Entitled "Mitchel Stevens Guide to ...", the anonymous column will appear once a week. --The Ed.

Hey everyone, I’m Mitchel Stevens. I’m a journalist. Actually, I’m a big J journalist with a college degree. Okay, that means I’m unemployed. Actually, I’m looking for work. I have tons of experience and it’s only a matter of time until I’m employed. Any day now, I expect to hear back from this really cool blog based in Murray Hill I applied to on Craigslist.

Okay, fine, fine. I’m not that experienced. In fact, I don’t even have what you’d call an “in” to this little industry. Basically this came out when I applied to work at a low-level job in the pre-dawn hours at an early morning news show. I figured I had the right stuff to stack cans of soda, smile at talking heads and fetch coffee. Lord knows I have fetched THE SHIT out of coffee, in the past.

The days went by. I got the number of a person who worked at said early morning news show and tried to pitch myself: hard worker, right out of college, willing to wake up early, can handle stress, able to fetch coffee—

“Oh, I’m sorry,” [it] said. “We filled that position a week ago.”

But, I just applied a week ago. The listing on Mediabistro is a week old.

“Yeah, we found someone who already worked here.”

Turns out, these internal emails/Holy Grails are forwarded around from producer to producer in order to see which intern is willing to kill for actual wages and a moderate increase in title. Utterly dejected, I wondered if HR had even seen my resume.

“Uh, I’m sorry—Mitchel? Is that right? Yeah, I dunno. We only looked at current interns, staffers and some old interns.”

How old? A few semesters old. So, while I was crying my eyes out at News Bar on University Place, The Editorialiste found me in the middle of a pity party and Hazelnut blend with a shot of cream. We chatted about recently graduating college and it turns out we both were looking for work! Well, he’s not looking for work so much as attending graduate school, but the thought counts!

And he offered to let me write about my searching for jobs, the interview process and my fourth most favorite passion: kabob-making.

I’ll be back next week to let you know how the Murray Hill blog deal went. I have a good feeling about it. But they aren’t mentioning pay at all, so I’m a bit worried. But I’m a strong, young, big J journalist.


Mitchel Stevens is the pseudonym of a journalist in a major urban center on the East Coast. E-mail Mitch at: ((mitchel DOT stevens AT gmail DOT com)).

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