How I Spent my
that first job in an elusive economy can certainly test the tenacity.
Jewel Hosey '03
supposed to be this way. I am an educated woman with a college degree.
But the transition from carefree college student to working grown-up took
a little -- OK, a lot -- longer than I expected.
looking early enough, near the beginning of my senior year. I was sure
that a perfectly perfect position would be there when I was ready. I perused
dozens of job-posting sites on the Internet. I had a weekly date with
the Sunday Star-Telegram classifieds. I placed carefully crafted
letters and resumes, along with my fervent hopes, in the hands of the
U.S. Postal Service many times every week.
Soon, I realized
that maybe the material wasn't as carefully crafted as I thought. Responses
were few. But I was determined not to get as depressed as this drooping
economy that I'd heard so much about.
I landed an interview. By now it was mid-April, but I was certain that
all was going according to plan. I packaged myself in a fabulous new outfit,
ready to wow these people.
I must have
over-wowed. I never heard from them again.
just the first interview, though. This is normal. No one gets the first
job she interviews for, right? It was this company's loss -- it just couldn't
handle all of my brains and personality.
Next I interviewed
for a job optimizing search engine keywords. Yawn. The job description
must have obscured the actual responsibilities, as I'm sure I would not
have applied otherwise.
I never heard
from those folks, either. No problem. I didn't want that one anyway.
By now, the
lack of interest in my stellar self was starting to hurt. What was wrong?
Bad cover letter? Ugly resume? And the worst fear: Something wrong with
panic subsided when a call from the perfect job came in. It was at a museum
(very cool) and complemented my goals and experience. Hurray!
glowing letters of recommendation and my best writing samples, I marched
into that meeting, again ready to impress. Turns out that of 275 applications,
only nine people were asked to interview. My heart soared. I was so in.
I wasn't. After two weeks of planning my future around this job, the "call"
came. "Thank you for interviewing. We've selected someone else."
I was a failure. I would never get a job. I would be living on the streets,
using my grand IQ and high-dollar education to sell fruit at intersections.
My support system -- family, boyfriend, roommate, friends, co-workers
at The TCU Magazine -- assured me that the right job was out there,
waiting just for me. "Don't worry," first one, then another,
would coo, and I'd get a warm pat on the back.
At the height
of this emotional turbulence, a local news station contacted the school
for a student caught in the bad economy. It wanted a qualified graduate
who was having trouble finding a job. Guess who the school suggested?
Not only could I not get hired, now my failure was broadcast across Fort
Worth-Dallas. There I was, Amanda Hosey. Unemployed. Strangers in the
grocery store who recognized me from TV encouraged me to "hang in
there!" Great. Then a statewide cable news network picked up the
broadcast, so people in my hometown, Kerrville, also saw what a loser
At my next
interview, I really did wow them. They laughed at all my jokes, and I
was sure my traits were finally working in my favor. Then one of the interviewers
asked, "Do you consider yourself a creative person?"
we recommend that you find an alternate outlet for your creativity if
you get this position. You'll be doing proofreading primarily, and it
can be pretty É boring."
that was honest. And despite a less-than-rousing endorsement, I maintained
interest in the job. I actually got a second interview, after which the
human resources guy told me I was a lock. Whew. Finally!
A few days
later, that same guy phoned. "Sorry."
I couldn't console myself with "I didn't need that one anyway,"
because I needed that one. Living on a part-time salary stinks. And the
bites I had been getting using my resume as bait were dwindling.
a few more days of wearying self-pity, an unsolicited e-mail appeared
in my mailbox. The writer had found my resume at TCU Career Services.
I didn't even know Career Services had my resume. Suddenly I was very
glad it did. She wanted me to apply as an assistant editor at her small
the phone to accept the interview. "That was quick," said the
friendly voice that answered. In excited spurts and stutters, I explained
that I was interested in talking with her and her partner about the job.
They invited me to lunch, and I accepted. I believe my exact words were,
"That'd be super!"
I had a week
to contemplate the lunch date. Just what would my perfectly perfect position
be? I wanted to be paid for things I already like to do. I wanted to think,
organize, edit, write and problem solve, all at the same time. I wanted
to learn everything I could about my field, and quickly. And I wanted
to do it in casual clothing (pantyhose being the scourge of womandom).
my delight when I discovered this job met all those criteria. And no pantyhose
in sight. Jeans (jeans!) were the dress code.
out as a fairly typical job interview, but when they asked which celebrities
I would run over with my car if given the chance, I knew I belonged. They
agreed that they wouldn't miss Celine Dion, either. It's good to have
mutual interests with your co-workers.
Day (appropriately), I had the offer. The perfectly perfect one. We're
expected to take lessons from everything we do. So what did I learn from
this? Be patient and listen to your loved ones. They're probably right.
forget to send your resume to Career Services.
Jewel Hosey '03 is now employed but still buys her purses and scarves
at thrift shops. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.