Published 26/10/2013 on GoThinkBig
Stupid slow ATM machine. How long has my card been in there? A minute? Forty minutes? GIVE ME MONEY. It is my right as someone who lives in the West to press a magical button and be given money from a slot when I want. Has it eaten my card? Is there so little money in my account it’s actually starving? Oh god, now my phone’s ringing, I wish I wouldn’t answer, I can’t multitask when I’m annoyed…
“Hello, is that *COUGH*?” (Sorry readers, I have a cough.)
“Hello there, it’s Jude from Guardian recruitment.”
Oh. My. God. It’s happening. They’re telling me. I need to lie down.
“So I see you had your interview with Alan last Wednesday?”
Say no. Buy yourself some time to lie down and breathe in a dark room while biting down on something squishy yet resistant. Like horse meat. Yes, that’s a genius idea. SAY “WRONG NUMBER” AND BUY SOME HORSE MEAT.
“Yes, yes I did.”
“And how did it go?”
I have no idea. Would you like to tell me, you sadist?
“Umm…ok, I think. They didn’t fall asleep or anything.”
Yes, that’s a measure of how an interview went. Whether the interviewers managed to cling to consciousness. You idiot. She’s about to tell you what a great but still jobless candidate you are.
“Well, we all sat down and discussed the interviewees…” Just say it. “Luckily we managed to do it faster than we anticipated…” Could you do this faster than I anticipate? “…and I can tell you now…”What, you had custard creams on the table? JUST TELL ME. “…we’re offering you a place.”
“…are you still there?”
“Right. Well, that’s…nice. Thank you.”
I feel no joy, only surprise. I got it? Seriously? But… my name is How to Be Jobless. It figures that even as an unemployed hack I’d eventually lose credibility.
I continued in my haze as she chatted about the details, “Your start date would be November 18th, your salary would be *COUGH* (sorry readers, this cough is horribly persistent…), and you’d be working in the Guardian offices in Kings Cross.”
“Ok. I see. Right. Good.”
“So…is that an acceptance?”
“Yes Jude, this is an acceptance. I accept the hell out of it.”
I got it. It’s over. The dragging, sucking hole of joblessness has… gone away. It’s as if a vacuum cleaner has been blasting in my ear for eight months, and somebody just came along and switched it off. Oh look at that, I’m shedding a tear in Waitrose. I’m quietly sobbing and laughing and smiling in the frozen aisle. I look like American reality TV stars do when they win, or when you find an unexpected tenner in your pocket.
What am I even doing in Waitrose? Do my feet assume this is where I’ll be shopping from now on? Steady on, feet.
No, it can’t be true. I’ve thought about it, and it can’t be. It must be an administrative error. Or they can at least change their minds. Maybe a better candidate than me died, and they offered it to me in lieu. Except they didn’t die, they’re just in a coma, and they’ll come out of it because they’re so fantastic and brilliant. They will probably restart their brains with the pure power of their journalistic ability. I’ll be jobless again in no time.
It’s a shame, really.
Well, they didn’t change their minds. They’ve sent me an offer letter. I really did get the job. Which can only mean one thing.
I have to do it now.
It’s one thing to convince them I have potential in an application I spent DAYS on. And yes, there was an interview – but who can’t act normal for 55 minutes? (Me, actually, but that’s another post)
The fear is setting in. What if I can’t do it? What if I’ve already reached my potential? What if all my skills fall out of my skull, and I’m left with nothing but a bunch of jokes and odd metaphors about pyjamas and joblessness? I still haven’t bought any leftwing shoes.
Ok, I can announce it: I’m going to work at the Guardian. I wish I could say that and not burst out laughing, or have to remind myself not to bore people with a lengthy explanation of why they’ll probably deactivate my pass the minute my contract’s up.
2013 has been strange beyond words. In February, I gave myself a year to get a job in journalism before throwing in the towel. Never one to chase the boy who didn’t like me, the idea of being bounced at the door every single time I applied for a job got stale and embarrassing really, really fast. A year seemed like a decent period of time – just to clarify that niggling question, the one eating at every jobseeker out there: is it the job crisis, or is it me?
In all honestly, I didn’t think I’d make the deadline. It was largely out of my control, after all. Just because you graduate in June, doesn’t mean a you-shaped job magically opens up somewhere. Apparently, it takes time, effort, false starts, searches, rejections, exasperation, a stomach-flipping drop in self esteem, some luck, a buttload of work and just SO many biscuits.
The only thing that really gets you through something as sloggingly depressing as unemployment is the support of other people. They don’t have to be people you’ve met, and the support doesn’t have to be in hug form. Find and hook whoever makes you laugh, whatever stops you turning into a self-absorbed crinkle-faced whingey-pants bore.
And that’s what I did – so thank you, guys. You got me through.
Speaking of which, to answer the one FAQ I’ve ever had, I’m not ending the blog. That would rather be like moonwalking away from about 1400 people, “See ya later, suckerz!” – and my contract is only 12 months. I could be rejoining the Pyjarmy this time next year.
The thing is, it was never about MY job hunt, which is why you still don’t need to know who I am. But do tweet me if you’d like to contribute to HTBJ because frankly, that’s enough outta me. How’s your jobhunt going?
That’s it from My Week in Joblessness. If you missed the beginning, you can start here…
Some responses from HTBJ readers:
So chuffed that @howtobejobless got a dream journo job! Her blog brought laughter and empathy to media job hunters everywhere – well done!
— Marie Raine (@MarieRaine) October 22, 2013
— Coral Williamson (@coralamberrr) October 25, 2013
— Louise (@NotSo_Simples) October 25, 2013
— Tania Kumar (@t_kumar12) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless Congrats! Love your work. You’ve given many inspiration to get out there and go for it. They’re lucky to have you.
— Liz (@peacecapisce) October 23, 2013
— Dion Watts (@DionGWatts) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless AMAZING news. And well deserved! Yours is an inspiring story for anyone facing a grisly rejection letter today.
— Natasha (@Natashalunn) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless huge congratulations, really chuffed for you! Top office tip for Nov: avoid Converse shoes unless you like static shocks.
— Matt Andrews (@mattpointblank) October 25, 2013
— Claire Murray (@officialclairem) October 25, 2013
— Beth Davison (@BethBecomesHer_) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless I rarely root for others to succeed (it’s a character flaw) but really hoped you’d get that job. Congrats! Love your blog
— Lizzie Palmer (@lizziemaypalmer) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless Big congratulations. Do visit us in the trenches and bring fresh doughnuts 😉
— Leanne (@thenamesleanne) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless YES! Massive congrats!
— George Berridge (@George_Berridge) October 23, 2013
So so happy for you @howtobejobless. Hire me in a few years, will ya? I know how to operate the Guardian doors- only took me 2 days to learn
— Líse McNally (@LiseMcNally) October 23, 2013
— BabsyEmm (@BabsyEmm) October 23, 2013
— Holly Robertson (@robertsonholly) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless oh congrats on the job been following your blog for agesss!!!
— Amirah Valu (@itsamirahv) October 22, 2013
— unemployedgraduate (@GradUnemployed) October 23, 2013
Huge congratulations @howtobejobless – thoroughly deserved! I guess you’ll need someone to take over your blog now…?!
— Katherine Purvis (@KatherinePurvis) October 23, 2013
@howtobejobless Congratulations on getting into The Guardian 🙂 Well and truly deserved!
— Roi Perez (@roiperez) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless omg omg omg omg omg!!!!!!!
— Georgia Leaker (@georgetweets2u) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless YAY! Congrats on the job, thoroughly deserved it! X
— Kat MacDonald (@iamkatmac) October 23, 2013
— Chynna (@chylatte) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless ahhh congratulations!!! So happy for you! 🙂
— Rachel Pilcher (@rachelpilcher) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless Ah very well done! I too have a good job now. It feels nice to be optimistic again doesn’t it!
— Adam Rollo (@Adam_Rollo) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless Congrats 🙂 New Doc Martens to celebrate?!
— Adam Shookhye (@AdamShookhye) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless please don’t stop writing your blog, it’s keeps me so entertained! :]
— Deborah Stevenson (@DebStevo90) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless Damn right they did! Extremely well-deserved, congratulations!
— Helen Lawson (@helenlawson7) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless congratulations! Well deserved.
— Adam McKinley (@addmck) October 22, 2013
so @howtobejobless got a job! congrats!
— Sofie-Eliza Price (@SofieElizaPrice) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless Congrats! Just shows that waiting a while instead of grabbing any old job pays off 🙂
— Sophie Longley (@SophieLongley) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless I knew you’d get it! Well done!
— Amy Taylor (@TrashTaylor) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless congrats!.. this shall be a kick up my butt to get me out of my underemployed misery into something more worthwhile!
— Emma (@emmawondersif) October 25, 2013
@howtobejobless congrats, who will help the jobless now though?
— Hari Sethi (@Hari_Sethi) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless Amazing! Hard work really pays off! Congrats!
— Marissa Ogbeide (@MOgbeide) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless So glad to hear this- you deserve it. Congratulations!
— Danni McGarry (@dannimcgarry) October 25, 2013
@howtobejobless congratulations! This is awesome news 🙂
— Emma Hannigan (@emmahannigan) October 25, 2013
@howtobejobless amazing news, congratulations!!
— Deborah Stevenson (@DebStevo90) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless Ahhhhhhhhhhh congratulations 😀 😀 SOOOO happy for you!
— Louise (@NotSo_Simples) October 22, 2013
@howtobejobless Ahhhh, that’s amazing news! Congratulations 🙂 x
— Chloe. (@typewriterlight) October 22, 2013