I have been applying for a job in journalism for six months.
In that time, I have sent between 150 and 200 job applications (I stopped counting at around Job Application No. 88), and I have had three interviews. Three. Also in that time, I have received countless generic job rejection emails – not quite 150 – 200 though, as most HR departments do not have the time (or decency) to inform that they will not be ‘proceeding with your application’. Even out of the three interviews I have had, one company never contacted me again and as for the other two, I had to chase them up a week or so after my interview to see what was happening with my application.
Fellow jobseekers will know only too well the frustrating nature of this whole situation. It’s not really something I have the patience or the will to delve into today, but you should have a look at How to Be Jobless and the community surrounding the blog for a perfect insight into what it’s like for us poor, unemployed youths.
But after all of this, I just can’t work out what I’m doing wrong.
I have a strong Bachelors degree and an MA in Multimedia Journalism from two excellent universities, as well as the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism. I have buckets of print and online experience, my own website (obviously) and a profile on Journo Portfolio – both of which showcase all my work. I’m constantly applying for jobs and taking on opportunities to get more writing experience or internships. I’m definitely ‘putting myself out there’.
All this considered, I’m lead to believe that it’s not me that’s the problem, it’s the industry. I knew this going in, of course, but you always think you’ll be one of the lucky ones to make it. And sadly, I’m running out of patience and energy to keep trying.
This is why I’ve decided to stretch my wings, search out other opportunities and add another string to my bow; a TEFL qualification. This morning I signed up to do a course with the TEFL Academy – a 20 hour intensive weekend course followed by 100 online hours in my own time. After that, I’ll be fully qualified to teach English as a foreign language anywhere in the world. I’ve always wanted to live in different cities and learn different languages – one of the many things that attracted me to journalism in the first place – so obtaining a TEFL qualification doesn’t seem like such a bad second career choice.
And the beautiful thing about a TEFL qualification is that there will ALWAYS be jobs available.
I’m not giving up on journalism. I’ll always want to be a writer and report news, so I’ll keep applying for any journalism jobs that appeal to me, but I can’t take much more rejection, and I need some alternatives in my life.
Who knows? This time next year I could be living and teaching in Tokyo, eating incredible sashimi and gyoza on a daily basis. But I do know that wherever I end up, I’ll definitely be writing about it.
Featured image courtesy of Six In The World