Going to yet another interview that will waste my time and money

Job Hunt Chronicles, Vol. 1: Finding a Job in LA is Hard #JF2LA

Life

If you’ve been keeping up with me and how I’ve been adjusting to life in Los Angeles on social media, then you’re probably already familiar with my job woes — or, rather, my lack of job woes. You see, I knew it would be difficult finding a job before actually moving out here. And so when folks would ask, “Jay, do you have a job?” and I’d tell them no, they were understandably horrified.

But I had a plan, a very good plan, and that plan was to move to L.A. first and then secure employment. After all, I had a little money saved up, and my résumé is pretty impressive, so how hard could it possibly be to find gainful employment?

The answer: very fucking hard.

Looking for a job

First, I grossly overestimated how attractive my experience and skill set would be to prospective employers. Need a copy editor? Hey, I worked for years as a copy editor for the New York Post. Oh, you need a copywriter? No problem, I’ve years’ worth of experience doing that as well for a variety of companies in a number of industries, and I’ve the portfolio to back me up. And hell, if you need any kind of writing in general, I am your man.

Second, I’ve published books. Plural. Think about it.

SpongeBob

But nope, none of that seems to matter. In the beginning I applied to every copy editing and copywriting position Los Angeles seemingly had to offer. And you know I reached out to the industry publications, all of the big ones (whom I won’t name here because I may still have a chance of working for them one day), but yeah, you know who I mean. The response: radio silence.

I sent my résumé and credentials to other publications, media outlets, and websites. Bupkis.

Then I decided to switch gears. You see, money’s nice, and I would certainly like to make nice money. But my goal was to come out to Los Angeles and make enough to sustain myself while pursuing my No. 1 goal, which is screenwriting. I don’t need to make what I was making at the Post; I just need to pay rent, buy food, have a way to get around town, and keep my phone on. If I can do that, I’m good, doggy.

But then what I’ve found is that I’m apparently overqualified for the vast majority of jobs out here. Sure, I can apply for a customer service gig — but even with years of customer service experience (even customer service management experience) I’m seen as being overqualified, and that won’t even merit a rejection phone call or letter. Damn.

Other jobs require a valid driver’s license — which I no longer have because, idiot that I am, I let my license expire while living in NYC because who needs a fucking driver’s license in NYC? — or they’re just prohibitively far away. I don’t mind riding a bus to work, but three hours one way? That’s a bit much. After work and the commute to and fro I wouldn’t have any day left to myself. Yeah, yeah, I know that sounds very “entitled millennial,” but trust me, work-life balance is a real thing. You don’t want to burn out.

I’ve always been somewhat fortunate when it comes to finding work. In fact, as I was moving out here, I was in talks with Disney — that’s right, the goddamn Mouse House itself — about a copywriting position. I was excited, and the thing was, they reached out to me. Hell yeah, son.

So I went through all the required hoop-jumping and gave them examples of my work and then went on to write some sample, Disney-branded copy.

And they rejected me.

When asked why, it was because I’d written a generic product description for a child’s Disney Princess dress and didn’t explicitly identify it as “Rapunzel’s dress.” I shit you not.

Oh yeah, in my copy, I also made the mistake of using the phrase “bibbidi-bobbidi-boo,” which is associated with Cinderella, not Rapunzel.

OK, I said, but what about ALL OF THE OTHER COPY I’d written? How about my Marvel copy, my Star Wars copy? What about the collaborations with Dooney & Burke or Alex and Ani? Wonderful, I was told, all wonderful.

But they took affront to “bibbidi-bobbidi-boo”? Not ID’ing Rapunzel was the match in the powder barrel?

GTFOH.

Anyway, so that’s where I am right now. As I mentioned before, I’ve always been somewhat lucky when it comes to finding work. Well, this old man needs some of that luck right about now.

Ya hear me, Universe?

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