Joy + Relief! The Search Is Over

I left my job eight months ago. Yesterday, I was finally hired for a new position. I'll be working beside incredibly smart people at a company that excites me. Now, I feel like that gif + this song. (Edit: this other song is also appropriate.)


A huge chunk of those eight months was incredibly relaxing. I worked intermittently on some short-term projects. I traveled to both coasts. I spent lots of time with our new dog, and I explored my new city at a leisurely pace. I'd be lying, though, if I said I wasn't stressed out at times.

This job hunt wasn't easy per se, but it was much, much easier than when I graduated from college. (I was unlucky enough to finish in 2009, when unemployment hit 10%). I applied for a healthy number of jobs and interviewed for about a third of them. A few opportunities really excited me; others... not so much. But, if I was invited to interview, I always went with an open mind and my gameface. (This may have possibly backfired.) Along the way, people shocked me with their kindness and generosity. A podcast listener sent me occasional job postings. A woman I met while touring an office connected me with her network of creative people in the city. A fellow Hoya advised me on transitioning careers. Others simply took me to lunch and offered an ear.

This kindness, thankfully, far outweighed the lack of humanity I sometimes encountered. Though I won't go into detail, I want to emphasize my belief in treating fellow humans with dignity and respect. If you've interviewed an applicant in-person or even on the phone, if they dressed up and drove to your office, I beg of you: please have the decency to reply to their follow-up email or phone call. I have the suspicion that the people who treated me this way have never really been between jobs and either don't know or have forgotten what it was like to be on the other side of the desk. Good luck to them in discovering their own empathy and humanity.

Resources I Used

Job hunting and interviewing is a skill. I'm not an expert, but I found the following tools incredibly helpful on my search and I hope they can be helpful to someone else.

Simply Hired: I don't quite remember how I came to use Simply Hired instead of LinkedIn, Monster and all the rest, but I'm a big fan. Simply Hired delivered a daily digest of both quality and quantity when it came to finding jobs relevant to my skills and location. It ultimately helped me find the position I have today.

Creative Circle: I never used a recruiting agency before, and only found out about this one after a company I was interviewing with hired someone from Creative Circle instead of me. Turned out it was a blessing in disguise. The service is completely free to job seekers (companies pay for access to agency candidates) and, at least in the St. Louis office, is a fast track to interviews at some of the city's most creative companies. The recruiters were very helpful and supportive, and, though it was sometimes tough to swallow, were able to pass on employer feedback after unsuccessful interviews.

LinkedIn: Everyone knows about LinkedIn. Beyond having a nice, clean, shareable profile, it was useful to me in the following ways. First, I checked (where applicable) how popular certain job postings were. Although it certainly felt demoralizing to see that 100+ people applied to the position I was looking at, it was helpful in lowering my expectations. Second, I used it to see the professional backgrounds of my interviewers and of people whose careers I admired. This was always useful in coming up with questions during interviews. Third, networking. At my age and especially in St. Louis, I have a weak and virtually non-existent network, but I occasionally discovered I know a gal who knows a gal.

/r/Jobs: It's easy to feel isolated and alone during a job search, even with a strong support system of friends and family. Reading posts in this subreddit helped me feel that a.) I was incredibly lucky to have interviews and callbacks at all; and b.) other people were experiencing what I was going through, or worse. Reading advice and success stories was always helpful.


I need to give a huge shoutout to friends -- both IRL and from the internet -- and family. It's easy to feel ashamed about the job search. Why is it taking so long? Why hasn't something worked out yet? Your emails, tweets, texts and phone calls lifted me up. Thanks to a particular group of friends who endured my play-by-plays in WhatsApp. And above all, as usual, thanks to Alex for perfecting the art of support. When an interview went well, she cheered me on. When it didn't, she said "Fuck 'em." And of course, thanks to my dog, who was like, "Woof. Don't get a job. Stay at home with me forever." Sorry, dog.

Movies I Watched In 2013 (And Some Stats)

Last year, I chose my five favorite films and wrote what I liked about them. This year, something slightly different. Since it's New Years Eve and I'm rushing to get these out there, I'll aim to be more statistical. I've seen 23 movies or documentaries this year, excluding everything I watched that wasn't released in 2013. I think that's a hell of a lot of viewing, and there's still a TON I haven't seen yet. August: Osage CountyDallas Buyers Club, The Wolf of Wall Street, Her, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Spectacular Now, Philomena... I expect to tackle most of these in the first few weeks of 2014. Now, on to the stats.

Total 2013 Releases (Films and Documentaries) Watched: 23 ...Watched in Theaters: 12 ...Watched via Netflix: 7 ...Watched in December: 6 ...Watched By Myself: 16 (ha!)

Favorite Films of 2013

When I see a movie or even hear a song that really strikes a chord with me, I tend to say "I'm changed." The movie altered the way I think or touched me deeply or stays in my thoughts for several days. Many movies did that for me last year but only a few this year (12 Years A Slave, Nebraska, Stories We Tell). I think the main theme of my favorite films of 2013 is entertainment. I was thoroughly entertained. And so, here are my five favorite movies and documentaries of the year, in no particular order:

1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

2. 12 Years a Slave

3. American Hustle

4. Gravity

5. Stories We Tell

Other 2013 Releases I Watched (most-liked titles are bolded) 1. Nebraska 2. Elysium 3. Side Effects 4. The English Teacher 5. Man of Steel 6. About Time 7. Bridegroom 8. 56 Up 9. Salinger 10. Manhunt 11. Behind the Candelabra 12. Frances Ha 13. Blue is the Warmest Color 14. The Heat 15. The Wolverine 16. This Is The End 17. The Great Gatsby 18. The Way, Way Back