WSJ reports that New York City’s unemployment numbers declined last month to 9.6 percent. I hope I can contribute to that number dipping soon. While I’m getting by on a combination of unemployment and freelance work here and there, I’m sick of the uncertainty of it all. One week yields enough work for two people, so I’m basically working day and night for a week, while another week brings nothing. None of my gigs are steady, so I’m constantly on the hustle, looking for every way I can to make money. I really hope New York City’s unemployment numbers continue to drop this month and that I’ll be a part of that!
On the last interview I went to, the HR manager revealed to me that they received 250 applications for the two freelance positions, and that they selected 15 to interview and that two lucky candidates would be hired. That’s basically a .8 percent chance. He thought he was giving me a compliment when he told me I was one of 15 selected to interview. I thought to myself that my odds of getting into an elite Ivy League university, like Harvard, for example, are much higher. And they are, at 6.9 percent!
The going rate for competitive industries in New York is pretty low. I heard one job posting yielded 500 applications for one position! It’s ridiculous!
It must be insane for the hiring managers who have to select one lucky person out of several more than qualified candidates. I’m sure any one of the candidates would do a great job, so it really comes down to who you know, how they felt they got along with you or some other detail you can’t really control. Any suggestions on what I can do to make myself stand out more?
Sorry for the very long break I’ve taken from the blog. I’m still underemployed, without a full-time job. I freelance now and then, and I’ve been going on interviews weekly to no avail! I’m going to try to post weekly and let you know how it’s going. I’m personally fed up and frustrated. How many interviews does it take? For those of you who have managed to get work again, how long did it take you? How many interviews did you have to go on?
I went through the most bizarre experience this week. I applied for a job Monday night and got an e-mail from the employer at 4 a.m. the next day asking me to call her in the morning. Unfortunately I had to work from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. and I had a meeting at 1:30, which meant I wouldn’t be free until around 3 p.m. I wrote an e-mail telling her that, and she responded by telling me that she wanted to speak to me that day, and that she was busy at 3. I replied and told her I would try to call her.
I called her and left a message, she called back, but I wasn’t around to pick up the phone. Then she called again around noon and I pick up. Immediately she started interviewing. “I’m sorry,” I interrupted. “But this isn’t a good time.”
I was thinking about this just now. The last four guys I’ve dated have been underemployed or unemployed—unstable, basically—just like me. One guy was unemployed and bounced through traveling, friends’ apartments and his parents’ home; another lost his job and couldn’t pay rent; another was underemployed, doing odd jobs and had just moved back in with his mother—a boomerang child; and another waited tables at a dead-end restaurant and got fired during our stint. I freelance here and there and collect unemployment while crashing in a friend’s spare room. All that leads to the question:
Am I attracting what I put out?
Or are there just a lot of un(der)employed people roaming around New York?
I ended up not getting the job. It’s so frustrating to have made it to the final round and not get hired. I wonder why they decided not to hire me for the position. Was I overqualified? Did I say the wrong thing? Wear the wrong outfit? But, the editor in chief called me personally and told me they were a big fan and they would like to hear my voice on their website—as a freelance blogger. I have yet to hear the details, so I don’t know if they want me to do it full-time or not. If it yields a steady paycheck, I’ll be relieved. As the Rolling Stones song goes: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need…”
Whew. I can breathe a sigh of relief for two more months because my unemployment was about to run out. I had no idea what I was going to do. I just tried not to think about it.