It has been brought to my attention (many many times, and kind of stridently, by certain family members) that the internet is a factor in today’s job market as it never has been before. You may have heard of the 2002 “Dooce” story, where Heather B. Armstrong was fired from her job as a web designer and graphic artist when her employers discovered her blog satirizing their workplace. Since then, a lot has changed – Facebook accounts are searchable on Google, even borderline illiterate people can have their own blogs (thanks, WordPress!), and the incredible proliferation of networking sites make it difficult not to have a public persona on the internet. The culmination of all this is a) a generation of plugged-in people who Facebook message their boss to call out sick and communicate with innumerable strangers about their personal life via Twitter, and b) vast numbers of middle-aged parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who are out there wringing their hands. I have been strenuously warned against allowing pictures of myself drinking on Facebook, pictures of myself not drinking on Facebook, a Facebook account, any pictures showing my face anywhere, any pictures cutting out my face because those focus on my chest, and any kind of blog at all. All of these things will make me completely unemployable.
I’d like to try to turn this into an opportunity – make lemonade, if you will. (Do you see that proactivity and initiative? That resourcefulness? Keep that in mind.) Let’s say they’re right. Let’s say there’s someone in a skirt suit with my resume in their hand Googling me right now, and looking through this blog. Hello, future employer! I would love to give you a firm but friendly handshake; unfortunately that’s not possible right now. You’ll have picked up on a lot of personality points and anecdotal evidence about me by now – my taste in music, my political leanings, my dislike of Ben Stiller movies, my penchant for the Japanese-import snack food yakisoba. Allow that to round out the information you already have in front of you; supplement your knowledge of my GPA and internship experiences with a mental list of the youtube videos I have enjoyed. And now, with that in mind, let me tell you a few more things that didn’t fit on my resume. I am a fantastic employee. I’ve trained myself to become invested in and passionate about things that, objectively speaking, I don’t care about (like running book requests through copyright clearance, or editing query letters) so that I can perform better. When I was a sophomore in college I invented a new process on a piece of technology that I had only been using for a few months because the way we were doing it previously just didn’t work well enough. I make friends with my bosses. I help them with outside projects, and think about work even when I’m not there. I work the maximum number of hours allowed, all the time. My last boss went to the employment liaison in administration and asked them to create a new position just so he would be able to promote me. I can spell and proofread like no one you have ever employed before. I work quickly and thoroughly. I have done everything from cleaning tomatoes for minimum wage to fielding article requests to running events featuring jugglers and sideshow acts to writing rejection letters to communicating with professional editors with their own imprint. Whatever it is you’re considering hiring me for, I can do it, and I will do it well.
Now that that’s clear, feel free to continue perusing everything Heather (also very employable!) and I have written. Some of it is about Restoration-era dramas, some of it is about Twilight, and some of it is about mix cds, and some of it is liveblogged essays on breakthroughs in American television technology. I hope you enjoy, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.