Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Classifieds By: Karen Pilarski

Warning: When I write blogs, they are not about being unhappy in my job or relationships.  My blogs also are not meant to bash a business or person (s).  Just random reflective thoughts as I try to make it as a writer. Thanks-KP
  Piles of red circled job classified ads sits on the table. Musty smell of old newspapers linger in the air. The computer has browsers opened to LinkedIn and local newspaper employment postings.

Books about resumes and social media presence littered the living room. My head dizzy with thoughts of New York City and writing. I wondered if I watched too much 'Sex and the City' and 'How I Met Your Mother'.

The sudsy drama and exciting lives of those characters danced in my mind. Secretly I felt I could totally be a 'Carrie.'The only difference was that I was married and living in Wisconsin. I looked at my arm and noticed the dull imprints of red inked circles on it. I'm ready to tell different stories. I have traveled all over this land, with ink in my writing hand.

Looking up I noticed my two brown leather diploma cases with gold trim, spelling out where I graduated from. My two degrees are a Bachelor's degree in Professional Communication and and a Master's degree in Instructional Design and Adult Education. I remember the graduations, champagne and confetti. The hope of tomorrow left a glow on my face as I approached the stage. Happiness and eager to start my career gave a little pep in the step.

Now looking at the classifieds leaves me feeling defeated. All this experience and fancy terminology for the ideal job candidate. What ever happened to finding talent and helping a person grow into a job role?

In college I was editor of the college newspaper. I had no experience when I was chosen as editor. I grew into the role and blossomed. I eventually started writing for local community newspapers. My niche was writing about children and community events. Five or ten years experience in writing wouldn't give me the rich experience I had as an editor and freelance writer. There are writers with decades of experience but maybe not as much drive. Why does years of experience equal quality? The next breakout best selling author is waiting for someone to take a chance on them.

I know I did the right thing by becoming an educated woman. Unfortunately the lack of concrete experience bites me every time I apply for a position. I'm told "you don't have the experience." I know I'm not the only college graduate to feel this sting of employment rejection.

All is not lost. I do my best adhering to the 'rules' of networking. I use social media to create my presence and I blog. I meet interesting people in the the journalist field for coffee dates. Twitter has allowed me to talk to people I may not have had the opportunity to chat with before. I have met inspiring and memorable contacts.

Like a good writer, I keep up with blogging in hopes that The New Yorker, The New York Times or any magazine or newspaper will take notice. 'Experience' can only take someone so far. It is talent that makes magazines sell and readership to increase. Talent is how writers gain the knowledge they need to make in the media industry. I've heard a person has to start somewhere.

How does a writer gain experience if no one is willing to offer the opportunity in the first place? Here I am ready to take a bite out of the big apple of life and make a go out of my sheer thrill of journalism.The only thing that is needed is for someone to take a chance and circle my name with red ink.