Skip to main content

this is something that's been on my mind the last month or so, with the declining job market and all (unless someone can prove to me otherwise)

is anyone else having one bastard of a time finding a job?
maybe i'm just asking too much to have a career that's worthy of me.
but i'm fresh outta college with a degree in literature/journalism. and i'd like to be a music publicist, but no one seems to be hiring. i've even applied to jobs i'm not particularly interested in. no response.
i like to think i'm qualified and capable.
but one of my friends insists that it's everything to do the economic state of the union now.
which makes sense, seeing as someone close to me is about to be laid off after decades of back-breaking work, and with hardly anything to show for it.

am i missing something?

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I think we're all missing something. Frowner

Personally, I've been out of the job market for a while now due to illness and other reasons (one being it's illegal for me to work in the USA on my current visa), but as a graduate from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology's BA (Journalism) class of 94, I KNOW how difficult it is to find work in the field you want, Mabelle...

Freelancing is a PITA (Pain In The....) option, but it is far easier to pick up work in this day and age, what with the internet and all, than it was ten years ago. (God I feel like an old fogey...) Subscribe to online freelance networks (I can direct you to a fairly good one that doesn't charge the earth if you PM me), put your name and samples of your work out to places you want to work for (and/or do as Heidi in Pittsburgh has done most ably, and get thyself a webpage!)... OH YES AND see an accountant (one experienced in small business) soonish to see what tax deductions you can claim for running your own business (freelance journalism falls under this category.)

Righto. I'm running on at the mouth here... but it's almost 4am and I'm not writing for cash so I think I have an excuse Big Grin

Job searching is always (and I mean ALWAYS) a pain. Thing is, the economic situation may not be perfect but a go-getter like you will find a way around that situation, Mabelle... and freelancing (done correctly) is a perfect portable career, for now, and for when and if you decide to decamp to Australia with that doll of a boyfriend of yours. (Meet you for a coffee in St Kilda, or a beer at The Lounge in Swanston Street, say 18 months from now? Smiler )
I found I've had to take a completely unrelated job in order to get by, which really gets me down. I graduated in 2000 with a BA (Hons) in Literature, and really want to follow bibliography or archivism, but here in Britain, there are NO jobs. The jobs you can get are really low paid and I am loathe to spend 5 years of my life as a single parent at University, struggling hard to gain my degree, to get a bum job with minimum wage. It makes me question sometimes why I bothered in the first place Confused

I keep going though. I know the right job will come along. I'm even planning to move abroad when my son has grown. So, you're not alone, things in Britain aren't much better.

Keep on keeping on. I firmly believe that strength and ability shines through in the end and what you deserve will be yours.
Mabelle, you've picked possibly the worst time in the world to try and get a job in the music industry - most companies are making financial losses and theres cutbacks happening everywhere. (As it happens, I'm also looking for a job in the music industry, so I know how it feels!)

Having said all that, getting a job in the music industry is alot more about WHO you know than what you know. A degree won't put you above someone who hasn't got a degree, if they make friends with the right people they'll get the jobs, as industry folks tend to employ people they like and give them a chance rather than someone with an impressive CV/education. Plus, most of the jobs in the industry don't require a degree just a bit of common & business sense, and a love for music.

They also rarely advertise jobs (see above about how they give jobs to the people they like), and if they do, they advertise in the specialist industry press (ie: Music Week).

Best way to get your foot in the door - go to as many gigs as possible, signed and unsigned bands, bands that you've never heard of, stuff that you don't even like. Just go. Spot the people that also are at every single gig. Even if they only hang about for a short time. Talk to them. They'll be the industry folk - booking agents, A&R people, managers, publishers, journalists, promoters etc. Talk to the guys that run the venues, they'll know who to speak to and they can point them out to you.

Just befriend them. Most of them are a nice enough bunch and quite a few will be more than willing to help you out in finding a job.
I'm not saying they'll give you a job, as not everyone is in a position to hire people, but they can tip you off on jobs that are coming up before everyone hears about them, introduce you to the right people, teach you a bit about how the industry works, put in a good word for you to prospective employers etc etc.

I dunno about the US, but over here theres a few temp agencies that deal with just the music industry. It's often worth joining one to get some experience and think about if you really want to work in the music industry. Also, just phoning companies to ask if they have any work experience placements going. You won't get paid, but you will learn a huge amount and meet the right people and if you make a good enough impression they might even take you on full time.

Hope some of that helps in some way and that you get something soon!
Here's an idea I have, because it worked for me. Figure out which radio station needs a part-time grunt, and supplement that with other jobs, but be AMAZING at the radio job. Then, when a FT position comes up, after you've proven yourself, APPLY. That's where a whole lot of my contacts and copywriting experience, and my award came from. (I found that once I won a Silver Microphone Award in 2000, it suddenly didn't matter to people anymore that I don't have a degree.)

I'm doing a couple of things in order to get published. I'm being really tenacious, for one. I've picked out 3 local papers and I'm submitting to them, MERCILESSLY. (Start by picking a genre, finding out who the editor for your genre is, and contact them to find out submission guidelines.) The amount of things I've written FAR OUTWEIGHS the number I've had published...but you know...with a few published things, you stand a higher chance of getting more.

Finally, check to see if there are any local publishers who use freelance editors. It's decent money but pretty tedious. I edited 9 manuscripts one year and made about $1,200.

And while these are my proactive ideas, make no mistake....the job market DOES SUCK, especially for anyone with a "liberal arts" type of skill set. You may have to move where the jobs Big Grin
The job market sucks in a lot of fields right now, I think. I'm one of those "laid off after decades" people (well, 1.7 decades Wink ) - I worked at ONE company as a research chemist for all those years and was laid off almost 2 years ago. Having all of my experience in the "wrong" industry (semiconductors/telecommunications) and being 40 at the time, no one was willing to hire me as a chemist. Frustrated, I decided to use my science background to become a patent agent and go to law school - I did this for a year and a half, after which I found myself completely burnt out. So I quit my patent agent job back in November, finished up the semester at law school, and then dropped out. So, since no one wants an over-40 chemist who still has all the "wrong" experience, I've decided to become a high school chemistry teacher, and am taking my certification exams in two days. (Wish me luck!)

It's certainly tough out there!

Anyway, this is all much more than any of you wanted to know about me. Wink

I think in an economy like this one, you have to be very flexible and think about what kind of jobs ARE available for people with your particular skill set, rather than strictly focus on getting your dream job in your dream industry. I think you just have to be a little creative right now regarding what kind of job you might be qualified for, if only as a temporary stopgap until something opens up in the field you REALLY want to get into.

As much as hate to do it, next week after my exams I'm going to have to get some kind of completely unrelated job to tide me over temporarily.

But hang in there, mabelle - we'll all come out on the other side of this. Smiler

i didn't expect to find so many great responses the next day.

thank you all so much for your insight and honesty (especially an ailing heidi who PM'd me at 3 a.m.).

i've pretty much lost count of all the resum�s i've sent out and the phone calls i've made. and for a while i got used to this feeling of defeat. and i became tired of people telling me to keep my head up. but i don't have a choice. i can't let myself fall through the cracks because we have the most economically backward/greedy/inept american leader in history.
i'm taking everything said here into account and heeding all advice dispensed.
ki kaha - i most definitely will meet you at The Lounge in 18 months. i had lunch there the first time i went into melbourne by myself while james was working in cranbourne. i remember exactly where it is. Smiler

again, i really appreciate everyone's opinions on the matter. i'll do my best to "keep on keepin' on."

oh - and i forgot one thing.
the reason i'm not looking for work in australia right now is because it seemed rational to me to establish myself here before looking over there. that said, my boyfriend's dad (a children's court lawyer) knows someone at The Age who might be able to help me, though he's not expected back from Italy until October. That gives me time to find my footing here and start filling out applications to migrate to australia (on a work visa or defacto spousal visa - haven't worked out the details completely).



p.s. i just disconnected momentarily and found a message from the National Notary Association saying they came across my resum� and asked for a phone interview. i'll let you know how it goes. Wink
The job market is really crummy, especially in California, and especially for public employees. I was a new grad in '92, the last time the economy tanked, and I didn't find a job until '95.

I resigned my job in November - the only thing worse than being unemployed right now would be to have to do the budget for an agency relying extensively on state funds.

Don't worry about taking a job to tide you over, if that's what it takes. Everybody's offered good suggestions. My suggestion would be to try to get on the board, or at least volunteer, for a non-profit like the symphony or other cultural association. That way, you'd be making contacts and contributing in a professional capacity.

Congrats on your degree - you won't be sorry, it's just that things are tough right now. Good luck!
This morning's news cited that 308,000 more jobs were cut across the country in February, by major corporations...the most numerous layoffs since right after 9/11. Gotta make things look good for the shareholders, after all.... Frowner

This means unemployment has risen to 5.8% (one tenth of a percent) and is at its peak since March, 2001. Keep in mind the "official unemployment rate" is only based on the number of available jobs, NOT on the number of people available to fill them OR on the fact that many of those jobs (fast food, etc.) aren't a consideration for people with significant skill levels. So the true unemployment rate at any given time, is higher.

Pertinent to last night's prime time speech and the fact that "certain undiscussable conditions" seem pretty imminent, things may worsen before they whatever survival plan you can develop would be a good idea. I still think Australia is your best/safest bet.
oooohh look what I found -

Games match

Marketing Match

Media match

Music jobs

Photography match

These are all US based, and recruit in the US only, I have addresses for similar services run in the UK, Europe, Australia, South America, Canada etc etc... if anyone wants some, tell me what kind of work and I'll pass on the link.

Now, what are they? Well, they're a database where you can sign up, leave your CV details to be viewed by companies that are registered with the site, and view jobs that companies have left and apply for them. I've seen a ton of jobs advertised on one of the UK boards that I've not seen advertised anywhere else, and I know a few people that have gotton jobs through the UK versions of these sites fairly quickly.

So it might be worth signing up!
Originally posted by Sara:
[qb]oooohh look what I found -

Music jobs[/qb]
thanks sara.

i'll keep you posted. i did go to music a couple of nights ago. they only want you to sign up if you've had at least 3 years experience as a music industry professional. and i'm looking for entry-level because it's what i'm qualified for.
that said, i was given the number of someome whom i haven't seen in ages, who is the producer for a radio show at a pretty popular station here (KROQ). she hasn't called me back yet, and even if she can't hire me, i know she'd try to help me out *somehow*.

i didn't watch the speech last night. mostly because i got home late and i can't really watch bush for more than 34 seconds without throwing something at the TV.

*keeps marching on*

I had to grin when I read Heidi's post about 5.8% unemployment in the USA...

However that is counted, it's low. This is the sort of job market I'd WANT to be in, given what I've known in my short career... I applied to, went to, and graduated from university in Melbourne, Australia, ten or so years back when the unemployment rate averaged close to ten percent. (Why does that UB40 song "One in Ten" keep going through my mind? Oh yes, that's right - I WAS the 'one in ten, a number on a list' - yadayadayada...)

That said, Australia may be a slightly tougher job market (depending on the industry etc.) but I sure wish I was back there now. Impending war or no impending war... Frowner

Add Reply

    All times London, UK.

    ©1998-Eternity, All post content is the copyrighted work of the person who wrote it. Please don't copy, reproduce, or publish anything you see written here without the author's permission.
Link copied to your clipboard.