Monday, July 17, 2006

episode 1: landing that job!

We here at Drunk Girl's Guide know that finding the perfect job can be hard. Heck, finding a job that doesn't make your eyelid twitch constantly and cause you to run away to Upstate New York by way of Wisconsin and South America can even be a challenge for certain people. In this episode Gina Jameson will take you through her latest job-finding process step by step, with helpful tips and anecdotal advice to help you land that unpaid internship of your dreams!

Lay the Groundwork

The key to finding a great gig is putting yourself out there. Do your research and apply to every potentially suitable place you can find. This, of course, requires time, effort, and dedication. Armed with only the first of these criteria, I began my search on Craigslist one morning when I suddenly decided that perhaps it was time to look beyond drunken waitressing to fulfill my soul and my astronomical financial obligation to Citibank. After scouring the "writing/editing" section for three minutes, I decided to apply for an editorial intern position at a nightclub website because I haven't set foot in a club since 2001.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

First impressions are important. In your application email you want to highlight your best qualities and show how these will contribute to the success of the organization. It is essential to tailor your cover letter to each job for which you're applying and, if appropriate, provide examples of what you can do. Not keeping these tips in mind at all, I sent my fake cover letter, word for word, and a link to this here e-chronicle of my drunken escapades, inability to retain employment that doesn't involve on-the-job drinking, and general irresponsibility.

Show 'Em You're a Tiger!

Sometimes you may come across a situation in which the position you applied for doesn't actually exist. This is not the end of the world. Since your alcohol consumption has dramatically improved your social skills over the years, you may just be charming enough in your interview to land an alternate gig. This is where you need to show your stuff. When my "editorial internship" turned into "write one dinky article per week from home" I knew I had to shine. That's why I turned in all four articles I managed to finish in two months at 5 pm the day of the deadline, at the earliest (4 am on Wednesday was still Tuesday to me!), and came up with dramatic yet mostly true excuses for not completing the rest. The three-day bender after my coworker died turned into a two-month drink-a-thon. Which is both harder and funner (yes, funner) than one may think.

Stand Out From the Pack
In order to rise to the top of your chosen field, you need to distinguish yourself. You should try to go above and beyond the call of duty and complete work that's out of the range of your job description. That's not why I sent the following email to my editor:
Hey [Editor]. So I think perhaps the time has come for me to throw in the proverbial towel. I don't know why it's so incredibly difficult to get myself to write one little not incredibly difficult article per week, but it is. I think it has something to do with being productive for the first time in a while and deadlines and psyching myself out to a ridiculous degree. Anyway, I'm really sorry for letting you (and myself) down. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

The truth, it hurts.

You Did It!
If and when success comes, you need to be well-rested and prepared. Two days after my email, I received a mysterious 212 phone call and, for once, answered my phone.

Editor: "Hey Gina! It's [Editor]. I got your email, and, uh, this is going to sound a little weird since you want to quit, but uh, would you be interested in an actual internship at the office? Two days a week, copy editing, photo stuff, more writing, 10-6?

Gina: I have to be at my real job at 5:45.

Editor: Okay, 10-5 is fine.

Gina: Okay.

This morning is my first day at the ol' office. I've prepared myself by getting quite drunk and just plain drunk two nights before and the night of, respectively. Yesterday morning I woke up with Beef Stroganoff in my hair (long story). And this morning it's off to the office!

We here at Drunk Girl's Guide are sure you can use Gina Jameson's job search tale to help start your dream career!

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