Thursday, July 28, 2011

Work it, Girl!

I know a lot of young theater professionals are in my same boat with employment.  I'm sharing my experiences:

As a part of job search: 2011, I made sure to search for jobs every single day.  I had a couple of sites that I checked daily (  and Artsearch) as well as just random google searches.  Since my resume and portfolio website ( were updated, as soon as I found a job, I reworked a cover letter for the specific job and sent it all off, usually in less than an hour.  I wanted work and I wanted it bad.  

It took two weeks for me to hear back from one such job posting that I had responded to.  I found it sort of randomly through a google search and had actually sort of forgotten that I had even applied since it had been a couple of weeks and I had not heard anything from them.  I had pretty much gotten desperate about finding work within the costume industry so I was in the middle of filling out unemployment paperwork when I got an email asking about setting up an interview.  The interview was set up and I was on my way.

Now, I consider myself to be pretty experienced when it comes to the interview process.  I estimate that between trying to get into organizations at Texas A&M University, graduate school interviews, and costume job interviews, I've probably been on the interviewee side of over 30 meetings.  I've also conducted about as many interviews in College, and even given workshops to undergraduates about the dos and don'ts of an interview.  The interviews have been a good mix of phone and in person chats and I can usually know by the end if it will have a positive or negative outcome.  

I had the phone interview on a Wednesday afternoon.  It lasted about 45 minutes.  I had a list of about ten questions written down and my interviewer answered most of them before I was even able to ask.  He's done this before, obviously.  I hung up the phone and felt good.  The interview was really solid and I felt confident during the conversation.  For the first time, though, I had no idea how it would play out.  Not knowing who else was applying (apparently there were several other interviews to be conducted), I was now just going to have to wait.  My interviewer promised to contact me on Monday with news, good or bad, or that he needed more time.  As he said, I had an email telling me he would need a little more time, and I would hear from him on Wednesday.

Finally Wednesday came.  I had come to the conclusion that I would either be sad but happy or happy but sad.  If I didn't get the job, I'd be really sad but at least I would get to stay in San Diego for the time being.  If I did get the job, I'd be happy, but then I'd be leaving my second home and my friends again and moving across the country.  When the phone call finally came, I really couldn't believe that I was offered the job.  I had convinced myself that I wasn't going to get it so I wouldn't be disappointed.  Then I went into a bit of shock because I did get it.  I don't think most people cry when they get offered a job, but I can assure you that I did.  It was a combination of the relief of finally finding steady work plus realizing that I was going to be in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend after three years of living in the same city.

It took another 5 days to get all of the contract details sorted out, but in that time I have become very excited and much less anxious about my big move to Ohio.  I am planning on getting rid of a lot of my possessions and only move with what will fit in my car, so the next couple of weeks will be quite busy.  I found a beautiful furnished room in a Victorian house in an artsy neighborhood which I am really thrilled about.  Dealing with cold weather and snow will be interesting as I've never lived in a city with extremes in weather so I am looking forward to the challenge (and a white Christmas season!!).    

Of course, Discotoes will continue to spread sparkle across the country, being based on the internet.  I am really continuing to look forward to making beautiful and funky footwear.

Do you have any job hunting, interviewing, negotiating experiences to share?

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