This past Monday, Labor Day, I sat at my dining room table and laptopped my way through the jobs boards to find appropriate positions to bookmark for the week. Then I spent a few hours customizing my cover letters for those positions; filled in a couple of those same organizations’ very time-absorbent application forms (Uggh! They’re already getting my resume!); and reworked each of the resumes to make sure the person on the other end would be compelled to invite me for at least a first screening interview.
By the time I looked up from my screen the day was pretty much gone. No barbecue, no swimming in the pond, no Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethon (I know I know – that’s long gone, but I still think of it every Labor Day). Nope – none of that. Just me doing job-search due diligence – ALL. DAY. LONG.
To be honest, Labor Day wasn’t at all very different from all the other Mondays that have gone by since I got laid off in March. Monday is my designated Send Out Resumes Day (which is not to say that the other days of the week aren’t involved in the job search process – they usually are – either with more research, letter-writing, or actual job interviews). What WAS different, though, was a certain sense that, because Labor Day marks a turning point in the year – summer is coming to an end; school (no matter how it’s held) is back in session; and the leaves will start turning pretty colors in a matter of a few weeks – things are going take a turn for the positive. It’s ironic that, while those leaves are essentially dying, I’ve always gotten a sense of rebirth from the Fall season. And I think I’m not alone in this.
Maybe it’s just my biological need for optimism, but this week, since Labor Day, I’ve been invited to interview with four organizations. This is a big change from the summer when it was a victory to get even one interview every other week. So this is indeed very encouraging, to be sure. But since I’m superstitious, I’m not yet doing a little victory jig – I am fully ready to accept the strong possibility that NONE of these four interviews will blossom into a job offer. We’ll see.
PS: I had the first of these latest interviews on Tuesday. One of the questions I was asked was about what I thought of the current climate of “fake news” or “fact-denial” and how, as a seasoned PR practitioner, I would deal with that. My answer was simple: Even though we PR practitioners necessarily work to build positive relationships between organizations and their audiences (ie: we naturally have a bias), we STILL MUST TELL THE TRUTH. That’s sometimes easier said than done, of course (think beneficiary privacy issues, or the need for financial discretion, etc.), but doing so nonetheless is essential if we are to be successful in the long run. It is our JOB to find a way to honestly tell the stories that need to be told, even if those stories aren’t all squeaky-clean. Any practitioner who believes it’s okay to practice otherwise (ie: make stuff up/add to the fake news cancer that is sweeping our nation) – is either working in the tobacco or pharmaceutical industries, or in politics. There. I’ve said it. And that’s the un-embroidered Truth.
Photo: Autumn’s coming. View from the front porch, Cornwallville, New York.
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