Thursday, June 16, 2022

How to get a new job. Part 62,128.

The great New York Times columnist, Charles Blow, had an essay in that paper two Sundays ago that is worth reading and saving for your files. In fact, it's hard for me to believe that everyone in every agency in the world, that every job-seeker everywhere, that every parent of job-age children didn't distribute this article widely. Read it here. 

It never ceases to depress me how many people pass absolute idiocy along like the death of some rotten actor, or some trial involving Johnnie Depp, or some spurious award for either fake work or fake results and how little attention is paid to what little real wisdom is left in the world. It seems to me the equivalent of going to a top steak house and judging it based on its serving of parsley. 

As a society (if that's what we are) we pay 97-percent of our attention to bs, two-percent to unidentified shit not from a bovine and maybe one-percent to some appendage that is bleeding. Intelligent thought and wisdom barely get noticed. In fact, if you do spend your time reading things that are valuable and intelligent, you'll soon be regarded as a misfit and a pariah because no one knows wtf you're talking about.

I'm a little roiled because about ten times a week--roughly twice a day, people reach out to me for advice on how to find a job, get a new job, get out of a bad job, fight for a raise or they ask for some other bit of information to help them advance somehow.

It pisses me off because so much great advice is out there--and I worry that people are asking me to spend time with them and make it easy for them. 

Nothing is easy about getting a job. Nor should it be.

The great journalist Molly Ivins once disparaged the second- worst president of all time, George W. Bush, as being born on third and thinking he hit a triple. For most everyone I know getting work is work.

Not two hours of work here and there. Not a weekend off from canoodling around. This is about dedication. Real nine-to-nine dedication.

My first agency partner, Craig Schwartz told me something when we were starting out. I was probably 27; he was probably 24. But wise. He said to me one time, "George, you never stop working on your book."

You never stop working on your own self-betterment. You never stop looking for work--no matter how "satisfied" you are. Never rest. Never get smug. Never give up.

And now, read the Charles Blow I linked to above. 

Here's just one bit--an overture to Blow's entire article. 

If you're a person who gets tattoos, tattoo this somewhere. If you're not, tattoo it somewhere anyway. Now, Charles Blow:

In business, persistence pays off.

I got my internship at The Times by not taking no for an answer. When I arrived at The Times’s booth at an Atlanta job fair in the early ’90s, the recruiters told me I wouldn’t be able to interview because applicants had to sign up in advance, and their dance card was full.

I said that I understood, but that I was going to wait there until someone didn’t show up for the interview. I sat for about six hours, so long that they seemed to forget I was there. I listened in as other applicants sat for interviews, and as the recruiters discussed each candidate when they left. It was the absolute best opposition research. When one of the recruiters finally relented and offered to interview me, I knew the perfect way to answer every question.

The next day, the recruiters told me that I had so impressed them that they called back to New York overnight and created a graphics internship just for me.


There's no simple way to do something that's hard. The best way to get work is to work at it. Ceaselessly.

Oh, and read and listen to and learn from smart people. Like Charles Blow.

It couldn't hurt.

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