Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's good to have friends in your corner

For the first time in many years, a "permanent" job has come along that compels me to apply. Those who know me will realize what a "gasp!"-inducing statement that really is, since I have spent the past four years scheming and plotting to avoid permanent employment as if it were a case of uncurable Degenerative Flatulent Leprosy Syndrome. And I haven't actually applied for a job the old fashioned way - cover letter and resume submitted cold - for well over a decade. I had hit that lucky place in life where I can more or less rely on people who know me to hire me every now and then - a few dollars here, a few dollars there. It doesn't come with health insurance, but it has been working well.

But then this half-time job came along, and I had to throw my hat in the ring. The nice thing about being a consultant is that you apply for jobs all the time - sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't, but you can't survive long if your sense of self gets all vested in whether somebody sees fit to hire you. So I have a pretty robust ego, in that sense. Maybe I'll get an interview, maybe I won't. Maybe they'll like me, maybe not. Maybe I'll like them, maybe not. It's all cool.

My friend and business partner, Zena, has worked up a much greater sense of righteous entitlement than I have. "They'd be idiots not to interview you. And if they interview you, I'd say it's 95 percent sure they'd hire you. You'd be great at that job!" Which is very sweet of her to say, but of course, she knows me.

Meanwhile, I have a new apprecition for how much work is involved in applying for jobs. The agonizing over the cover letter. The painstaking wordsmithing of the resume. It all makes me that much more grateful to be in the situation I'm in.

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