It has now been a month since I came back from a three-month internship at a campus radio station in Rouen, France. After taking some time off to celebrate my birthday, my cousin’s birthday, my aunt’s birthday, (the point is we had a lot of parties this month), I re-ignited my job search.
I am now once again spending my weeks at the job office searching the Internet for job offers, making cold calls, and waiting for the phone to ring. The difference is that now I have an extra three months of experience as opposed to last year’s one month spent in Perpignan, France, and I also have a little extra walking around money after my brother kindly referred me for a freelance translation job.
So overall, leaving for France for three months was a good idea. I got to perform almost 75 interviews with people like the mayor of Rouen, the French Foreign Minister, cops, leaders of student associations, teachers, photographers, and appropriately enough, career counsellors. While there I also wrote a bunch of articles for TalentEgg about my experiences so I can really deserve to call myself a multimedia journalist. You can also say multi-lingual: all the work for the radio was in French, while the articles were in English. Next time maybe I will make YouTube videos in Spanish.
Also on the plus side I got to visit a few sea-side towns on my days off and during my last night I got to see Paris by night, something I highly recommend to anyone who likes to travel. Not bad for a guy who a few months before was filling bags at a grocery store. (That, I don’t recommend unless you’re about to be completely broke.)
The work experience gained during the internship hasn’t given me a job yet, but recently I did get pretty close. On the last week I started sending out resumes and before I even got on the plane I was contacted for a job interview by the editor of an English newspaper in Sherbrooke. It would have been interesting to be back in Sherbrooke after graduating there in 2010, but it was not meant to be. After two Skype interviews, writing a test article written over the course of three days, writing emails to say I was definitely interested in the job, I was told they were going with somebody else.
One of the concerns was that I would have to move from Quebec City to Sherbrooke for the job and if the job didn’t work out I would have moved for nothing. I asked a former student from Sheridan College who moved from Ontario to Saskatchewan how she convinced her employers they wouldn’t waste their time by having her move all the way over there and she gave me some good advice which I tried to use in one of my emails. The editor was still not convinced, but on the bright he said if it didn’t work out with the guy he picked he would give me a call. So, you know, at least I got one step closer to the finish line.
I am not going to lie, despite the fact that I got so close and that it’s only been three weeks at the job office, I am getting a little impatient. I only hope I am not going to end up spending another nine months doing this, because it’s starting to feel like everyone I know from college or university is getting ahead in life while I am trailing behind.
Maybe things would have gone better if I had gotten a five-month internship at the CBC in Toronto right out of college instead of just one month in France, but the place where I currently reside isn’t helping either. Quebec City has one major TV studio, two newspapers (that aren’t free), and a few radio stations, most of which get their news off the Internet like most people who weren’t born before 1980. Most of the job offers in journalism for the province of Quebec are for Montreal. After that it’s Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver. There is also the occasional offer for a multimedia journalist for newspapers in small towns with names I have never even heard of, such as Kapuskasing, Ontario. I am not even sure I am typing that right, but if they have an opening, I am applying. Now is not the time to be picky.
If I was to get really desperate I could do like in those formula movies where a young person just hops on a bus to go find a job in the big city, but I don’t think it’s financially safe to move to a place where the rent is sky-high if you don’t even know for a fact you will have a job when you get there. Plus, those movies are so cheesy you could make a fondue with them. Also, why do these characters always travel by bus anyway? The bus sucks.
Anyway, without coming off as too depressing, the point is I am really looking forward to my first job so I can start living the next phase of my life and start taking things off my bucket list. Of course if the world does end in 2012 I am pretty much screwed, but personally I think the Mayans just ran out of rocks for their calendar. So I will just keep trudging along, sending resumes, blogging, and writing reviews online until I finally hear those magical words: you’re hired. That will be a good day.