Why I Have A Job: the American Studies major who tiptoed her way into employment


This is what happy employment looks like.

Name: Alexandria

Major(s): American Studies and English

What I do all day: I’m a contract writer for a weekly newspaper, and I work from home. I wake up whenever the trucks start unloading outside my apartment (usually around 10). If I don’t have a story to work on, I read blogs, call contacts, check social calendars, and talk to friends in order to figure out what to write about next. If I’m already working on a story, I usually spend a big chunk of the day researching and reporting and interviewing subjects and writing.

What I would rather be doing all day: I am still stunned they pay me to do this. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do!

Where I found this job: I was an intern in my last semester of college.

Why they hired me as opposed to hundreds of other overqualified Ivy league grads: A few weeks before my internship ended, I said hello to an editor who’d been away for much of the time I’d been interning, so we hadn’t met before. When I introduced myself, she said “I’ve heard you’re good. You should march into the editor’s office and demand a job. Most women wouldn’t do that, but a man would, and you should.” So I did! (Although I think it was more of a tiptoe than a march, and more of a polite inquiry than a demand.)

Best part about being employed: Being able to afford to go to Whole Foods.

Worst part about being employed: Because I work from home, I feel a little disconnected from the office sometimes, and it can also be hard to stay motivated when nobody’s formally checking up on you. But those are very small considerations; overall, the job is amazing.

Heartfelt advice to your jobless friends who may have been freeloading off of you for months: I’m too young and clueless to give anyone advice! But I did just finish up a story about unemployed men, and they all said that going to the gym and finding other ways to get out of the house on a regular basis helped them stay sane.


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