phenomenally unemployed

Economists say that you’re not unemployed until you’re actually looking for work. By that definition, I’ve been unemployed for almost a month. Sure, I haven’t sent out that many official applications, but I feel like I’ve forwarded my resume to just about every family friend and friendly acquaintance who’s offered their third cousin twice-removed who works for Congressman so-and -so’s district office and would be willing to sit down and chat about what it takes to get a job in his field.

It’s a process, that’s for sure. About a year ago, when I was still a columnist for the Daily, I wrote a column about finding jobs and being clueless when it came to navigating the big bad world of job-hunting. Then I wanted to throw up my hands at the process and become a psychic in Palo Alto (they can charge at least $100 an hour). Now that I know a bit better what the whole process entails, from networking to sending out a bazillion copies of a tailored cover letter and DC-addressed resume, I don’t know that I feel too much differently. Life might be a lot easier if I just decided to make up other peoples’ futures for them, instead of figuring out my own.

But being a psychic isn’t the only possible career path I’ve explored recently. Last week, I discovered that the Washington Post has a great jobs section. They run classifieds, but the Sunday front page was the real gold mine. In the front page articles alone, I discovered two new careers that had never even occurred to me: dairy economist and paint store owner. They even ran an entire story on people who watch death row executions as a civic duty in Virginia.

Craigslist and Idealist may offer real opportunities, but the Washington Post offers real inspiration for the unending options in career epithets. Next time I worry that I’ll never find a unique career path, I’ll just open up the Post, where the magazine will tell me all I need to know about being a silhouettist, a worm curator, or bikini tailor.

Washington, DC, here I come!

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