My process began, and continues, with questions. I am constantly questioning (myself, life, etc.), so the job-hunting process was bound to be no different.
Not knowing what I want – being attracted to a million different life paths and career options, and not having enough time try them all out – I figured the next best option was to ask someone else what I want.
I decided to turn my perceived notion of the informational interview on its head: instead of it being a time for someone else to get a sense of whether I might be a good fit for their company, I used it as an opportunity to quiz others about whether their job position would be a good fit for me.
I will be completely honest, I still have no idea what an informational interview is or what it is supposed to look like. It remains a mystical fuzzy concept of something theoretically helpful.
I spoke with a screenwriter, a music blog founder, a film and music-making fellow Haverford grad, a television writer, a music supervisor, and a music booker, to name a few. Despite the variety of jobs they had all held, the conversations went roughly the same way. I probed about the job, its particulars, the lifestyle it entailed, and about the path that got them to their job. And in the end, they all said something to the effect of “there is no one path in arts or entertainment.”
I wanted to protest, “You mean you don’t have an answer for me? You mean there is no answer? What?” I wanted to fume, I wanted to angrily gesticulate in usual Italian fashion at the heavens, and stomp away in search of a sage that might appease me.
It only took three or so of these “informational interviews” to realize that this reaction not only wouldn’t get me anywhere, but also was completely ill-founded. My assumptions were problematic in two ways: I wanted the answer and I was relying on others to tell me what I could only figure out myself.
There isn’t an answer that is just hiding from me until I work hard enough to discover it, like pearl tucked inside an intricately folded handkerchief. Unlike the previous 2+ decades of my life, which were guided by schedule and structures that built the path in front of me as I went, from here on out, there are endless possible paths for me to take.
Although I can’t rely on such tests to give me the answer, or even my answer, the interviews weren’t useless. There were tidbits about each job that attracted me to certain options and others that repulsed me, reminding me of the importance of intuition in the whole process.
They also taught me that the job I may want might not exist; I may have to go out there and make it myself.
Meet Nina, a recent graduate of a liberal arts college, with many passions, interests, and skills…and no job. We invite you to join her (and commiserate) as she struggles wading through the post-graduate swamp world. A creative at heart, and most likely a mermaid in another life, when she is not at the pool, she can be found writing, reviewing music for The Wild Honey Pie and OurVinyl, making art with her friends, goofing around on Photoshop, cooking, or frolicking amongst foliage while dreaming of how to save the planet from destruction by human hands.