Hi all- it’s Lee, Senior Account Supervisor, checking in:
Conan O’Brien is the latest Californian to lose his job. He joins the 12.4 percent of Californians out of work. A hand-full of my friends have been looking for jobs for fifteen-plus months. I’ve been there, too, before — out of work, applying online, tweaking the resume, making connections, gabbing with head hunters and going in for interview after interview with a hundred other perfectly qualified candidates. Back in 2001, I couldn’t even get a job selling coffee.
Thus, I was happy to announce two weeks ago that Landis Communications Inc. would be hiring for a Senior Account Executive position. This meant we would be able to do something unique in these trying times: offer someone a job. As the hiring manager in this case, I was proud to post the job description on Craigslist, Facebook, LinkedIn and numerous PR social networks. I was also excited to introduce new blood to the high-level team of PR experts we have, while at the same time happy to extend a bit of job relief to the right candidate.
Ya, I’ve heard about the slowing job market. I’ve seen the unemployment numbers here in California jump. But not until I began the interviewing process did I really meet the real faces of the economic crisis. Resumes flooded my in-box. At first, I simply disregarded all of the resumes that clearly had no business being in the pool — resumes that contained not a stitch of writing, pitching, media acumen or PR experience. It was shocking to see just how many people had seemingly submitted blindly to the job posting. If we had been hiring for a full-time cook, these same resumes would have appeared.
But after a while, I couldn’t disregard them anymore. The fact was these were not the resumes of the inexperienced. They were the resumes of people desperate for employment.
Being out of work is disheartening. It’s stressful. It strips you of purpose. Your world slows down to a crawl. Desperation is a horrible feeling, and you begin to suspect that every conversation you have with a potential hiring manager just smacks of it. Plus, there’s only so much daytime TV you can watch before you’ve seen every episode of Law & Order. I’ve spoken to candidates for this job from as diverse locations as Texas and Hawaii, all willing to move to San Francisco if it meant employment. I’ve met with candidates that are well overqualified for the position. I’ve met with people who had little experience in PR but figured it was time for a career change, as opportunities in their current fields had dried up.
The truth is I wish I could give everyone who took the time to apply for LCI’s SAE position a job. Alas, we’re a mid-sized agency, and mid-size is how we will stay….for now. In the meantime, consider this a thank you to everyone who applied to join the LCI team. And take it from one who’s been there: there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
- Best job site for PR positions: www.mediabistro.com.
- Best show to watch while searching for a job: Lost, Season 6 begins February 14th, 2010.
- Best new restaurant to visit to celebrate snagging that new job: Baker & Banker, 1701 Octavia St., SF, 415-351-2500, www.bakerandbanker.com.