As I was driving all over central Indiana, first to fill out papers for a background check – apparently a background check consists of lots and lots of paperwork, not being interrogated by a hairy cop – and then to take a drug test in an obscure clinic – so obscure that my two-hour trip took three – I had a lot of time to reflect on life, sunshine, and how I was too hot to wear a cardigan in the car but too cold to go without a cardigan once I was inside.
I’m so complex.
Mostly I was grateful, a) because I can afford to own not just this cold-warm gray cardigan, but multiple cardigans of varying consistencies, b) because I have a car to drive me to ridiculous adult appointments, c) because my friend gave me back my AUX cord so I could jam to obscure indie techno, and d) because I have a job which requires me to get a background check and drug test.
I was never afraid of not getting an internship – not that it was a confidence thing. I applied for every single position with some combination of PR/Digital Media/Marketing/Social Media Editing/Copywriting in the title.Once I applied for 8 jobs in a week. The odds of getting at least one interview were pretty high. And sure enough, out of the 2 interviews I finally had, one of them wanted me. Bless.
If you’re an English major, reeled in to this post by my snappy URL, you can probably identify with the overwhelming relief of finding a job you don’t hate. Since you announced your major, everyone’s been like, “Why don’t you just go straight to working at Starbucks?” or “You know, getting published as a writer is really hard” or the oh-so-popular “To teach?” Believe it or not, all ye naysayers, not every English major wants to work in a coffeeshop, write a novel, or teach.
The job market for English majors is broader than any other major except for maybe, like, business majors, or something equally soul-sucking. We know how to write and communicate – which are skills all businesses need. The problem of unemployment is all in our heads. There is no spoon.
English majors can do anything. Want proof? During my three years in college, I have
- designed and edited a literary magazine (check out The Broken Plate for a delicious sample. Any mistakes are the other design editor’s fault.)
- written and drawn my own digital comic book (and then lost it in the Great Vanishing Flashdrive Debacle of October ’15)
- designed a brochure for the CJC department (I’m pretty sure there are copies of it in their office)
- currently work as a PR intern for the English department, which means I get to write for their Twitter/Facebook/Wordpress accounts, develop the voice of the department (i.e. branding, if you want to get technical), make flyers and posters and tons of little fun pretty things to promote events, classes, and visiting speakers.
I never thought I would be doing any of these things. But if there is any opportunity to put your learning to practice, even if its something you’re only partly qualified for, do it. Find what you’re good at, find what you can get practice in, and freaking do it. Carpe freaking diem.
My job with C– B– I– (no offense, but for privacy reasons, you know) is almost exactly the same thing as what I’m doing for the English department, except it’ll be for an actual real-life corporation that impacts the community in all sort of positive and uplifting ways. Hopefully this will lead to a permanent PR position at another real-life corporation. I never thought marketing would interest me – my exact words were, “I don’t want to be a business robot, Mom!” and yet here I am.
There are a lot of things to be thankful for, which leads me into Things I Know For Sure:
- You literally have to apply to everything to get anything.
- Podcasts make long trips fun (thank you, This American Life).
- Job descriptions are intense, but odds are you already know how to do most of those things.
Also, if anyone is interested, there will probably be a post soon with some sample designs from work and my private creative annals. Design is another thing I never expected to get into, and yet…