Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Editor's Lament

Well, when I can spare time from my busy schedule of blogging and avoiding housework, I have been perusing and for gainful employment.  What I have discovered is, despite having had a real job requiring real skills for the past 4 years, I am still not remotely qualified for any of the positions in my field that are posted on those sites.  You see, a typical job announcement reads as follows:
Requirements: the ability to produce an entire magazine (including but not limited to brainstorming innovative, Pulitzer-worthy article topics; producing fresh content daily for magazine website and its Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest/Vine accounts; overseeing production of print layouts and web graphics), while directing a team of people to help you do same.  Minimum 100 years experience doing similar work needed.  Working familiarity with every single computer program known to man required. 

Yes, something like that...
Someone tell me - where are the jobs for moderately skilled people with a few years experience in their field?  Whither the introverted copy editor with the unerring eye who checks galleys and proofs?   Must we all be creative team leaders?  Who the heck is on the teams, anyway?  I never see job openings for those positions.

Also?  If you foolishly upload your resume to one of these websites (in order to apply for a job for which you are not even qualified), you will receive phone calls and emails from EVERY SINGLE INSURANCE COMPANY IN EXISTENCE, offering you a marketing position.  Even though you are not looking for a sales job - no, not one bit.

The worst part is, I know I'm needed out there, people.  Just look - on Tuesday, The New York Times (the gold standard so far as quality journalism is concerned) published this headline:

Three Men, Three Ages.  Who Do You Like?*

As far as I'm concerned, that is a blatant cry for help.  Who is writing their headlines, anyway?  Honest Toddler?

*Three Men, Three Ages: Whom Do You Like?  You're welcome, NYT.  Call me.

[image credit: EagleiOnline]


  1. Oh yes. The world is in serious trouble!

    The job hunt can be extremely discouraging. Hang in there!

  2. You are so right! There are so many people who need to hire some good editors! And the advertising and news industry should both be at the front of the line! And given the level of writing of the college kids I teach, there is no one coming up in the ranks to take on this job.

  3. I'm searching too! I just applied for one that requires "Demonstrated ability to work as an effective team member" AND "Ability to thrive in an independent work environment." I decided NOT to apply for the position that stated "salary commiserate with experience."

    It's really awful out there. Everybody needs an editor, and nobody thinks they do. I look at some of the organizations' websites and cringe.

  4. We are in this mess because we are teaching Kindergarteners how to do a PowerPoint presentation instead of how to tie their shoes, second graders how to shoot a stop-action video with their iPads and put it up on YouTube instead of learning cursive writing, and fifth graders how to digitally publish their own "novels" using InDesign. By the time these kids hit college it's all "been there, done that" for them and they are bored to tears. Just my 2¢ on that.

  5. Job hunting is a tough job in itself. Wishing you all the best as you search for a position that suits you. I know you would be vital asset to any team.


  6. Feeling your pain, sister. It's cruel out there.

  7. I miss the "old days" when I either mailed or hand-carried my resume to a prospective employer who posted in the Help Wanted section of the newspaper. I almost always got the jobs I picked out. Now? I email one well-edited resume after another to anonymous Craigslist employers, for jobs for which I am fully qualified, and never hear a peep in reply. (I particularly liked the one that insisted I apply in person, but never gave a hint how to find them. How--hire a psychic?)

    I'm beginning to take it personally!

  8. As has already been stated, no one wants to admit he (or she) needs a proof-reader or editor -- mostly because very few people even pay attention to grammar or spelling these days. Most of my news comes from online sources and every single article has at least once glaring error. Your skills are needed!

  9. I'll be screwed if I ever lose my job. Although maybe I can find a job organizing people's crap. I'm good at organizing other people's crap just don't have time to do my own ;)

  10. It's so discouraging. I'm a professional with two years experience in high demand field and when I look at local job listings, I'm qualified for nothing. It's even worse for young adults, just out of college. It is dire! My son, a recent grad, did find a $12-an-hour part time clerical job and we're grateful even for that.

  11. A student once put it to me this way--it's like they're looking for a unicorn; that's how unrealistic the expectations are.