Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon

By Holly A. Phillips — @OrangeJulius7


I’ve been job hunting for eight months. In November, I lost my full-time, 9-to-5 job where I’d worked for almost seven years.

Since then, I’ve been freelancing, helping clients with writing and editing, and working retail part-time to make ends meet. What I’ve come to realize is, looking for a job is a lot like looking for a mate.

Instead of scouring bars and bookstores for a hot guy, I’m obsessively searching Indeed.com every 10 minutes for new job postings. If a job description catches my eye (as long as it sounds interesting and a little challenging), I save it for a closer look post-search.

I’ve given my resume several makeovers, and nearly performed plastic surgery on my cover letter in order to show off my best assets.

When a potential job says they’ll call, I wait by the phone and double-check my ringer volume. I check my email constantly (it’s getting sad) for follow-ups, questions, or anything good.

When I’m lucky enough to get an interview, I dress to impress, I slap on that annoying fiber-lash mascara, and I smile until it hurts—first date style. I even send thank-you cards.

I’m going through that same mental battle I go through with potential boyfriends: should I just be myself and hope they accept it, or do I put on the manners and sell out?

At this point, I’m totally selling out.

I’ll pretty much do whatever it takes to get a good job; one that I can enjoy (read: not hate) and one that at least pays enough to keep my lights on… and pays for a few martinis at Bar Louie.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t considered just searching for a sugar daddy, but I’m well-aware that it’s basically legal prostitution and I’d have to be better about hitting the gym. Oh yeah, and I’d lose any self-worth I’ve got left.

Plus, I might have just as much difficulty finding a guy to pay me as I am having a job to pay me. It’s really cutthroat out there.

Technology has changed the way we date, and it’s changed the job hunt, too.

I can’t tell you how many job portal profiles I’ve made, only to upload my resume, AND fill out all of my personal information and job history.

It’s a tedious task that pays no money—but I suppose it beats filling out paper applications.

Comparable to online dating, emailing potential suitors from OCupid isn’t really my idea of sexy, but I can do it from the comfort of my bed while watching reruns on Bravo.

I can’t help but wonder if I did things old school, would I stand out from the crowd? You know, spritz my powder-blue resume with my favorite perfume a-la Elle Woods or send my cover letter written on the bottom of a Chuck Taylor (I was always told some cool kid did that to get accepted into college).

Should I overthrow technology, break tradition, and possibly get someone’s attention? It worked for Elle Woods…

But I know my life isn’t a movie—though my current schedule and takeout rituals look a lot like it—and I’ve really got to work to get something good.

Whether we’re talking about dating or hunting for jobs, it’s looking like I’m going to have to put my best foot forward and really put in the hours.

Read more about job hunting and dating on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.


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