Job Search: Taking Matters Into My Own Hands.
by Regan McMahon
I knew I’d been out of work too long when friends at social gatherings stopped saying, “How’s the job hunting going?” and started asking. “What’s your backup plan?”
I didn’t intend to need a backup plan. When I took a buyout from the struggling newspaper where I’d been an editor, feature writer and book critic for many years, my plan was to get a job as an editor or writer. There wasn’t really a backup plan.
At my goodbye party I told people I wasn’t worried, because I’d done so many things, including being a supervisor, production editor, page designer and copy editor. But I added, “If worse comes to worst, I can always go back to being a high school French teacher,” which is what I was before I became a journalist.
Then partway through the summer, I started to think maybe it was time for a backup plan. I’d only done two kinds of work before becoming a journalist: waiting tables and teaching. I wasn’t about to go back to being a waitress, but maybe I could rekindle my love of teaching.