Job Searching

Despite previous protestations, I am feeling an unnerving twinge of regret for not attending college one final semester.  My reason?  I’ve accomplished nothing in the past four months. 

I entered the labor force on January 8th, 2008 with the belief that I would soon find employment in one of two quasi-federal agencies: the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors or the Congressional Budget Office.  I had particularly convinced myself of my chances in the latter, and believed at least I would get an interview at the former.  I was wrong.  I heard from no one.

It took me three months to realize I was wrong.  I then applied to the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  I worked for many hours to produce and proofread a five-page, rambling document (per the instructions for government resumes), and submitted them on March 28th.  I’ve yet to hear a word from them.  Government is slow, and I know this, but confidence that I will be contacted by either any time soon is withering. 

Two weeks ago, I visited Steve’s seminar on advanced macroeconomcs, in which I have been more or less participating this semester, only to hear of the job-finding successes of my fellow students, soon to graduate and thereafter do precisely the work I want to do.  My guess is that they were diligent, careful to submit their resumes to many different companies back in January, and unwilling to put their fate in the hands of but a couple potential employers.  They deserve their jobs, and I’m glad for them, but the news of their success was very unsettling for me.  Admittedly I was mistaken to apply for so few jobs and rest on what I (apparently foolishly) believed were my laurels, but maybe I wrote my resume wrong, or my cover letter was banal, or perhaps I was too arrogant in either document (of this latter possibility I am now quite assured). 

In any event, see me now searching for jobs in economics research, data analysis, anything entry-level, all of which were posted a month or more ago.  I nonetheless must apply to these positions, customizing cover letters for each, hoping that there is one interesting job left out there.  This is unsettling, certainly humbling, perhaps a little humiliating, and made worse by the fact that it is entirely my fault for being so self-assured.  But, of course, knowing that doesn’t make the process any easier from here.      



One Response to “Job Searching”

  1. Steve Says:

    Or you did everything right, or what would have been considered right a year ago, but you ended up entering the job market at the precise moment when the economy entered a serious slowdown. Don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes timing is everything.

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