Friday, December 01, 2006
The questions and thoughts that run through my mind as I copy my resume, refences and clips are never at a minimum. "What will the managing editors think?" "Are my clips diverse enough?" "Should I get another internship? I'll be 26 next fall..." "Was my cover letter dynamite enough?" "Lord Chris, please don't misspell your own damn address..." and so on and so on.
One thing I've never questioned since the day I began my term as Sports Editor for the Hornet in the fall of 2002 is my ability. If I doubted myself as a writer, reporter and editor, I'd be back to working temp jobs filing someone's data or handing them their mail. I refuse to go back down that path. While the adoration of your peers and the respect and compliments you receive from your subjects are indeed satisfying, you really need to have, as Veronica would say, a "stank" attitude in order to be successful; If you don't believe in yourself or your ability, you can forget it in this business.
I liken the job application process in journalism to that of a low-round draft pick or an undrafted small-college football player trying out for the NFL. While the reputation of your school isn't as much a dominant consideration as it would be in the League, you certainly have to work harder than anyone else in order to get your foot in the door. While you may have been a star in college, you may have to humble yourself to accept a lower position on the depth chart in order to make the roster. Special teams guys are pretty much small college players who are willing to sacrifice their personal glory and do whatever it takes to make the team and help the team be successful. I'm conditioning myself to be one of those guys.
I already know what lies ahead. Journalism as a whole, not just my chosen subdivision of it, is a hard field to break into. I know I'm in for a dogfight, but I won't back down. I've come too far to not give myself the chance to be what I know I can be. And like most small college football players that turn out to be Hall of Famers, once I get my foot in the door, I'm not going to be satisfied until I'm all the way inside.
Just a couple of days before Thanksgiving, my mom called me to let me know that one newspaper I applied to recieved my application and sent a post card thanking me for applying and they wanted to review my qualifications to see if they match what the newspaper is looking for. I won't take it as a win or a loss, I'll take it as the beginning of my journey to make the League. A journey that I plan to enjoy every step of the way. continue...