Well, I’ve been able to admit it to Twitter, at least.
The bane of my existence is the simple fact that I am good – no, let’s get away from self-deprecating false modesty, great – at exactly two things: writing and public speaking. But you couldn’t tell that from my resume.
The quality of the resume itself might suggest it, but I think these days people assume that people get professionals – or people like me – to help them craft their resumes. So the effort and care I put into crafting mine, a different one for each job I apply to, goes largely unnoticed. From my resume, you can only tell that I graduated with high distinction in English by reading that line item – the resume doesn’t indicate what it might mean to a potential employer. Yes, I list a bunch of my writing achievements, but not all, like that aforementioned Twitter account that has 500 followers now (and has been vetted for ‘bots). I don’t list the published articles I’ve written on my resume, because those publications aren’t to be spoken of (I was young and needed the money). I don’t mention the website I currently write for because again, it came about because of those unmentionable articles. All it lists is that I did a gang of customer service jobs, have some legal training, and did well in education, both professionally and as a student. It doesn’t mention that I can write just about anything, in any writing style, but did all of the above grunt work just to survive.
So how are we going to change that?
At a recent Meetup I went to, the ladies in the group all strongly felt that I really should put some work into getting a job that draws from my considerable writing and public speaking talents, and in accordance with that, I decided that I really should compete in public speaking contests. Various club leaders (because I’ve been in and visited several clubs at this point) have urged me to do that for years, but because I’m good at public speaking, I’ve been lazy about it. I already know that I’m good, and have thus far felt no urge to prove it, as I’m just not a competitive person. It’s also why I’ve done so many jobs just for the money they offered. Some call that low self-esteem, which might be mixed up in there, but I call it a lack of interest in making money. Like Mary J. Blige, I just want to be happy.
The second things I’m doing to try to do work that draws from what I’m best at is getting in touch with Syracuse’s alumni career services network, and see if we can alter my resume / network better to get myself a decent entry-level writing or public speaking job. “Decent” because again, I don’t care how much it pays at this point. As my sister pointed out, SU needs successful alumni to donate and raise the cache of the school. When I first moved out to Southern California with a credit on a television show coming out the gate, it seemed I was going to do just that. Then my health took a dive, so I just worked enough to collect health insurance and live. Now that my health is better, I have no excuses. I want writing and public speaking to become a regular part of my job, and I want that next job to lead to a career that focuses on writing or public speaking.
I know I can do it, because I’ve done it before. As long as I can survive long enough to do so on limited money, I’m set.