Since graduating college in May of 2008 I’ve been unable to come into any real, permanent, or fulfilling employment, or what most people in the working world call a job. I was close once, I was supposed to start working for a certain production company at the beginning of this year, but as these things tend to do, it didn’t quite work out. That’s not to say I haven’t been working hard and earning money the past seven months, I’ve been toiling away in various capacities, mostly writing for online blogs and doing some freelance consulting, web design work, and even the odd video project, but while these opportunities have provided me with enough money to go grocery shopping and pay the electric bill they have not quite given me the independence, advancement, security, or salary I’ve been hoping to achieve as a young career go-getter.
Flash back to my summer after graduation in Ithaca, NY. As a small town, Ithaca has a certain charm and character I wish I could have stayed grounded in well after finishing up school, but one characteristic all small towns seem to share these days is a lack of professional job opportunities (especially media opportunities for a Journalism graduate such as myself). And as much as I love our local papers, The Ithaca Journal and Ithaca Times, I hold the writers and editors there in my heart with local newspapers being what they are in our digital world (soon to be shuttered). Honestly, I can count the desirable jobs in this town for a college graduate on one hand.
Ironically, Ithaca used to be a big name in film production way back when (I think the daguerreotype had just been introduced and the country was still reeling from the Fort Tejon earthquake of 1857), but due to only being able to shoot film three months out of the year (or as we tend to refer to June, July, and August as the “warm months”) the downtown movie studios soon came to their sense and began moving west. Now the only place in Ithaca to aptly apply my B.A. would be at one of the coffee shops, retail stores, or at Fall Creek Cinema with the rest of the film kids.
California had so much more to offer me in term of media opportunities and production jobs, one that I can really sink my teeth into, but besides the fact that the Golden State is bankrupt (glad I’m not paying taxes here just yet), production studios are cutting jobs left and right due to lack of available money and project. Our unemployment rate can only keep going up from 10%, things are not looking too hot at the moment.
The real secret to conquering this town is to have patience. The entertainment industry won’t be closing their doors anytime soon and the odds of finding an opening somewhere are only increased by the amount of friends you have puttering away as production assistants and office coordinators. As I write this post television production season is currently at its peak and will begin to wind down just in time for sweeps season in February and March, it is no surprise that the amount of production jobs right now are so slim, but for a town of roughly 4 million people, a town in the biggest and most badass of states, I’m not too nervous about finding the right job eventually. Good things will come, just gotta wait.