Finally, finally, things seem to be looking up. I sincerely hope I’m not speaking too soon, but I’m too excited not to say anything at all.
In March, amid sending out an arsenal of CVs and covering letters, applying for as many full-time jobs as I could find, I started to get a little desperate. It was so hard to know that I was trying my best and nothing seemed to be coming from all my efforts. In fact, it was – without risk of sounding a little melodramatic – pretty soul-destroying. At least, that’s how it felt in the moment. So I Googled small publishing companies in the city where I work, and the search did yield a few possibilities, but I still didn’t get my hopes up. I knew the chances of getting a job in a small company would be fairly impossible, since, chances were, these publishers would already have fully-functioning teams, and I would have to be incredibly lucky to drop on a job advertisement for one of them. A right-time-right-place sort of situation.
But I couldn’t go on as I had been, because I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere, so I trolled the websites of these small publishing companies for a while, and decided to indulge in a hail-mary. Thinking that it couldn’t do any harm, I emailed an editorial assistant of a publishing house which specialises in publishing cook books. I crafted a polite email asking for one very simple thing: advise. I have heard before that publishing staff are very friendly and are happy to share their own experiences of getting into the industry, so I decided to test that theory. I re-read the email at least five times before I sent it. I put it out of my mind. Chances were, I might not get a reply. I went to work as normal. I folded jeans for four hours. That night, I got home, and guess what was sitting in my inbox? An email from the Managing Director, explaining that his editorial assistant had forwarded him my email, and offering to give me a call.
I felt the urge to squeal. I did not squeal. I contained my excitement enough to reply immediately with my thanks. His reply promised a phone call the very next day. I waited, nervously, and he called. We had a chat and he explained that while he didn’t have any full-time work available at the moment, he could offer me an internship. I was elated. He offered to meet up over coffee the following week to hash out the details, and I hung up feeling that finally, finally, something was going right. Finally, after all of the job applications and not even getting offered an interview, someone was throwing me a lifeline.
The following Friday, I arrived outside the designated coffee shop thirty minutes early to find it closed. My new shoes were rubbing me. It was colder than I’d expected. And I was in the middle of applying plasters to my heels when I he arrived. It was a rough start, but as soon as he led me into their new office space, my excitement returned. It was stylish and cosy and was exactly the kind of place I’d imagined myself working in one day (imagine Aria Montgomery in the five-years-forward episode of Pretty Little Liars, and you’re not far off). The chat went really well. I was surprised to find I didn’t feel all that nervous, instead I just felt eager to get started. By the sound of it, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’ll be helping out with admin, but I’ll also have the chance to dabble in some of the creative stuff, too. It’ll be real hands-on experience that will look great on my CV and give me the practical skills I need for a future in publishing. For once, it was nice for a potential employer to be insistent that this was going to be as beneficial for me as it would be for them.
Several weeks later, and it’s now the day before I start my internship. I’ve just come back off holiday from a week in Bridlington, a day trip to York, and another day trip to Harewood House. I’m feeling lighter and happier. I’m already planning what I’m going to wear, and I have my bag packed ready, complete with a new pen and a fresh notepad.
Things are starting to look up.
Watch this space for more deets of the internship!