Friday, January 30, 2009

Job Market

People keep asking me about the job market here. It sucks. It really sucks. Suddenly executives are answering their phones with a sort of lost "hello?" and you hesitate for a moment, wonder if you dialed the wrong number...until you realize that you didn't. The execs' assistants just got laid off, that's all. You try to confirm lunches with clueless, surely-unpaid interns who try to hang up on you before you even figure out where lunch will take place. It's kind of a strange poetic stereotype, people packing up their desks into those iconic cardboard banker's boxes...

I know I'm usually all optimistic and benevolent on this thing, but it's tough right now. Should you move out here right now and try to find a job? I don't know. You're gonna be competing with a lot of unemployed people who have way more experience and contacts than you do. It's never exactly easy to break into this industry, but right now it's harder than ever, and I honestly don't know if there's any reason to believe it'll be getting better anytime soon.

Move here if you want, but pleasepleaseplease save money first. Take it from me.


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10 comments:

A Strange Boy said...

What a time to be a young adult. Old enough to see the benefits of a good economy but not old enough to take advantage before it collapses.

Keep fighting.

Dan Williams said...

Your take on the situation sounds good. We are in a bad recession and that means that if a person has a job they should hold onto it and keep sticking it out, and keep saving their money, and feel lucky about it. The time for making moves comes just after the recession is over, and demand for products increases, and so therefore the demand for labor increases. How do you know when the recession is over? One indicator is the price of oil. When oil starts moving up, factories all over the world are increasing their business again.

The 1974-75 recession was brutal. The stock market went down steeply by about 40% and nobody was hiring. This recession is similar. So 2009 looks like a "holding pattern" year -- meaning, if you can get through it, things will very likely pick up in 2010. That's the way it seems to me. So relax, take a breath of fresh air, and prepare for the opportunites that will suddenly, magically appear when the recession ends.

Sasha said...

Thanks, Amanda.

Even though it isn't the best news, I really appreciate your honesty.

It sucks being stuck in this particular holding pattern- waiting for life to start, I guess- but that's WAY better than being homeless, jobless, and friendless in LA :)

Nicholas said...

This is why I am still glad that I have 2 years left of college. I know (or rather hope) that by the time I finally do get out to LA, things will have started to pick back up again, or will have picked up quite a bit, and the demand for people will be high. (Meaning I will be employed!)

Bad Movies, no really said...
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Bad Movies, no really said...
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Jacob said...

As an agent's assistant this is scary. In lit, nothing is safe. Nothing is selling. My boss is freaking. Just heard that Paradigm is making layoffs.

he who rants said...

Yeah, Paradigm fired a lot of people yesterday, bunch of mail room people, some assistants, and even a few agents. Supposedly it was pretty grim over there.

Dan Williams said...

Sasha, I don't know if I'd equate a "holding pattern year" with "waiting for life to begin." There are times for the harvast and times for renewal. This is a renewal phase and I bet you'll have lots of those in the years ahead.

If you move to L.A. and get hired immediately and are working 11 hour days to write the scripts, you won't have the time to put it all into perspective. But now you do. You have another 11 months in this year to write the material you really want to write instead of stuff you have to write if you were on staff.

Now's the time to begin that novel you have in you. Or that feature. Or that pilot. Real life is happening to you now and you can make lots of good things happen in your life. So this is a time to treasure the slow pace and to make little advances each day on a favorite project. At least, that's how I see it.

We Really Didn't Think This Through said...

As an advertising writer, the Interactive side of things is still holding strong. For those looking for entry level jobs ANYWHERE, I say try Interactive ad agencies as a way to be in your favorite city. Also, if the ad agency needs viral video or web series ideas, you may have one to offer up. Or at least the experience to take a stab at it.
Best of luck to us ALL. We're going to need it this year.