I helped a friend of mine find a new job last week. I mean, my part in him actually getting the job was limited – I just sent him a posting I thought he’d be interested in – but when he let me know he got the offer, I think I was more excited than he was.
There’s a strange sense of satisfaction in knowing that something good that you’ve done has set someone on a different course in their life.
For a lot of people, job hunting is a necessarily evil – that thing you put up with until you land a better job. For me, it’s a thrill, a challenge, and one that I embrace. There’s the hunt itself: tracking the perfect job, sometimes in places you never thought to look. As you stalk your prey – writing cover letters, sending e-mails, praying to the gods above – you find a level of patience and focus that you didn’t know you had. And before long, you learn whether your hunt has been fruitful.
Sure, bagging the job is nice, but the lead up, the anticipation, the hunt – that’s what I enjoy.
It’s twisted, I know. I’m sure it stems from my philosophy that there’s always something bigger and better out there (a philosophy that has gotten me in trouble over the years, to be sure.) But I think the things I like about job-hunting are the same things I like about writing: the promise of new beginnings. The promise of changing someone’s life.
When I look at writers who have changed me to my core – RL Stine, Yann Martel, Robin Hobb – I can’t help but feel that I’d like to be that kind of writer someday.
I want to show a little girl that it’s possible to follow your dreams of being a writer, like RL Stine’s Fear Street series did for me when I was young. I want to turn a young girl’s dream into a young woman’s true desire of the heart, like Yann Martel’s Self did for me when I was just entering college. And I want to teach aspiring writers that it’s entirely possible to write stories that will speak to someone’s soul, like Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings books did for me a few short years ago.
In my heart of hearts, I want to change people’s lives – and I think job hunting is how I channel that energy. I may not be writing best-selling novels, but I’m helping someone better their lives in a meaningful way right now.
And for now, that’s enough.