A few months ago, I was in a well of crisis about my career and what my next move should be. I've had a few freelance articles published here and there, and while I really enjoy writing I had never given much serious thought to doing it full-time. Then I heard that Jezebel was looking for a new writer to handle their fashion coverage. What a perfect way to get my foot in the door of online media, to get more experience and to write about a topic that I wanted to learn more about.
I immediately sent out a cover letter and was surprised when I received a response about a week later from Anna Holmes, the managing editor, telling me she was interested in my ideas and wanted to hear more.
So again, I responded, this time with a longer e-mail, complete with bulleted points about how I would expand Jezebel's fashion coverage and how my ideas would gel with the intent of the site.
Then Anna asked me to come and interview for the job.
At this point, about a month had lapsed since I had sent in my cover letter.
So interview I did, and I thought it went pretty well. Anna even asked me to test-blog, which I did, in a seven hour marathon of blogging, and promptly sent her the link.
I didn't hear from her for another three weeks.
Finally, after a few back and forth e-mails, an intern at Gawker e-mailed me asking if I would be available to come in and meet with Noah Robischon and Anna to discuss the job. Elated, I agreed. I met with Noah and Anna about a week later. Anna sat across the table from me, looking pretty worried. Noah asked me questions about how I could make fashion coverage interesting to Jezebel readers, and followed up with other questions that basically revealed he hadn't really spent much time reading my test blog. I left fairly confused but still feeling confident that I could do the job.
Two weeks passed.
Three weeks passed.
I heard nothing. I sent Anna an e-mail, asking what was up. No response.
Then Jezebel posted this, which appeared to indicate that Anna and, most likely, her superiors had chosen to simply promote three contributors to full time staffers rather than hire anyone new. Essentially, that post was how I found out I didn't get the job.
Since then, I have not received an explanation as to what happened, or even an e-mail simply telling me that I didn't get the job. I've had no word whatsoever, and my e-mails have gone unanswered.
Doubtless their decision had to do with the fact that due to the economic recession Gawker had fired about twenty people and wasn't looking to take anyone else on . . . and in the next weeks, Radar would fold, and large numbers of Condé Nast employees would also be let go.
I'm a smart girl and I can take a hint.
That said, it still would have been nice, or rather, maybe the word I'm thinking here is "professional" to have had a response from Jezebel, given that I spent close to three months waiting for them to make a decision.
It's disappointing, because I love Jezebel and I think they're a great blog. I had always considered myself to be one of their biggest fans. But thinking about this entire process which ultimately resulted in absolutely nothing puts a bad taste in my mouth. For a website that promotes women and supposedly encourages women to pursue whatever floats their boat, they surely made me feel like shit under their feet. I suppose I wouldn't want to work for a company that has such disregard for their potential employees, and I can't imagine how their actual staffers are treated.
I had always been a fervent defender of Gawker media. Now I keep my mouth closed when people put the company down and mark off the days to its inevitable extinction.
As for me, I still have a job in book publishing. We're not doing so well, either. People don't exactly have $30 to spend on a hardcover book when they can't pay their rent and the electricity's been turned off. I know, because I've been there. (In fact, I'm still there!) But at least I'm employed, and well on my way to understanding what it means to work for publisher that still has some semblance of respect for its writers and readers, even if that means we don't usually make the big bucks. Let's put it this way. Things can either get better, or they can get worse.
I don't know about you, but I'm tired of this bullshit, and I'm ready for a change.