Earlier this week, I submitted a resume, cover letter, list of references and clips to the Minneapolis Star Tribune for a general assignment reporter position. I got word about the position from a colleague who covers college basketball for the Star Tribune, the same guy who hired me to our college newspaper as an awkward 18-year-old at summer orientation.
Obviously, my girlfriend and I still intend on moving to Minneapolis regardless of whether I get the job. If it works out, it’ll affirm not only our choice to move home but my choice to rededicate myself to writing. If it doesn’t, best believe I’ll be applying for the next spot that opens up. City council, school board, public utilities — whatever the beat, I’m on it.
My girlfriend has found out the hard way that I tend to let loose stream after stream of consciousness while awaiting the application process to conclude. I’m a verbal processor, and sometimes, I feel like I can impact that outcome of someone else’s decision by planning around it. For instance, if this opportunity shakes out, I’ve already planned who I’d tell first, the neighborhood we’d move to, what possessions we’d take, what sort of clothes I’d need to buy and so on. I’m a chronic planner. Therefore, you can imagine my discomfort as I sit and wait to hear back on this job. Furthermore, you can imagine my girlfriend’s.
Various family members and friends have asked how confident I am about getting the job. If I’m going to throw out an arbitrary percentage, let’s go with 49 percent. This takes into account it’s a two-year apprenticeship, which should ward off more seasoned vets. Also, it’s an entry level position. I think it helps having a guy on staff vouch for me. Can’t hurt, at least. I exemplified in my cover letter how, in the past month alone, I’ve covered a wide variety of stories involving people from all walks of life. I think that’s incredibly relevant to this position — the eagerness to tell the story of even the smallest voices.
I don’t look at 49 percent doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t think I’ll get the job. If you had a 49 percent chance of getting a dream job, you’d take those odds. That number is more my way of bubble-taping my heart, just in case.
For me, this is the right job at the right time and the right place. I want to sink my teeth into this position and make work my life. I want to work seven days per week and be the first in the office and the last one out. I want to get advice from staff writers I’ve been reading for years. I want to be “the kid.” I want to be seen as relentless, tenacious, fiercely dedicated. Merely getting the job is only the start. The most important part is the followthrough.
At moments, I feel like I can will this job into reality, as if my positive thoughts and all that woo-woo could impact someone’s decision-making process 1,900 miles away. At other times, I feel it’s best to avoid thinking about the whole thing because there’s so little I can do at this point. What will be, will be.
Either way, it’s back to the waiting game. That’s not a problem, though. I’ve been waiting for this job for more than 25 years.