History Will Record This Job As Never Existing

, , , , | Working | March 6, 2020

After graduating, I am struggling to find a job that fits my MA in history. In the year after that, my sister sends me an email about a vacancy she saw. It turns out that a certain book which has something to do with a prominent Dutch historical figure will be republished, and therefore they want to make a glossy(magazine) about the historical figure. Obviously, they need historians to help them with the research and writing the articles. 

Interested, I apply for the job. After a few weeks, I get an answer by email. The person doing the applications mentions that he selected a few of the candidates and will make a definitive selection from these. Therefore, we have to supply some ideas, to show how professional and creative we are. Since this is one of my first job applications since college, I do not think too much of it and start working on ideas. This is tough, since I am not experienced with making this kind of article and have no clue what kind of audience they want to reach. After a while, I deliver my ideas by email. 

After that, several weeks go by without any reply. Looking back in the email, I realise the guy never gave us a deadline when we had to deliver nor a date when he would let us know. With the weeks passing by, I am starting to wonder whether I will hear more of him or not.

Much to my surprise, the guy sends another email. By this time, almost a month has passed. His reply, however, only mentions that he will look at our “ideas” and then will let us know of his final decisions. Again, no date is mentioned. Also, he never explains why his reply is so late. I feel tempted to ask him, but I decide not to do so, since it could threaten my chances.

Not very surprisingly, I never hear from the guy again. I conclude that either he took all of our ideas for himself — a conclusion many people I know made — or that he did take on some people after all, but simply couldn’t be bothered to tell the people who failed — which is also likely, since he never put on any deadlines or dates, meaning he might be kind of careless. A few years later, I mention the story to someone, who replies that if you want a job and you don’t get an answer “you have to go after them.” Although that might be true, I am quite sure that it would have been a waste of effort with this bloke.

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