I had an existential crisis on the train today.
I made the mistake of checking me e-mail on my “new” iPhone 4 (I waited til it was free) and of course was bombarded with stress and negativity. I try to teach myself not to check my e-mail before bed and in the morning for this very reason. Whether it’s a rejection message from a job application or the litany of things I have to do for my job that week, it just tightens my chest and makes me want to hop off at the next stop and walk to the nearest deli for everything fried on a greasy croissant.
So today, breaking my own rule, I checked my e-mail and lo and behold I was greeted by the wonderfully endless archiving association e-mails. No matter which organization, for students, for professionals, what-have-you, it’s bad news. Always. It starts out with a simple question about your experience or about what the best piece of equipment is to by and ends with the womp womp of a non-existant trombone. Usually the depressing news is in the form of the dismal budgets institutions face but today a lovely archivist cut straight to the point ensuring that the hopes of all inspiring archivists fizzled into oblivion.
“And on a final, depressing note, the sad fact is that many of you aren’t getting jobs (and aren’t going to get jobs) because there are just too many applicants for the available job openings. “
For me, that was the last straw. It is enough to struggle getting internships, many of which demand full time work for free or a “stipend” that is less than minimum wage. I don’t know who can afford to go to school and work full time for free, but if that is the demand then I don’t know how anyone survives in the field. But as that lovely messenger of doom shared, people might not actually survive being an archiving student and have to scamper off with their tail between their legs to something more lucrative and most likely more soul crushing. But then again, what can be more soul crushing than going into a field where the professionals sit comfortably in their jobs and tell you that you came too late and there’s no room left for you.
I guess the bottom line is, I know the job market is grim out there, but do professionals really need to rub it in?