Friday, July 12, 2013

Put Your Toes On The Web Like You Just Don't Care

You know when you’re trying to decide what to do as a career, and everyone gives you that stupidly inane advice of “do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”? I always hated that, mostly because what I love is sitting around doing nothing at all. Actually, I don’t even like sitting, I honestly prefer lying horizontally on my couch - with my head on a pillow, the rest of me covered in my pitiful Kmart tiger print blanket - and watching Real Housewives of Whoever. That’s the thing that I was made to do. So when I was given that advice at the end of my degree to be honest, I scoffed at it. 

I still look back at that awkward time - when you are expected to burst from the cocoon of university, a brilliant successful career butterfly, and shudder. I think about the near misses I had with jobs I really thought I wanted and I shudder a hell of a lot more. The week that I completed my last university exam (the History of Genocide FYI - a subject in which I heard the best ever comment made by a student in a lecture “I think you’ll find genocide isn’t always a bad thing...” yes. Actually it is ALWAYS a bad thing) I was given a scholarship to a fresh produce convention. I know, right. Woohoo!

As a thoroughly average student, I only got this scholarship because no one else applied, and with a degree in plant science and history I genuinely couldn’t think of what else I could do as a career. Suffice to say, after a few days of lectures on avocados in the pacific rim, I was about ready to put my head in the oven. The only job opportunity I heard of was something to do with making mini vegetables down in Tasmania. Ick. After I went home I had to write a paper on the conference. I wrote mine on the usefulness of social media in the produce industry. I didn’t get very good feedback, despite this hilarious mock up page I made about capsicums ( - check out the videos I made, they are HILARIOUS).

“Great.” I thought “even a crappy industry I don’t want to be a part of doesn’t like me”.

I continued my search for jobs. I applied for about thirty in the end, was totally overqualified for every single one of them, and literally heard NOTHING back. Finally I had a bite from a grain company (huzzah!), who took me through to the final round of their graduate application process. But I guess I just didn’t have what it takes to work with grain, was rejected, and returned to my horizontal position on the couch.

One afternoon, it hit me - why not work in television? I know more about TV than anyone in the world, it is my passion, my calling, my boo. When Bill Hayder and Seth Myers left SNL I literally screamy-cried until snot was all over my face, Nick had to put me in the shower to calm me down. When I was five, I used to chart time in Play School length increments (eg. 2 hours - 4 Play Schools). I can tell you the number of every foxtel channel off the top of my head and I have watched more hours of TVSN that I would care to admit. It made perfect sense. And so I updated my linkedin profile with the details of this very blog, and started my search for jobs in the media industry. For the first time I applied for a job that I was under-qualified for (data analyst) and I had a response in literally an hour from the best TV station in Australia.The thing that I didn’t think to do however, before I added my very personal, embarrassing blog to a professional job application, was to read the last published blog through the eyes of a prospective employer. Yes, I am not very thorough. And so this was the email that I received:

“Hi Marion, Please send me a photo of your toe hair and a reason I should have you in for an interview”.

This was a reference to my most recent blog post at the time, which detailed all of my physical imperfections and how hilarious they are; including my thighs that clap time while I dance and my hairy, hobbit toes. Of course I immediately responded with a toe-shot and was granted an interview. Since this happened, pretty much everyone I have told this story to has cringed and responded “That’s sooooooooo creepy”, but really I knew it actually meant that I had incredibly, luckily, happened across someone who shared my sense of humour.

I went in for the interview entirely sure I had the job, I practically strutted in there “hey guys, it’s me – Maz”. Of course, in true Maz style, I DIDN’T get the job due to my aforementioned lack of qualifications and was told so at the end of my interview… Luckily though, they found me so delightful that two weeks later they offered me a much more suitable job in marketing and the rest, as they say, is history.

You know in Step Brothers when Doback tells Will Ferrell that after he got his doctorate he always intended on going back to being a T-Rex, but never got around to it and it always weighed on him? (If you don’t then we cannot be friends any more, go here so we can recommence our friendship). This was exactly how I felt when I finally ended up where I was meant to be. Moral: Never stop being a fucking dinosaur. And always send people foot photos when they request them - you never know where you could end up.

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