The job search

Lately, a bunch of people have been asking me about my job search, as in, do I even want to go back to work and, if so, am I looking around? My answer to both questions is a resounding YES, but I have to admit that after spending a year at home with Nora (for the most part) my thoughts on the whole working situation have changed - and in complex ways. I'm more reluctant to have a job that would have me working long hours and barely seeing my child weekdays. On the flip side, I'm nearly desperate from some sort of office life. I don't want to be at home all the time. Of course, making these deliberations laughable is that economy thing. The part where it got real bad, remember, and nobody has a job anymore anyway. And there certainly aren't that many jobs floating around for choosy journalist types who want to work out of the house most of the time but wouldn't mind a day at home every now and then. And could I bring my baby in sometimes? She is very cute!

In all seriousness, the job situation seems like it has picked up in recent weeks. Job boards have more listings and everyone seems more optimistic. It's fall, the traditional go-back-to-school, get-off-the-couch, make-something-of-yourself season (at least, in my opinion) and there's nothing like throwing on a sweater and jeans and visiting your favorite coffee shop for a hot drink and some dedicated career time.

Meanwhile, several people have told me that maybe I should just write a book, which is an awesome idea, and flattering, and makes me happy. And perhaps if I dedicate some of that coffee shop career time into learning how to write a successful book proposal, I could actually get on board.

Because, ok, I might have the details wrong but J.K. Rowling was living in a trash can before she wrote the Harry Potter books, right? I live in a house and sleep in a bed, so I don't think I have any excuse. I even have some legitimate book ideas, including ones centered on all the things I've learned staying at home with a baby. Honestly, I've spent some time in book stores looking at titles recently and people seem to be able to get book deals for anything. Any idea they come up with. The history of cotton candy. Pictures of elephants doing funny things. I'm pretty sure Mina could land me a book deal, in fact, with a proposal not much more involved than:

To Whom It May Concern,

I have a dog and she is exceptionally funny. She is half Pomeranian, half Miniature Pinscher.

Book deal???

Very Sincerely Yours,

Cara McDonough

Maybe I'll give it a go.

The good news is that I've been feeling accomplished lately simply doing my best on the search-and-contact front, sending editors my pieces and making connections. I'm not sure what happened in the past couple years to make my professional experience look that much more impressive, but suddenly my emails are generating warm, personal responses, instead of the old silence. Where they'd, you know, ignore me. Moving up in the world, people!

So on this beautiful fall day, when people are getting back into the swing of things at work after the summer's true end, I thought I'd ask you all how you deal with professional woes and successes. Are you working? Would you rather not be? Are you not working and dying to get back to a job? Writing about your job on the Internet isn't a bad idea at all (HA!) so you may not want to slam your boss or anything, but I'd love to hear everyone's opinions on professional life. I'm excited to get some coffee and spend time discussing it with you.