So, if you happened to be married to a fellow journalist, what’s the best way to market yourself? Some do it, but it would be difficult accept a job at a paper that is far away from your significant other – you might have to move, you might have an exceptionally long commute, you might have opposite hours. I, for one, have already done all of the above. However, since most of the above was done when were just boyfriend/girlfriend, I am loathe to do it again willingly. Recruiter extraordinaire Joe Grimm of the Detroit Free Press once addressed this issue, but for a married couple who were both reporters. He said:
Newlywed reporters should share covers but not cover letters.
Each of you wants to get hired on your own merits. Neither wants to be the second part of a package. Apply as individuals — separate envelopes and all. Editors will figure out from the return address that you’re married. But that should not be relevant in their deliberations, unless there is a policy against nepotism.
Do yourselves a favor and apply to different departments, or different newspapers in the same market.
Fortunately, Trinity and I are not in the same journalist category – he’s a copy editor/designer and I’m a reporter. So when I went to the CCNMA job fair a few months ago, I dropped the tidbit, “oh, my husband is a designer,” at the tables of newspapers that were looking for both reporters and designers. It seemed to work: One newspaper called our home phone, waking him up, looking for me, but chatted with him in the meantime, then called me on my cell about a half hour later. Another paper, sort of in the same general area, but one I didn’t see at the fair, called my cell as we out the door door to the Body Worlds exhibit, and I told him I’d call him right back. Instead he called my husband, then got me on the phone in the passenger’s seat. The first paper is talking to us about our coming out, at the same time, to interview. The other one is trying to get us in for interviews before they make their decisions. What’s a couple to do? Trinity, however, was chuckling that these things always seem to happen all at once – it can never happen neatly, one after the other.
So, I know it’s been raining like crazy in LA, but I kind of like it. In our modern world of computers, cars and heaters, we tend to forget that, in the end, we’re truly helpless mammals at the mercy of the elements. We can bulldoze over dirt and make them roads, build retaining walls to shore up hills and make our houses resistant to the elements, but if it’s time to come down or come apart, come hell or high water, it’s coming down and it’s coming apart. Now, that’s not to say that we shouldn’t value our computers, cars or homes – it’s more that I’m saying we should value each other much more.