Underemployed, looking for Catholic Media work


#1

I have a Bachelor’s in Theology and Religious Studies. I want to work in the Catholic media or in a Church administrative office in a commuications or editorial capacity. I live in the Washington, DC area where such jobs are normally found, but after applying to such jobs for years I have had no success. I believe I have explored every avenue, including sending my resume to diocesan newspapers and Catholic periodicals. I am approaching my 28th birthday and have never had a full-time job; I have been underemployed since college. For almost three years now I have worked a part-time job with a private Catholic organization. It is bland work which does not utilize my talents, and I originally regarded it as no more than a stepping stone to a better (and full-time) job, but I have had to stay in it because of my inability to find anything else. I was grateful to find it, since I graduated just as the unemployment crisis hit and it took me about three years after college even to find that job. I also work part-time as a classical violinist, which brings me some extra income. Whenever a job of interest is posted (which is not very frequently) I apply immediately. However, the requirements are often stringent (e.g., requiring one to speak Spanish, whereas I speak Italian and French but not Spanish). Plus, there are so many other people out there applying for these jobs that some of them get hundreds of applications, meaning that there’s little likelihood of my getting an interview. (In two years of actively applying for jobs I have had a total of three interviews). I feel as if the odds are against me. I feel depressed and anxious a great deal of the time, that life is passing me by and I have a lot of unfilled potential. The bright spot is that I have no college debt and God has given me a good family to fall back on, but I still feel very depressed.


#2

praying that God will guide you to the work He wants you to do!


#3

It appears that diocesan newspapers are becoming a thing of the past with the advent of the internet. Our own diocese went from a weekly newspaper to a 10 times a year magazine format which in my opinion isn't that great since it is all articles and not news of the diocese. Most dioceses have a communications department that deal with the secular press. Do you have expertise with the internet. That is the way to go today since diocesan and parish web sites are the way to go. I know a person who is the assistant communications director for the archdiocese of NY and she doesn't have a theology degree but a communications degree. Perhaps you need to take courses in communications if you have not already, to round out your resume.


#4

I consider my days of formal education over with, nor do I have the money for it.


#5

Does your diocese webpage have a job listings area? Ours does; it lists everything- from RE directors to full-time music (paid) to administrators at the parish, teachers, accoutants...etc. anything you can think of! That may be a place to begin.


#6

Have you considered that if you are 28 and have not yet found a job in this area, that it is possible God wants you to do something else?


#7

What about broadening your search to include secular media sources, or non-catholic Christian sources (like Guideposts, for example)?

My other suggestion would be to start doing non-paid work that will gain you more experience for your resume. For example, if you want to be a technical writer or proofreader, join a writer’s circle and gain experience critiquing other writer’s work. Or write an essay in your spare time and try to get it published so as to build your portfolio.

How recently have you updated your resume? Do you have any contacts in the industry? Write one or two of them an e-mail and ask if they would mind offering feedback on your resume and coverletter. Or ask them for advice or other contacts you could write to for advice.

You’re fluent in three languages and interested in communications; have you considered working as a translator? For example, in a Catholic hospital or for refugee services? Could you get some library books and cds and start teaching yourself Spanish to make yourself more marketable? You already know two of the five romance languages; it might not be hard to pick up on your own, then you could add “elementary proficiency in Spanish” or “limited working proficiency in Spanish” to your resume.


#8

[quote="Aggies08, post:5, topic:315907"]
Does your diocese webpage have a job listings area? Ours does; it lists everything- from RE directors to full-time music (paid) to administrators at the parish, teachers, accoutants...etc. anything you can think of! That may be a place to begin.

[/quote]

Yes, I check the jobs webpage for both of my area dioceses every few days, and a good deal of the jobs I apply to are from there. I also use the website catholicjobs.com as well as a jobs listing run by my alma mater's website. Diocesan jobs however are not plentiful; the Archdiocese of Washington, for example, has only added one job in the past two months.


#9

[quote="nodito, post:7, topic:315907"]
What about broadening your search to include secular media sources, or non-catholic Christian sources (like Guideposts, for example)?

My other suggestion would be to start doing non-paid work that will gain you more experience for your resume. For example, if you want to be a technical writer or proofreader, join a writer's circle and gain experience critiquing other writer's work. Or write an essay in your spare time and try to get it published so as to build your portfolio.

How recently have you updated your resume? Do you have any contacts in the industry? Write one or two of them an e-mail and ask if they would mind offering feedback on your resume and coverletter. Or ask them for advice or other contacts you could write to for advice.

You're fluent in three languages and interested in communications; have you considered working as a translator? For example, in a Catholic hospital or for refugee services? Could you get some library books and cds and start teaching yourself Spanish to make yourself more marketable? You already know two of the five romance languages; it might not be hard to pick up on your own, then you could add "elementary proficiency in Spanish" or "limited working proficiency in Spanish" to your resume.

[/quote]

I have considered secular or non-Catholic Christian sources, but the idea doesn't appeal to me much.

It seems to me that it is too late in the game for me to be doing unpaid work; I need a full-time job and fast. I researched translation work back when I graduated college and came up with nothing much. If you're talking about spoken translation, then I don't think I could do it as you need special training for that. If any Catholic hospital had any call for a translator, they would probably list the job on the websites I already frequent. I already can read and understand Spanish to a good degree simply by virtue of my romance language background (I forgot to mention that I am also a Latin scholar).


#10

[quote="Caroline723, post:6, topic:315907"]
Have you considered that if you are 28 and have not yet found a job in this area, that it is possible God wants you to do something else?

[/quote]

But I do already have a job in this area in the sense that I work for a Catholic organization. The question is finding a job that is 1) full time and 2) uses my talents more fully.


#11

[quote="StMartinTours, post:9, topic:315907"]
I have considered secular or non-Catholic Christian sources, but the idea doesn't appeal to me much.

[/quote]

[quote="StMartinTours, post:9, topic:315907"]
I need a full-time job and fast.

[/quote]

Perhaps these two statements are a bit at odds? You need a full-time job, I agree. A secular position could be a stepping stone. It could get you the experience that would make you more desirable to Catholic employers. Maybe it's something to pray about?

St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, was big on serving God even through secular work. You might find his writings inspiring.

God bless.


#12

[quote="nodito, post:11, topic:315907"]
Perhaps these two statements are a bit at odds? You need a full-time job, I agree. A secular position could be a stepping stone. It could get you the experience that would make you more desirable to Catholic employers. Maybe it's something to pray about?

St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, was big on serving God even through secular work. You might find his writings inspiring.

God bless.

[/quote]

It has been my belief that my work over the past three years with a* Catholic organization will make me desirable to Catholic employers. Stepping from a Catholic organization to another Catholic organization had always seemed to me like the logical progression. I want to stress that is not media per se that is my interest but the administration of the Church, and the *Catholic media. I want to try, however, to keep an open mind on the subject. What secular sources were you thinking of?


#13

[quote="StMartinTours, post:12, topic:315907"]
It has been my belief that my work over the past three years with a* Catholic organization will make me desirable to Catholic employers. Stepping from a Catholic organization to another Catholic organization had always seemed to me like the logical progression. I want to stress that is not media per se that is my interest but the administration of the Church, and the *Catholic media. I want to try, however, to keep an open mind on the subject. What secular sources were you thinking of?

[/quote]

I guess it depends on what specifically you hope to do in Catholic media. I'm not familiar with the field at all, but I would think there would be several non-Catholic newspapers, magazines, companies, etc that might be a good fit.

I'm in healthcare and when I was applying for jobs, my strong preference was to work in a Catholic hospital. The only full-time job I was offered, however, was in a public children's hospital. I accepted, and I found it was a good work environment, didn't pose any ethical or moral dilemmas for me, offered opportunity to attend Mass with the Catholic chaplain, and also provided lots of opportunity to witness to my non-Catholic coworkers.

I agree that a Catholic employer should favor potential candidates who demonstrate commitment to the Catholic faith through their work and personal lives. I think this can be demonstrated outside of one's formal work setting. And if I were hiring and had two candidates, one working part-time at a Catholic company, and a Catholic working full-time at a secular company, I would choose the more qualified candidate who had the experience I needed, regardless of where he was currently employed.


#14

+JMJ+
How about EWTN? They work in all areas of Catholic Media: radio, TV, newspaper, etc.


#15

If you can't find work in Catholic media, maybe you should start your own. You could have a "normal" job and do podcasting or a blog in your spare time. It would also be something to point to when you apply for work in media. :)


#16

You might just be going about it wrong. Something like 75% of all jobs are unposted and something like 75% of all job seekers apply only to posted jobs, doing the math you can see applying only for advertised jobs is a losing strategy. What may help you is "networking." Start building a network of individuals who are working in the type of job you want. Get in touch with someone and ask them if they could spare some time, perhaps over lunch (your treat!) to speak about the industry and share their expertise (they'll probably be flattered). Then meet up, talk and stay in touch. They can give you pointers on how to get work in the area and, best of all, they will know of jobs that are opening up in the future and can get you an interview BEFORE the job is posted, when the competition isn't so steep. Just remember, as Catholics we can't use people as means to an end, so make sure you are developing real relationships with people and help them too if you can. God Bless.


#17

Have you thought about working remotely for the National Catholic Register, or another national Catholic news source?


#18

I much prefer to go to work every day than to work from home, but failing all else I might be open to the idea. Are any of the agencies you mentioned currently hiring?


#19

[quote="Padua90, post:17, topic:315907"]
Have you thought about working remotely for the National Catholic Register, or another national Catholic news source?

[/quote]

I much prefer to go to work every day than to work from home, but failing all else I might be open to the idea. Are any of the agencies you mentioned currently hiring?


#20

[quote="Padua90, post:17, topic:315907"]
Have you thought about working remotely for the National Catholic Register, or another national Catholic news source?

[/quote]

I applied for an EWTN news program that's going to be starting up in Washington in the spring, but I never got a response.


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