My trusted and dependable paralegal is leaving for a bigger firm with better compensation than I can offer. I’m happy for her. She’s a hard worker. But it sent me off on another search to find just the right person to fill the position. Monday afternoon, I posted the opening on Monster.com. By Wednesday morning, I received 71 resumes. I have received 11 more since then as well as six resumes through word of mouth. Many were college graduates and two even had law degrees.
I’ve been frustrated lately in my efforts to pursue a goal apart from the practice of law. Not a single literary agent I have queried has asked to see even a partial submission of my finished novel, a work of historical fiction set in the Civil War. With each new rejection, I have fumed and wondered how the agent could make a snap decision on my literary future often based on nothing more than the query letter. How could they be so blind to the brilliance of my craft?
And yet here I am, deluged with resumes the way agents are deluged every week with query letters, having to make snap decisions on whom I will interview based on a few sheets of paper. Sometimes, it is easy. The person cannot fashion a proper sentence or misspellings abound. But many are qualified, even over-qualified for the position of secretary/paralegal/office manager/attorney’s right arm in a small law office. I passed on several based on nothing more than a gut feeling. I have chosen to interview thirteen. I can hire only one.
So agents, now I understand. And while the rejections still hurt, at least mine have occurred in pursuit of a passion, not employment. I feel for all the people who have taken the time to submit their resumes to me hoping to find a job. If I can offer any words of advice to those not hired, and authors unpublished, it is this: Don’t give up.