Not Another “Fart Joke” Writer
I’ve never been particularly comfortable with the idea of “fitting in” with established norms because I don’t like the idea of repressing individuality for the sake of being accepted by someone. So this idea of being generic vs. distinctive when applying for a job is definitely a tricky one to balance. As Ilana Gershon says, “you want to be able to show that you understand the genres and can produce something that can be compared to all other instances of its genre…[as well as] be distinctive and also indicate that you are unlike all the others” (85). When it comes to my career path as a comedy writer, and really entertainment in general I believe that being distinctive is one of the most important aspects when applying for a job. In the comedy writing field you really are defined by how well you and your work stand out from the rest of the pack. Nobody, other than Chuck Lorre, wants another dull, run-of-the-mill comedy writer who thinks fart jokes are still funny.
When it comes to standing out from other applicants in the comedy field I believe my rather witty/smart-ass (depending on the perspective), ambitious, and playful personality help out for sure, though, some may not be as receptive of this as others. For as Gershon states how people will read your efforts to portray yourself as distinctive depends on context-specific interpretations,” so there may be some workplaces that just may not get me, possibly seeing me as arrogant or not serious-minded enough (62). One area that I can think of where I might blend in with other applicants would be that I am very unassuming, in both appearance and personality. This could be an issue in the future as some workplaces may want someone who more openly represents who they are as those kinds of people are more likely to speak their mind on something. But then again “what would make someone a successful or appealing job candidate for one company might lead another company to reject the same person” (80). Another area of weakness would be saying that I know about various forms of comedy from around the world and how they work, when any comedy writer should know.
In order to accentuate my strengths and improve upon my weaknesses I need to be a little less quiet and a little more expressive, but not brash by any means, just be someone an interviewer would actually enjoy interviewing. I could show off my witty nature more openly and even explain how different forms of comedy work instead of just saying I know. I could also provide an example of how I would put my distinctive spin on it. In the world of career building “people present themselves as business solutions, as bundles of skills, experiences, and networked relationships,” so it is my job to present myself to possible employers in this fashion without sacrificing my individuality (87). After all, if I can’t even be myself at my place of work then it must not really be the job for me.
Gershon, Ilana. Down and Out in the New Economy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017. Print.