June 10, 2010

Day 38: It’s over – Tom offered a job as Crikey junior reporter

It’s over.

I’ve been offered a job and I’ve accepted it.

Crikey editor Sophie Black and deputy editor Jason Whittaker called this morning to offer me a full-time job as a junior reporter, just days after being told that I was not being hired as website editor.

To say that this is a monumental relief would be huge understatement, I’m over the moon and cannot wait to get started.

Sophie and Jason sounded genuinely pleased to be able to put me out of my misery, saying that I would now be able to rest easy. As Sophie put it, I could go away and “have a good cry”.

The offer came as a little bit of a surprise. When Sophie called last Friday, she told me that they were looking at trying to get me in as a reporter but due to the budget situation they “couldn’t promise anything”.

In the meantime, Sophie was able to offer me a short-term job during this year’s election, however it would only be for the duration of the campaign.

Well this morning they went one better. I’m officially employed.

It only took three years of tertiary studies at La Trobe University and 38 days of social media campaigning.

My thanks go to everyone who has followed the campaign. I have received an enormous amount of feedback from you all, most of it very positive. Emails and comments have flooded in, offering everything from advice to job opportunities.

There have also been quite a few students emailing me, asking for advice on how to get noticed. I’m not going to give sermon on the subject, but I will say this: give it a shot, be persistent and don’t be afraid of being annoying. People will eventually take notice.

Well that’s enough of a lecture. Tom wants a job is gone, your social media feeds can rest easy for a while.

However, you never know, in the future there may be a new campaign to fill the void

Thanks everyone for your interest, feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the campaign.

Tom wants a job snapshot:

Page views: 9,044

Blog comments: 37

Twitter followers: 210

Facebook ‘likes’: 100

Press: The Australian, journalism.co.uk, 774 ABC Melbourne, Power FM, Crikey and upstart magazine.

June 7, 2010

Rejection #2: Crikey

Jason Whittaker <jasonawhittaker@gmail.com> (Sun, Jun 6, 2010 at 8:49 PM)
To: Tom Cowie <tmcowie@gmail.com>


In this reality TV-like contest to win the coveted job as Crikey’s website editor you are, sadly, the weakest link. The biggest loser. You’re fired, Tom, even before you’re hired. The Journey ends for you here. It’s time to go … Tom.

We thank you for your clearly inadequate application but unfortunately we won’t be able to offer you the position, given your complete lack of competency.  We wish you all the best of luck in the job search, knowing just how much you’ll need it.

Kindest regards,


P.S. Tom made me write this so he’d have something to display on this desperately shameless website.

In truth we called him with the sad news we had to go with someone else, offered genuine regret and remorse that we couldn’t offer him a position at this time, and pleaded with him not to accept other jobs so we could suck the life out of him on future projects.

His talent is clear, his tenacity inspiring, he is deeply and annoyingly impressive professionally and personally, and if you have the opportunity to hire him you’d be astonishingly stupid not to.

June 1, 2010

The Crikey job trial is over…again we wait

And breathe out.

Huzzah! The Crikey job trial is officially over and I don’t even think I stuffed it up (actually I definitely stuffed it up, my brain is a little too fried right now and I can only process negative thoughts).

So that is one more hoop that I have jumped through, which, for those counting at home, makes it three obstacles so far in this crazy Crikey journey.

So where to now?

Well, I’m not sure exactly.

Jason Whittaker told me that I would know by next Monday AT THE LATEST.

But surely that cannot be the end. There has to be something else waiting for me on that Monday morning. Methinks Mr Whittaker has one more trick up his sleeve.

On the plus side, I did get receive some rather fetching socks:

Are there any more tests to come? Psychological tests? Fitness tests? Casting couch tests?!? Find out in a few days time

May 31, 2010

Day 24: The agony continues…on trial at Crikey

As it turns out, the Crikey website editor saga has another twist up its sleeve. For the first time since my days as a service station cash register jockey, I’ve got a job trial. This part of the campaign is truly make or break.

As keen followers will know, last week was a week of firsts for Tom wants a job. The first job interview with Crikey on Monday and the first rejection letter from News Limited on Thursday.

The job interview was promising, with Crikey telling me I would know the outcome by last Friday.

Well, after checking my phone approximately 1,478,082 times on that particular Friday, deputy editor Jason Whittaker rang at 5:30pm with one more challenge to meet. He told me that I would need to come in to the Crikey offices for a trial.

I will be joining the Crikey team tomorrow at 8am, when I will be thrown into the deep end to see whether I can hack it.

The agony continues!

May 27, 2010

Rejection #1: News Limited

May 25, 2010

Day 18: Digesting the Crikey interview, TWAJ in the UK and the eve of embarrassment at News Ltd?

Gee this interviewing stuff is pretty difficult.

It’s the day after my first interview for a job in the media and let’s just say it was pretty tough. Crikey editor Sophie Black (good cop) and deputy editor Jason Whittaker (bad cop) didn’t pull any punches during the hour-long interrogation, despite knowing me quite well from my time as an intern.

As current Crikey intern Matt De Neef tweeted yesterday, I looked (and felt) pretty nervous being put under the spotlight.

After questioning me on a range of different areas, the pair asked how I would compete with the rest of the candidates, who would most likely have more experience in the field. I answered that I have the passion, the skills and (in my opinion) enough runs on the board to thrive in the Crikey environment.

And with that it was over. I felt I went pretty well and the smiles from Sophie and Jason seemed to confirm that. However, perhaps my lack of experience will count against me. The outcome will be known later this week.

In other news, UK-based site Journalism.co.uk last night published a story about Tom wants a job, after an interview I completed with the site last week.

The piece, written by Laura Oliver, is entitled ‘Australian journalism student boosts first-job hunt with social media campaign’ and is a great bit of exposure for the campaign.

Who knows, perhaps the Tom wants a job desk will now be fielding offers from overseas!

Also, after speaking to Di from News Limited today, it has been established that letters are being sent out tonight for the NewsVictoria journalism traineeship.

Note: Sophie Black  and Jason Whittaker from Crikey were consulted about this post and had no issues. But after some thought I took out some aspects. They will be put back up in due course.

Would you like to revel in Tom’s humiliation? Make sure you tune in tomorrow when he opens the mail, it could be your day…

Also, hello to everyone from the UK! You can follow the campaign through the social media buttons to the right.

May 25, 2010

Tweet by tweet account of the Crikey tete-à-tete

Well, I’m glad that’s out of the way.

An hour long grilling by Crikey‘s Sophie Black and Jason Whittaker. If you’re interested in how I went during the interview, Crikey intern Matt De Neef was very kind to live tweet the entire gruelling encounter (for best effect, read from the bottom up).

A more considered response will be posted on the interview and the journalism.co.uk piece tomorrow.

Good night!

May 20, 2010

Tom scores first job interview of the campaign with Crikey

It’s all good news today, with the TWAJ campaign finally yielding its first job interview.

Deputy editor Jason Whittaker called last night to say that I should come into Crikey on Monday for “a little chat”.

Jason wouldn’t go into too much detail — knowing full well that I would probably publish it here — however when pressed he did confirm that it was indeed an interview for the website editor position.

Interview #1: Crikey 2:30 pm, Monday 24 May 2010.

Which tie should I wear?

Pants – dark grey, shirt – white, shoes and belt – brown.

May 19, 2010

Day 12: Tom offered a job……in advertising

Well it was only a matter of time.

After watching the campaign around TWAJ gather steam, adland have entered the fray with the first solid offer of employment. An email was received last night from an advertising headhunter, offering me a job as a copywriter.

According to the recruiter, the position would be worth around $40,000 per year and would involve working for a Melbourne agency on a high-profile retail account. The recruiter complimented my use of social media in building the campaign around Tom wants a job.

“What you are doing in using social media to get a job is the sort of stuff I try to tell young ad people to embrace and do. Some get it, many don’t. And there you are, just doing it.”

The recruiter had no qualms about my lack of qualifications or experience in marketing.

“You are a natural. Clearly you wouldn’t have a folio and I would be basing this on your ability and potential.”

While this was all very flattering to hear, I politely declined the offer. I reiterated to the advertising person that journalism is my passion and that’s what I should be doing with my life.

However, to be honest, one question about moving into adland still gnaws:

Could I have been the next Don Draper?

Should Tom pack in his dreams of journalism and move in to advertising? A new voting option has been added to the poll.

May 18, 2010

A phwoooar-gone conclusion? Tom weighs up bloke’s and boat mags

It’s two jobs Tuesday here at TWAJ, with bloke’s mag Zoo Weekly (NSFW) and boat’s mag Baird Maritime (SFW) both putting out advertisements for sub-editors this morning.

Asks the Zoo ad:

“Can you turn boring copy into sparkling prose? Do you understand what young blokes in Australia care about? Can you spell? If so, we’d like to hear from you.”

As a person with a limited working knowledge of Zoo, I am assuming that ‘phwoooar’ would be the most challenging word for a bloke’s mag sub to spell (is it three ‘o’s or four?) and “understanding what blokes care about” means stripping teachers and the world’s craziest waterslides.

However — despite the amazing opportunity to work with the people that run the ‘hottest burqa babe competition’ — there is one important factor that means an application to Zoo is not necessarily a phwoooar-gone conclusion. Working at Australia’s home of blokeyness would mean a move to Sydney.

A tough decision, that will certainly require some thought.

Over at Baird Maritime, they are looking for a part-time trainee sub-editor. “Ideally, the successful applicant would be a journalism degree student,” says the job ad.

Interestingly, the ad fails to mention anything about sea legs or fishing ability. I would have thought that being a veteran scurvy dog from way back (I’ve traveled on the Melbourne-Devonport AND the Wellington-Picton ferry) would count in my favour.

Is Zoo Weekly worth the move or should Tom apply for Baird Maritime? Vote on th’ poll to th’ starboard.