At one point, every single thing on this earth was once new. Everything has its beginning, just as it does its end—and yet lately I’ve begun to feel like being labeled “new” is sort of like having the mark of Cain on your forehead. If we treated our newest members to society—babies—like we treat those who are simply emerging and trying to carve a name for themselves—humanity would cease to exist.
So what exactly am I talking about? I am speaking about how people emerging into their chosen fields, whether it is the professional corporate world, health industry, or artists or freelancers are increasingly being seen as individuals with the plague. It’s as if there is this unwritten rule—across the board and within most fields that says—rookies need not apply. Now granted, I doubt that there has ever been a time where someone just starting out or with limited experience ever had it easy. Unless you had connections that would make Rockefeller proud, it was always understood that you had to start at the bottom. The problem now a days is that even the bottom isn’t a guarantee anymore, as employers and industry folks are reluctant to give even that up to a newcomer.
This is something that I personally have experienced from multiple angles. As a recent graduate student way back in 2006, fresh with my MA in English, I could find no one in my chosen profession who would even offer me the basic. I spent the next six years hop-skipping in and out of various careers and finally unsatisfied (and with a tremendous degree of financial assistance) I ended up forgoing that completely, registered for a few classes in order to baby-step my way back into academia, and began my career as a freelance writer. And now at this end, I still find that there are insurmountable barriers being placed before me. Even just getting a basic review as a rookie is pretty damn difficult. Traditional and even nontraditional reviewers don’t want to touch you—and the ones that are open tend to be just as closed, due to the deluge of self-published thirsty authors rushing to them as if it was Free Friday on a buffet line. If that weren’t enough you have to go through each reviewer’s do’s and don’ts (or risk automatic deletion) and then try to find one that matches your genre. Some reviewers are so picky I often wonder why they even bother calling themselves that. The way they go about reviewing books, would be like Roger Ebert (may he RIP) stating, I only review 3 out of 300 romantic comedies and if you’re an action film without Jean-Claude Van Damme, then I don’t give a damn. The process is immensely frustrating.
I understand that rookies—from all fields—tend to be raw around the edges and are not a guarantee bet—but what will become of society if we make it nearly damn impossible for emerging, and often young talent trying to make their way in the world. Are we a generation without greatness because we were denied our start? All those who are now on top or established began at something—if we can’t give others reasonable means to hope—what will we become?