Persistence is a Virtue: a case study

In which I am shown to possess a virtue, which would be news to a lot of people.

Persistence pays off. About six months ago I heard about a media startup, backed by a billionaire, with a social justice mandate and a partiality for investigative journalism. I, along with everyone else in the news media, applied. I heard nothing back. Two months later I see an article saying they’re hiring for pre-launch, it has a different email address, I send my application in there, I hear nothing back. Two months after that, I hear that an editor I know very slightly (from commenting on his website for ten years) has been hired as editor in chief, so I dig up his personal email and send him my resume and clips. I hear nothing back, so I dig up his email at the NEW site, which is now live. I email him there. Nothing for a week and a half, then “Hey, I didn’t know you were a reporter! Can you send me some more clips and some pitches” so I do. Then, nothing for weeks. I read another article about how they’re actively looking for freelancers, so I take our email conversation, forward it to the email address in that article and ask, “So, are we approaching the point of a formal No, or are we still in play here?” and I get back an email with an apology, his cellphone number, and the request to “Dial relentlessly until I pick up the phone.” So I do. 12 hours later I have an agreement to freelance for a very, very high-profile startup with serious financial backing.

 

EDITED TO NOTE: I would have skipped sending things in that One Last Time, except two good friends nagged me on Facebook even in the face of my “oh, I already tried a million times” so there’s two people who just skipped to the head of the line of People I Owe Dinner To.

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