Updated: Jul 31, 2019
If you are anything like me, you have been looking for a job for some time now. Your weeks are spent scrolling through LinkedIn and various other job search platforms, meeting recruiters and hiring managers for coffee and drinks, interviewing, reading and sending emails, trying to stay connected and follow leads.
Everyone tells you, you are doing “all the right things” and to “just keep doing them” but no-one seems to be forking over a job. And with the mound of debt from the college education you earned to be able to apply to these jobs knocking at your door, all you want to do at the end of the day is hide in a dark corner somewhere and hope to god this stage of your life ends soon.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, then we are in the same boat. And after a year of going seven days a week to keep my head above water, I reached my boiling point with the whole thing. I still didn't have a full-time job. Freelance and contract work in my field (I am a copywriter) was unsustainable. And I was running out of liquid assets to sell.
So, well, I became a stripper. For a night at least.
For the record, someone had approached me at the gym a year prior recommending I consider stripping as a way to make quick cash while I continue my job search. But I couldn't bring myself to do it then. A year later and a little financial desperation, things changed.
Having made this decision on a Sunday, knowing that a popular male strip club had it’s amateur night the next evening, I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare. Though thinking about it, that was probably a good thing. Of course being the professional job seeker that I am (as well as the proud owner of a marketing degree) I did my industry research and prepared accordingly.
The process looked a bit like this:
I went to the establishment to learn the logistics of the “interview.”
I visited PornHub.com and sorted videos by “most viewed” to see what my audience spent the most time watching.
I picked out potential interview attire - which in this case was, jockstraps, thongs, and tight fitting trunks.
I watched Magic Mike stripping tutorials.
I practiced gyrating in a thrusting motion on my kitchen floor while simultaneously doing push-ups to have a “jock bro” effect.
I trimmed all of my body hair for a smooth glisten.
I thought strategically about and then practiced how to remove a pair of jeans and replace my sneakers, in a sexy way - so that I would have the traction on my feet to eventually climb the wooden pillar that serves as the clubs “pole.”
After all the prep, I spent the remainder of my night having a long internal debate as to what the hell I was doing and if it damages my long-term career plans as an advertising executive. Eventually, I landed on, “fuck it, you only live once,” and I needed the money anyway.
The next day I got up, I put in a couple hours on my job search, packed my interview attire, did a quick upper body workout at the gym, then headed to the club.
The shift was from 10 pm to 2 am. I was scheduled on the half hour to dance on the main stage and on the hour in the cage, a sort of go-go like furnishing. Both were in ten-minute increments. Let me tell you, those ten minutes were like lifetimes. It is not an easy thing to keep moving around looking sexy when multiple people's eyes are on you. After a couple performances though, I just pretended that no-one was there and I acted in such a way like I was alone in my bedroom. I won’t go into detail, but admittedly it was a bit of a rush.
I also gave a lap-dance to a recently-married woman as a gift from her husband. It became awkward after a minute and a half of doing pull-ups and wiggling around. Fortunately, she had a great sense of humor and I made twenty bucks from it. Later, she and her friend group would be my most lucrative group of the night as I performed on the main stage.
I learned quickly from the seasoned strippers that to make any money, you have to work the crowd between performances. And you have to keep checking in with those people you connect with so they don’t get bored. - Funny how life gives you new metaphoric perception on the action of “networking.”
At the end of the night, I walked away with about 60 bucks (not bad for a dead Monday night) and after a few days realized I am not meant to be a stripper. The experience gave me a new perspective, however. After all, this one evening as a stripper was not so different than the past year of my life looking for a job. At least in thinking of it as a carnal way to survive. - It was a nice reminder that no matter how the world around us may look differently, make no mistake, at our core we are all just surviving.
With that, I came back to my job search with a new sense of pride and joy. I am passionate about my career as a copywriter. And being the risk taker that I am, have begun looking to bigger job markets where there is more opportunity for someone like me. Who knows what new adventures (and life experiences) may unfold.
For a night, I was in control. Perhaps that sounds kinky. That is because, in this case, it was.
My advice to anyone who is reaching their boiling point: Find your stripper moment and live it.
My stripper name is Tucker by the way.