White Collar Reset: Only a test

Bloomberg L.P. may be the last bastion of actual, paying journalism jobs in America. At a time of near-universal layoffs and hiring freezes, when even Conde Nast is bringing in consultants to slash payroll, the $25 billion financial news and information juggernaut employs more than 2,200 reporters and editors, hundreds of them in midtown Manhattan just a 30-minute train ride from my house. Every week the company's website advertises dozens of new postings, and not just he phantom kind populating Monster or Media Bistro.

And I had a connection. A former employee had a former boss who had an opening on his team for an editor, and he invited me in for an interview. We hit it off, and I must have done a passable job glossing over the gulf between my extensive general-interest magazine and minimal online financial editing experience because he agreed on the spot to sponsor me for the vacancy, cutting through the usual red tape. After six months spent holed up in my den in suburban New Jersey with little to show for it, this was the break I was looking for. There was only one thing standing between me and a return to financial solvency: the standard Bloomberg writing and editing test.