It’s been ten months since I worked my last day.
Taking a two week break to go to Wales was a good thing. If you are unemployed, you must make sure you are able to have days of refreshment. Not everyone can go overseas like I did – my trip was planned before I lost my job and having family and friends there that took excellent care of me, I stayed under my budget. But getting away was necessary.
Job hunting usually obsesses you. You spend day after day refreshing the job boards to see if anything new has come up. It deflates your soul, if you let it.. It’s taxing, and you don’t even realize how much you let yourself become obsessed with it. Even someone like me, who generally keeps her emotions even keel and has been determined to not forget the joys of life in the midst of this. No matter how self confident and centered you are, it would be the rare person who didn’t feel a twinge of nausea with any rejection. Even if you know it’s not the right job for you.
I certainly never thought finding a new job would take so long. I’ve probably said that before, and I’ll probably continue to say it as time goes on. There is certainly a level of disbelief. I thought if you had a strong work ethic and a good skillset and were relatively easy to get along with, you could find work. There are a few days I believe none of those things matter at all….a roll of a magic eight ball of sorts determines your fate.
I have completed hundreds of applications. Yes, hundreds. I wish now I had kept track, but I haven’t stopped filling them out. This trip to Wales was the first time I let a week go by without submitting at least one application. Most there are 5-10.
Before I left there were three job possibilities that could keep me in Statesville. The Monday I returned I follow-up on those three jobs (you seldom get an answer if you don’t.)
I found out in a day or two that I did not get two of them. One I had an inkling after the interview that I was not the type of skill set they wanted. Disappointing as I respect the company and feel my own skill set could benefit them more than they know, but also content because the actual job available probably wouldn’t have sustained my interest for long. Not that I would have left-but I would have endured. Not good for either of us.
I was a bit surprised I did not get another interview for the other job. No reason was given. I know there can be so many reasons, most having nothing to do with me, so you just put feelings about that to bed quickly.
The third was one for which I had been talking to a recruiter. We spoke by phone the day before I left. She had been very positive that I was exactly what they wanted. She was talking with someone there that afternoon. I emailed her while on vacation and when I returned. I still have not received any acknowledgment of those emails.
Last week I went to the company’s website and the job was still up there. I put in an application. I decided if I did nothing, I would regret not taking the control back. Leaving your career in a stranger’s hands is risky, even if it is their job to help people find jobs. Recruiters just aren’t who they used to be. They used to be some of the most attentive and nurturing people on the planet. I believe online sites like Linked In have made their jobs pretty simple, so their energy goes to other things these days.
I’m going to talk to a career counselor affiliated with my university alumni association on Thursday. . I have given her a brief overview of what I have been doing, along with my resume and my Linked In account information. I’m hoping she can see something others haven’t and can help me determine next steps.
The submission of applications and interview process is continuing, though I suspect the end of the year is not the best time to find a job. I have yet another phone interview on Friday. Since much of my working life has been spent in the phone, I don’t usually get nervous about these. I consider them fact finding missions-for them and for me. I know the person interviewing me slightly, from past work. Does this make it easier or harder? I believe a bit harder, but still OK. Either it’s a job that fits me and a company that wants me or not.
My unemployment benefit has run out (12 weeks is not long enough), so no income is coming in. This is where not being in debt (except for my house) and having a bit of savings comes in handy. I’ve applied with a temp agency and applied to substitute teach, so hopefully jobs will come through so that savings can be stretched.
I’ve targeted January as ”reduce your possessions and prepare your house for sale” time. You never know how long that process will take, so I need to get in gear. I absolutely hate this sort of thing because the ADD sets in and staying focused is a major issue foe me.
“Oh look, my high school year book.”
And then I read all the notes people wrote that year. But I’m not moving all of this stuff. Sometimes you have to streamline. It appears the time is now.
I’m back to ”I’ll probably have to move” mode. I had such hope for several weeks that it wouldn’t have to happen. I have moved plenty before, so that’s OK. I know how to get settled in and get involved in the community, and I will consider it an adventure. I’m not afraid of change. We make our own happy and I refuse to live a life settling for anything less. But it’s also tiring and stressful. I hate that part.
I’ve been writing a lot on Medium.com. Here’s a few stories related to my unemployment you may find interesting. It uses a friend link, so you can get to them without a membership. (Though this is a great site covering all kinds of topics, and membership for unlimited reads is $5 a month and the money goes to pay writers. Still, if you only want to read my stuff, let me know and I’ll keep passing you my friend links.)
As we begin the holiday season, be of good cheer. It’s a great time of self-evaluation, so if your job isn’t what it needs to be, do an inventory as to how you can make that situation better.
And for those fellow members of the Unemployed Class of 2019, let me know if you need encouragement or ideas. I have learned a few tricks. Please comment and share some of yours or let us know how you’re coping. It’s the season of hope and goodwill. Let’s not lose either!
And anyone with job leads, not just leads in the benefits world for me but leads for people in any industry, pass them on. Doing so really can change lives. There are some incredible people looking for work who would be an asset to an employer. I know some who have been out of work longer than me. While I am comfortable talking about my unemployment, not everyone is. You may not know who is looking and the stress they are enduring as they struggle on their own. You have the potential to change pain to joy, just by being vigilant on their behalf. That’s why we’re here, right?