Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Singin' the Unemployment Blues

I have been unemployed a month.  A month isn't so long when you think about it, and I still punch out "Determined to enjoy this time off!!!" with three exclamation points in emails to friends and former colleagues and chirp "It is what it is!" when asked, but, when at home applying to jobs and watching Dr. Oz, it's apparent: I am officially down and out.  My special talent is getting an interview, even sometimes a second, and then never the offer.  Last week, while on Linkedin, I saw someone update their profile with their new title: a job I interviewed for.  Three interviews, really.  Usually when you are dismissed and rejected, you don't know who they opted for over you: it's a glorious ignorance.  This time I stared at the accepted woman's profile.  For ten minutes.  I read her accomplishments.   My failure was staring me in the face - a rather vibrant face with long chocolate hair and a smug smile (maybe I was reading into this a bit).  With my nose stuffy and my cheeks wet, I typed to Matt, "No one wants me!"  But he immediately responded with, "I want you."  and then "you'll find your match" which made me cry more. Because with every declination, I am disappointed in myself.  I'm embarrassed I'm not pulling my household weight. 

This post has taken so long to write because I get upset whenever I sit down to talk about my unemployment.  I've now had several interviews in which I was declined, and after each "thanks but no thanks" email my ego deflates just a bit more.  I've had poor luck, too: even when offered a contract position it was put on indefinite hold due to budgetary constraints.  After I told everyone.  And when I do interview it's invariably at a company that recently had lay-offs (you know, "strategic reductions") and their staff is over-worked to the tune of 11-hour days and constant travel and I think, "I just can't do this."  That happened last week at a company that boasts $12 billion in annual profit, but to what end?  

Maybe there are people who milk unemployment, but let me say this: there are many, many more of us who would take a drastic pay cut just to get out of the house and do something.  To contribute.  To feel like we add value again.


  1. does your concluding comment have anything to do with today being (Un)Equal Pay Day? ;)

    i don't want to make you cry, but i do agree with Matt. being a good fit -- personality and cooking talents included -- weighs in just as much if not more than record.

    also, in my experience, someone who looks good on paper (or Linkedin) could turn out to be totally incapable of performing in the job they're applying for. i saw this most recently when a student of mine (who was a total nincompoop if you recall my rants) got into a super fancy grad program that didn't want me because i didn't have perfect GRE scores. their loss. and the same goes for you my dear: their loss.

    as an aside, sort of, how could anyone experience your writing skillz and not be drooling over you? you'd have me at the cover letter. just sayin'.

  2. Everyone keeps telling me "the right job just hasn't come along" and that is so NOT what I want to hear! I am so aggravated at this whole job search thing that I am close to giving up altogether. Not that you should, of course. I have been at this for six months. I also just went on my 2nd interview in those six months and someone I know who literally graduated three weeks ago and hasn't passed her boards yet is already interviewing. I am beyond frustrated. It isn't so much the "the right job just hasn't come along yet" comments as the implication that the jobs I am applying for somehow don't fit exactly what I want and what I can do perfectly. They do - or I wouldn't have applied for them. Duh! HUGS!

  3. Thank you both for your words of encouragement. I had a good cry this morning and Jenni, I agree, the right job has come along - we've just been declined!! How you keep your chin up is beyond me - I'm already contemplating switching careers. To what, I don't know!

    No, I wasn't alluding to (Un)Equal Pay Day - but just read about it. Are women still making 70 cents on the man's dollar? For shame.

  4. I switched careers to nursing only because I was laid off from being an administrative assistant and tired of being laid off from being an administrative assistant. Now I can't get a job as an administrative assistant OR a nurse. People keep telling me "don't give up on your dream" like being a nurse was my dream since I was five years old or something. It was never my dream, it was a last ditch effort to find a job and not get laid off. Oh well. Sorry for ranting...it's been a bad week. :(