professional blues

i probably shouldn’t write about work here, and i won’t say anything specific, but instead just meditate on hard times for a moment. i’ve been out of school for several months now, looking for a job steadily during that time. i haven’t sent out tons and tons of applications, because what i’m looking for is really specific, but i also believe that i’m an extremely well-qualified candidate for the thing i’m looking for.

and i’ve sent out all these job applications, and had one interview. one. for a temp job, and i didn’t get it. i understand how hard it is right now with the bad economy and funding for just about everything drying up. but i want to know why i’m not getting interviews. i know people who get interviews all the time and flub them. i don’t, as a rule, flub interviews. i shine in interviews. i convince people who think i’m woefully underqualified that i might just have what it takes after all. even the job i didn’t get gave me tons of positive feedback on the interview.

but now my student loan payments are coming due, and i really thought that by this time it would have happened. i would have found something amazing. or at least good enough. as the year gets darker and colder, and the bills that i was just about covering comfortably almost double with the addition of my loan payments, i feel like i’m sinking into a kind of darkness. i hate being dependent on the kindness of anyone — even my beloved spouse, who is subsidizing me right now. i hate looking at myself in the mirror, growing puffy with lack of exercise and wearing old clothes that were either purchased three or four years ago or in thrift stores. i feel like my brain is slowly atrophying with the dullness of my temp job.

i know this will pass, or at least i cling to the hope that it will. i have lots of good days. i am surrounded by good friends and i have a warm place to live and food to eat and even health and dental insurance. but i want to be able to provide those things for myself. and more than that, i want to be challenged and appreciated and useful. i want to be employed not only to provide material things for myself and my loved ones, but to be contributing to the cultural exchange of ideas and work. i love working. i love going to work and having colleagues and the drama of having big deadlines to meet and the challenge it takes to meet them. i’m sad right now because i don’t have those things, and i’m not creative or disciplined enough to manufacture them for myself. some people have a day job, and a creative endeavor that is their true sustenance. for me, my work is my sustenance. which is why i’ve been selective about what to apply for — but now, i suppose i’m paying the price.

i’m really struggling with how sad and hopeless i feel about all this. i’m frustrated with myself on all sorts of levels. i can’t get away from the self-blame — if i were just more ambitious, if i had sent out more applications, if i had taken different classes or developed different skills i wouldn’t be suffering this way. if i were less gay. if i were more corporate. if i were smarter or more savvy or less self-indulgent. i don’t even know what i should be — the hard thing is that it feels like what i am is wrong.

this will pass i know but i just had to get it out of my system. thanks for reading.


literally just this minute i was notified of a job interview. maybe i just needed to wallow in misery for a while. the universe uses me as a yo-yo. whatever. i feel a bit better now.


6 responses to “professional blues

  1. I actually can relate completely to the searching for a job and feeling like you aren’t getting anywhere. It is frustrating, and it never happens in the timeframe we want it to, especially in a bad economy, and knowing that doesn’t make it feel any better. That said, and although you didn’t ask I’m sharing anyway:
    You may already be doing this but if you aren’t already on get on it. Connect to people you know, have them write a recommendation for you (the more recommendations the higher up your resume goes when you apply for a job), look into the “groups”. It is a great way to network and find jobs. It’s actually the only place the last couple of years where I have actually gotten responses /interview when I have applied for a job. It’s not a social network, people don’t chat, its a professional networking site.

    Good Luck

  2. (Delurking 🙂 Wow I’m in the exact position as you are and also have (fortunately) a spouse who subsidizes me. I also hate to be dependent on people, I’ve always paid my own way and now suddenly it’s like being dependent on handouts .
    All I have to say is to keep looking, keep sending out your resumes, as I’ve been told many many times it’s not me it’s the economy.
    I too wonder if there was something else I could’ve done, or if I’m doing something wrong. But the truth is we just graduated at the worst possible time. Neither you nor anybody that’s unemployed (underemployed) has done anything wrong.
    Going on LinkedIn is a good idea, as well as talking to everybody you know that can help you out, even family members.

  3. I feel you so much right now.

    I’m almost done w/ my masters and I am starting to feel like it’s gonna be worthless.

    I fear my student loans coming due like you wouldn’t believe.

    And congrats on the interview!

  4. We’re all yo-yo’s.

    You know, as obvious and as unwanted as this sort of comment can be, in times like this you just have to hold on to all of the “so far” that proves that you will be exactly where you are suppose to be, you are exactly where you are suppose to be and as much as you prepare, as much as you try, you are going to get to points in your life, just like you have already, time and time again, like you will be again oh so soon, where you are smiling madly and thinking (again), “I could never have guessed this. How lucky am I.”

    Good luck on that interview. Keep us posted.

  5. Hold on. Stay positive. Have a nice cuppa. Sit in the sun. Breathe.


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