Today marks ten months since I was laid off from my last job. In that time, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and the conclusion I’ve reached is not having a job sucks. I never imagined it would take me this long to find a job. At first, you enjoy the free time and the ability to spend time doing things you would be too busy to do otherwise. As the months roll on, it begins to wear on you. I’ve been unemployed before but I was younger then and more optimistic. Being unemployed in your 30s, it feels like time is running out.
No one tells you how lonely unemployment can be. I don’t think I noticed before because Cindy’s work hours used to be more flexible. Since she started her new job a few months ago and has started working 9-5 hours, my days have become increasingly isolated.
Even though I didn’t make many lasting friendships at my last job, they were a part of my life that I didn’t notice until it was gone. They were the ones who I talked about sports with or what movies I may have seen that weekend. I had a coworker who had similar music tastes as me and we’d talk about new albums or shows going on around Los Angeles. There was a Red Sox fan who I sought out whenever the Yankees beat them. He was also a Cowboys fan so I even got to rub it in during the football season. Sometimes, there would be a Lakers game on in the kitchen TV and we would find excuses to congregate there. When I finally got laid off, one of the first things that pissed me off is that I wouldn’t be able to go into work after the Giants won the Super Bowl and talk shit.
When Cindy goes to work in the morning, there are days where I don’t speak again until she gets home. When I do have conversations, it’s either people calling me about jobs I applied to or calling vendors about the wedding. Sometimes, one of the guys at the gym will throw an acknowledgement my way but it’s usually in reference to a sports jersey I’m wearing or a funny t-shirt I have on. I still have instant messages with my friends throughout the day but it’s not the same. Plus, odds are those people are busy1. They have jobs.
I really shouldn’t complain though. I’m not much of a conversationalist these days anyway. The only things I have to talk about are wedding planning or being unemployed. Maybe it’s best that I have no one to talk to throughout the day. I don’t have much to say.
1. I know. I know. I’m annoying. I apologize.
I was never much of a dater (surprise surprise) but I’m noticing that looking for a job has become like looking for a new girlfriend. Everything I hated about being single is now haunting me in my unemployment.
E-Hireme: Before when you were looking for jobs, you would write a cover letter to an HR person with your resume attached. Now there are all these detailed, annoying online applications that take like 15-20 minutes to fill out. It’s like registering for a string of online dating services. You have to recreate your resume over and over again (plus attach your resume – why both?) and you just feel like it’s going into a void never to be looked at.
Hook Me Up?: Everyone you know who has a job at a company you want to work at becomes that friend who has a cute friend you want to be introduced to. It’s awkward especially when they don’t think you two would actually make a good match.
It’s been over a month since I lost my job. It’s funny. I wondered how long it would take me to go from “hopeful that I will find a great opportunity” to “desperate for anything.” The answer is: about a month.
Every weekday afternoon, I load up all the job search sites on my browser. I open new tabs for every job I’m interested or think I am relatively qualified for. Then, after I read through the qualifications, I apply to the ones I think my skills and interest match up best with. I’ve applied to over 30 jobs so far. Those 30 or so resumes have resulted in three in-person interviews and one phone interview. That’s a pretty shitty average. If I was a baseball player, I’d be on the bench or out of the league altogether which, I guess, is how I feel.
I wish I could say I didn’t see it coming but I did.
There were a lot of changes around the office in the last few months and began to fear for my job, a job I wasn’t particularly fond of. I thought I might have escaped the changing tides but last week the waves finally came crashing down on me. I was let go. Now I’m just another unemployment statistic.