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.
One thing I have learned (more like confirmed) is I am a horrible interviewer. When I am asked what my greatest weakness is, I should be honest and reply, “Talking about myself.” I’m just not good at. This doesn’t just apply to interviews. Try and have a conversation with me on the phone or over IM and see how quickly I turn the conversation back to you. This ends up being my strategy in interviews as well. By the end of the interview, I know a ton about the company and the person interviewing me. I don’t know how much information they gleaned from me.
What makes it hard is not really knowing anyone out here. If I was in New York, I could get a new job in a heartbeat. Before my last day of work, I’d have been in contact with ten different colleagues and they would have put me on the path to my next opportunity. Here, I’m on my own. I met with a recruiter a few weeks ago and she told me getting a job via a company website is almost impossible these days. I don’t know if that’s true but that’s sure how it feels. My inbox is littered with e-mails like the one posted above.
I’ve been unemployed before but this feels worse. Our wedding is less than seven months away and instead of putting money away, I have to take money out of my wedding savings to help pay for bills and rent. When I moved out here a year ago and didn’t have a job, it sucked but I wasn’t really that stressed out about it. I felt I could survive a few months before it became a real concern. Now every week I don’t have a paycheck, I feel like it takes six months off my life.
We’re pressing forward with all our wedding planning believing that ultimately everything will work out but I can’t pretend that I don’t lose a lot of sleep over it. I’m one of those people who doesn’t typically remember his dreams but lately I can. I can’t remember details but there have been a lot of dreams where I was embarrassed to tell someone I’m unemployed or I still didn’t have a job with only a few weeks until our wedding and couldn’t pay anyone. Needless to say, they are the kind of dreams you’d like to forget the moment you opened your eyes.
Now that a month has gone by with little hope, the question has shifted from “what kind of job are you looking for?” to “what kind of job can I get?” Dreams and hopes of this setback leading me to a better opportunity are quickly dissipating. It’s like being well-to-do man stuck on a deserted island. First, you dream of the fine meal you’ll have at home when you get rescued. But the longer you are stuck on that island, the less specific your fantasy cravings become until ultimately, a cracker would make you the happiest man alive.
Anyone know where I could find some crackers?