It’s official. I’m 80 years old. Nearly every applicable entry-level career opportunity that I find is only available to current students or graduating seniors. I had resolved not to write a post about my job search because I didn’t want to add yet another cry to the resounding choir of unemployed Americans. There are enough of us griping as it is. But there it is. I have networked, called, emailed til my voice has grown hoarse and my fingertips become blue. I have sent in so many online applications since the summer time that the multitudes all seem to blur into one gigantic, never-ending cyberdocument. All for a handful of interviews. I’d like to be able to say that I’m ‘finding the joy in each day’ and ‘living for the moment’, but the truth is, when you’re lying prostrate in front of your computer at 2 pm, trying to squeeze in time for 3 applications before you pick up your dad from his monthly hospital treatment and wondering how you’ll pay for gas for your car next week and next month’s student loan because your seasonal contract at your current job expired…it’s hard to find any joy in that moment.
This is not meant to be a whiny post but an honest one. I do realize that my situation is better than many other people’s, and that I should be thankful for what I have. I am. I have an internship that I’m starting next week that I’m excited for, and though it’s unpaid, I’ll be working at a nonprofit in the community and doing fulfilling work. But when it comes to my job search…I’m restless, disappointed, and frustrated. Restless, because I know that the skills that I have could be put to good use and that there are vacancies – sometimes many – at the places where I am applying. I like to be challenged, I like to to engage my nerdy side and do research, compile papers and presentations, resolve problems. I wish I could communicate this to employers, but for many, all I am is a graduation date, a GPA, and an unknown face. Disappointed, at many things- the economy, myself, the responses (or lack of) to my applications. Frustrated, because I feel helpless; yes, the strength of my applications and my interviews is in my hands. But the power to choose whether or not to look at those apps or whether or not to invite me to an interview remains out of my hands. It’s commonly said that you should, “Focus on what you can control, not on what you can’t,” and to be honest this is one of my favorite quotes. But when you realize that despite your best efforts to master what you can control, you still may not achieve what you want, it can be disheartening.
I am not giving up, that is completely out of the question. I have always been a fighter, and I will continue to hunt, search, (lol I sound like a predator), and network. But this is just something I had to get off my chest before I could move on.