I feel like this post has been a long time coming. I’ve gone back and forth on how I want to “craft it,” fit everything I want to say, trying to make sure it’s “perfect.” I realized that this post will never be “perfect” or “complete” because my story is always evolving. So bear with me and here we go!
I’ve been struggling to find a new job for over a year now. I had never been completely satisfied (is anyone ever completely satisfied) with my most recent job. When I came across it on Craigslist almost three years ago I was hesitant to apply. Why? I had recently been laid off from a catering admin position that I really didn’t enjoy. One of the reasons being its emphasis on food made it challenging in the process of recovering from an eating disorder. However, reading the job description, I saw that I could meet the experience required (unlike many other jobs I had applied to) and it was at a cool location. Plus, after applying to 50+ jobs and not hearing anything back from 90% of them I honestly didn’t think I would receive a response. So at 11 pm I submitted my resume, closed my laptop, and went the bed.
Of course the job I didn’t necessarily want was the one who called me the next afternoon. I was getting desperate, unemployed for almost four months with no clear path, so I went ahead and took the job. The first few months were new and exciting. I loved being more involved in the overall event process and my colleagues. It wasn’t too long until I became “bored.” Some days were busier than others and I felt productive, but it did not take me long to realize that this was not the industry (hospitality) that I wanted to be in forever. I told myself that I would stick with it for a few years, build my resume and then find something else.
Unfortunately the feelings of being stuck and unhappy came long before the two-year mark I had given myself. I could complete most of my tasks within an hour or two and be left staring at the clock wishing time would speed up. Then I would be so mentally drained that doing anything seemingly productive felt impossible. I am going to stop right here and say that yes, these are very “first world problems.” When I would feel this way I would often tell myself that I should be lucky to have a job when most people don’t – and I was thankful, I knew it could be much worse. But is it really so wrong to want a job where you feel fulfilled and can contribute to society. I would try incorporating little things into my day to make it more meaningful – listening to podcasts helped my commute, offering assistance to colleagues when I completed my work, treating those around me and client with respect and patience. Still I felt like something was missing.
I revamped my resume and started scoping out jobs just to see what was out there. I have had numerous hits and misses during my search – mainly misses. I would become excited as prospective employers would bring me in for a second interview only to learn weeks later that they found “more qualified” for the position. And that is if I was lucky. I have lost count on the number of jobs I applied to and heard nothing back from. Trying to turn a negative into a positive, I told myself that they job(s) I didn’t get was probably a good thing – saving me from something that would end up like my old position or worse.
Budget concerns were brought up over the summer. I knew that my searches needed to become more serious as my position at the company was in jeopardy. I begin browsing job boards with more intensity. The pressure I put on myself caused me to feel discouraged when I found little to nothing that spiked my interest. If something was interesting, I wasn’t near or was qualified for the role. I began to felt like I there wasn’t anything out there that was a good fit for me. Needless to say, my overall life satisfaction/happiness rapidly decreased.
I started drinking more, way more when I felt discouraged and lost. My train of thinking was that as I can get “prolific” after a few drinks, a light bulb would go off in my head and suddenly I would know what to do (yeah, like that would really happen). As most people know, drinking doesn’t solve much of anything; it has only lead me to more physical (upset stomach, headache, weight gain) and mental problems (memory loss, lack of critical thinking, feelings of self loathing) and drunk texts – whoops!
I officially got the words I had been waiting for “your position is being eliminated” before Christmas. Even though I had been expecting it and had a few interviews already set up it still stung. My co-workers were honestly the main reason why I held on for so long. As we were together more than we were with our actual families, they became my work-family. Hell, they were the first people (besides my parents) that I was calling off my wedding (more on that later) than my best friends and the groom! The last weeks were full of bittersweet moments – this is my last team meeting, this is the last time I’m going to have to make my long commute, etc. While I knew that I didn’t have much room for growth at that job, nor did I have the desire to stay in that field much longer it was still tough leaving. I am grateful that I held out and was able to leave on good terms. I think it will help in the long run (look better on my resume) and my colleagues tell me to put them down as references.
So long story short (P.S. bless you if you’ve made it this far) my layoff has been a “blessing in disguise.” It’s already the second week of my third layoff. I’m still struggling to find a routine or some form of structure for my days – a balance of productivity and rest. I knew that I didn’t want to jump straight into a new job, but take time to regroup and really focus on my next move. Ideally I wanted to take a whole week off from applying to jobs, but me being the type of person who can’t do “nothing” so that idea lasted all of 3 hours. I finally heard back from two interviews in which I didn’t get the job, which is disappointing, but better than waiting in limbo.
I think for the upcoming week I am really going to make an effort to take a few days off from the search and pray not that I will find a job/opportunity, but it will find me. Yeah, it sounds cheesy, but I feel like I’ve tried many different approaches only to end up more stressed and now it is time to let go, to be BRAVE. It is exciting to think that anything is possible and something could cross my path that I haven’t even thought of ! I will keep you updated on the process and my progress. *Deep breaths*
Onwards and upwards, my friends!