2019 Bumps In The Road

Journey of 20 Job Applications: Aug 1 Update, Am I Unemployed?

Technically, I am unofficially unemployed.  My last day of work is tomorrow Fri, Aug 2.  But by now you know I’m anxious and love to jump the gun! It was a voluntary termination. That’s what all the paperwork said. I did it. I resigned. I quit my job with no prospects.

Here’s the latest update on the chart.

No. Date Applied Company Position Current Status When I Last Checked
1 6/23/19 DSI Manager, Widgets No applicant portal 6/29/19
2 6/24/19 REG Sr. Manager, Widgets Applied -24Jun2019 7/25/19
3 6/24/19 TAK Manager, Widgets No longer under consideration 7/13/19
4 6/24/19 NOV Sr. Manager, Widgets Screening Phase -28Jun2019 7/25/19
5 6/24/19 AZA Sr. Manager, Widgets E/m for phone screen on Jul 10; e/m back avail times Jul 10; f/u Jul 25; radio silence since; 7/19/19
6 6/24/19 RAK Sr. Manager, Widgets E/m for video screen 7/16; repl’d 7/16; video screen scheduled 7/18; rejection 7/26 6/29/19
7 6/29/19 UCB Lead, Widgets E/m on 7/17 with four screening questions; replied 7/17; e/m 7/22 to schedule phone screen; phone screen 7/24; was told would hear back by 7/26; nothing since. 7/27/19
8 6/29/19 COV Project Manager, Widget Safety NOT SELECTED 7/13/19
9 6/29/19 CON Specialist, Widget Safety Completed-Updated: Jun 29, 2019 7/25/19
10 6/29/19 IQV Associate Manager, Widget Safety Active 7/25/18
11 6/29/19 IQV Sr. Specialist, Widget Safety Active 7/25/19
12 6/29/19 TRI Manager, Widgets No applicant portal 6/29/19
13 7/3/19 NOV Manager, Widgets Screening Phase -03Jul2019 7/25/19
14 7/4/19 AVE Sr. Manager, Widgets E/m for onsite on Jul 10; On 7/11 onsite scheduled for 7/22; decsion by 8/2 7/27/19
15 7/4/19 AZA Scientist, Widget Compliance Rejection e/m 7/30 7/25/19
16 7/4/19 FDC Analyst, Widgets Completed-Updated: Jul 4, 2019 7/25/19
17 7/3/19 SYN Specialist, Widget Safety Completed-UpdatedJul22,2019 7/25/19
18 7/3/19 VTX Sr. Manager, Widgets Application Received-03Jul2019 7/25/19
19 7/3/19 PAC Sr. Manager, Widgets CLOSED -7/23/19 7/25/19
20 7/5/19 JZZ Specialist, Widget Safety NOT SELECTED 7/8/19

No. 14 (AVE) was the last hold out. The two big bosses were not white-men. I was sure I had a chance!! HR technically said I’d hear back by tomorrow (Fri, 8/2), and I foolhardily held my breath.  I thought I killed that interview! Will the single girl ever learn?

Lessons Learned from Actively Interviewing

The hardest part for me were all the lies packaged as politeness in the job application process. Everyone said you’ll be hearing from us. Sometimes that meant you moved forward in the process. Sometimes that meant absolutely nothing. How is a neuro-atypical brained person like myself supposed to navigate that.

I tried to use their inflection or enthusiasm or clues from the conversation about which outcome was likely. I was wrong almost all the time. There was one where the conversation was cut short and I barely got a word in and I was invited for an onsite interview. There was one where the HR recruiter was extremely enthusiastic and I moved forward in the process within the hour. Yet the phone screen before that, we’d had a nice moment during the call and never heard anything back.

One co-worker I lamented with described me as being untrustworthy of the process. I think that’s fairly accurate.

Sometimes I do think I’m a little Aspie, and a process like this makes me think so more. It’s half a joke, half not. When the same input leads to different outcomes, it’s really tough for me to navigate.

Why did I quit my job?

Honestly, I’d love to say something really huge happened. But it didn’t. A few tiny things happened over four years but still not enough to make a reasonable person quit their job. I think I  started on this job quitting path a while ago. Hence the blog.

I definitely don’t have enough money to be financially independent. At best, I might have about 6 months of savings.

I started to get hopeful after I received such a flurry of responses that I would get something. So that helped me to turn in my letter of resignation last week. I thought I’m bound to get something and this way I’ll have a nice break before my next job. I didn’t get anything. As I mentioned, the last hopeful, No. 14 (AVE), told me I would hear back by Friday (tomorrow).  Then Brain just reminded me…what decision are they possibly going to make tomorrow that they haven’t already made today (Thursday).

For me the best way to cope with bad news, is to prepare for it. It’s the change in equilibrium that really shakes me up. The surprise, the unpredictable outcome. Those things I struggle with. Not necessarily the event itself.

I thought I would feel something about quitting my job. I felt a little scared and did apply to a few more jobs not seen in this list.

I felt a little disappointed that my employer didn’t make some grand gesture to try to keep me. HR didn’t even bother to schedule my exit interview. My manager just met with me for 15 minutes to fill out the termination form. Then she piled on more work for me to finish my last two days. That felt about right. The best part was that some of those tasks were offloaded from two positions for which I had previously applied. Like I said, that felt about right.

To prep for my voluntary release from work, I made a few of my favorite snacks and identified some TV shows with which to  occupy my mind. On the back burner is a plan to buy some swim trunks so I might actually use my apartment complex’s pool for the first time ever.

In my fantasy, I’d like to take the whole six months and not apply to anything and actually try to reflect or at least enjoy the time off. It’s only what I’ve been wanting my whole life! But in reality, I’m trying to at least make it 2 weeks without searching for anything on the internet. I’ll be lucky if I make it 2 days.

So, again…why did I quit my job?

A few reasons I can think of in this particular moment:

  • I didn’t like the person I thought I had to be at work.
  •  I didn’t like being passed over for promotion opportunities; I started to internalize the value they placed on me.
  •  I’ve always wanted to be a stay-at-home person.
  •  I was fully vested in my 401k. I had also passed the 2 years needed to avoid paying back my $2k sign-on bonus.
  •  The client was coming on site to help us prepare for a new software launch; I wasn’t looking forward to seeing the woman who got the job I wanted with them; I wasn’t interested in the buzz that happens when change comes.
  •  Again, I was fully vested. I thought I’d have to wait until Sep 2019 (when I mentally thought I’d pull the trigger).
  •  I had started the momentum to leave earlier this year and just continued with it even though I didn’t feel as strongly as when I first started.
  •  I had been trying to figure out ways to do less work during the day.
  •  Manager was giving me more work to do and telling me I needed to do it with enthusiasm, while still piling it on.
  •  I felt as though I already died and was buried at my job, in NC as a whole, and all that was left were the haunting thoughts of who I thought I could be.

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  1. Congratulations! I left my job last year and it was the best thing I ever could have done. Being unemployed can be scary at first but you have to start living life sometime.
    You only have so much time on this planet so start making the most of it. Find out what makes you happy and go for it full steam ahead with no regrets.
    You now have the time to put 100% into whatever you’ve always wanted to do. So go for it!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Andy. I don’t know about congratulations quite yet though… ughhhh. Definitely scary.
      I don’t remember you leaving your job? Is blogging your primary form of income?

      1. I left my job last year because I got tired of forcing myself to do mindless work everyday, only to continue being miserable. The first few months are the scariest, but after the initial fear you’ll start to be okay.
        You’ll realize, after you start to become more rested and focused that the job was holding you back. When you work a job you have very little energy to pursue other goals.
        Life is too short to waste, so take the time now to turn your blog into a business.
        I did!

        1. Andy, thanks for continued encouragement. Dwelling in the unknown is such a struggle for me!

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