I’ve been unemployed for almost five weeks now. As I have mentioned, it’s been quite the reckoning of emotions. I haven’t told too many people about my unemployment status simply because I don’t really have that many personal relationships. Since this draft has been staring me down and I’m feeling a bit discontented at the moment, I thought I’d release some of that energy in a post about some of the lackluster advice I’ve received in my journey for a new job.
#1 Everything Happens For a Reason.
This is everyone’s fave for just about anything. I find it not comforting in the least and wholly untrue. What people are trying to say is that there’s some cosmic reason things “happen” and ultimately it works out for your good. First of all, this advice is largely thought to be biblically based. But it’s not. There is a verse in the Bible that says ‘all things work together for the good of those who love Him’ (Rom 8:28) but there’s a caveat that you’re supposed to be doing what God called you to do. Am I doing that? Is anyone ever when dumb stuff happens and this phrase is flung out in consolation?
I kind of went on an apology tour this year of people I lost touch with and have been doing a little bit more of that trying to re-establish connections for job leads. That’s one of the things I did not like about my last job. I was constantly apologizing for things I didn’t really care to apologize for. This is the nature of customer service. This bled into my personal life and felt like social media and the ratchet reality-TV shows I watch are all fans of the apology.
Honestly, at this point in my life, apologies don’t mean much to me. If whatever you did was truly bad, an apology doesn’t really help. At least it doesn’t help me. Unless the apology was an acknowledgement of a small mistake or slight (e.g. stepping on my physical toes, not looking where you’re going and running into me), it really isn’t going to make a difference. Reconnecting with old associates via an apology has proven to be unfruitful both socially and professionally and as another pithy saying goes… leave well enough alone.
#3 You don’t know unless you try.
Um, well actually I do know. This FOMO culture and people deciding they need to make their own mistakes is so counterintuitive to me. After 35 years of living and observing human behavior, having parents, older people around, you know and can know lots of things before you try them.
With my recent obsession with applying to jobs, a co-worker and much of the internet are big fans of following up with recruiters. I’m pretty sure if a recruiter ghosts you, you didn’t get the job. If you don’t send a follow-up email after a screen/ interview, that’s not the reason you didn’t get the job. So I do know that without trying.
I say that, but I also just applied to almost 80 jobs in 2 months; 80 of which I’m apparently not qualified for. So, I probably did know that before I tried. But what’s an unemployed single girl to do!
Here are more things I now know:
– Unlikely to get an interview with a large company without an internal referral.
– Unlikely to get an interview unless the small company I’ve chosen is desperate or so much of a start-up they’re just not getting many applications.
– Unlikely to get an interview if no one involved in the recruiting process is a non-white-man.
– Unlikely to get an offer if the hiring manger doesn’t look like me.
– No need to check email for callbacks if it’s not a Tuesday.
– Unlikely to move forward in the process unless my old job title matches the new job title even if the skillset is the same.
#4 Just move to a new city and find a job.
Two of my old associates actually told me this. We’re in our mid-30s. We have professional jobs. First, if I wanted to do any sort of clinical practice in another state, I would need to sit for an exam to get licensed in that state. That would require procuring some sort of study materials, reading said study material, registering for said exam and completing whatever requirements they say. Why would I do that?
Also, all the job applications are online. Why does it matter what state I am in when I complete them?
One of my aunts recently said ‘why don’t you just move to Maryland and get a job at CVS. Those employees always look so happy!’ Quoi?! My old workplace was a graveyard of ex-CVS employees. She was another one who seemed put off that I wouldn’t move to Maryland without a job first.
Say I didn’t do patient care (which I don’t), and continued my search in industry. I would need to make sure there were a good number of companies that offered my job in that city/state. I’m already in said city/state. There’s only one other hub I can think of for my line of work and that’s basically the state of New Jersey. Who wants to live in New Jersey?
This is why I don’t have friends, I affirm for myself. Followed by I wish I had someone to pal around with these days to at least get me out of the house. And get my mind off my inbox.
However what I really need are some older people with real applicable life advice with known outcomes. Otherwise I am my own peer. If I wanted to make choices with unknown outcomes, I don’t need advice as I’m already doing that.
I’ll leave you with this. After adolescence, befriend people who are a few years or a few stages of life ahead of you to provide you some direction.