How demoralizing can job hunts get?

I don’t know where everyone’s breaking point is, and I imagine that they are all a little different. Mine was ten months, and waking up early every morning to run to my phone to see if the job half-way around the world had finally gotten back to me while I slept.

They hadn’t. It was now two weeks since they apologized and promised to get back to you soon, fifteen days since your last follow up email, a month and change since you got back to them with the homework they had given you, and about two months since the interview itself. It was time to archive the email and put the hope aside. They might still get back to me, but waking up every morning at four to see if the email is in will get the better of you. Time to put it aside, for your own mental health.

But I hadn’t only applied for that job. That was merely the last job that you felt something about. The one that gave you enthusiasm and actually made you feel like you could do this job and that you wanted to do it. Everything else has mostly felt like pleading – “give me a chance to try this and I promise I will work super hard to do whatever the fuck it is that you want.”

In the meantime your savings keep dwindling. And so does your enthusiasm. You’ve pretty much exhausted the help of whatever competent friends you had. Now you are getting pretty desperte, and everyone is joining the fun of telling you all the shitty jobs you could do.

You hold it in when someone recommends to you a job as a cheesemonger at half of what you are making now. Mind you, the job caps off at half of what you currently make. The starting wage is four dollars less than that. I am sure there is great growth potential in that field.

It’s the fucking hunger games out there. I’ve not done the math, but i would guess that the rate of return on jobs applied for vs jobs that you here back from is 100:1. You’ll get a phone interview to that. Pass that, you might get called in to another interview.

I have had one. One actual interview in a ten months time. But another friend is also looking for a job, and I get to hear her war stories. Pass the phone interview and you get some homework to do, a reduced version of the unpaid internship. Do that as well as you can and you move on to a group interview, where you will have to sit next to two other people greatly more qualified than you are. You watch them take the job and feel pathetic.

People tell you to apply for jobs you are not even remotely qualified for, and you do it because it feels rude to your friend not to. It also feels like you are failing them when you don’t get the job. You wonder how pathetic you must be to them. And then you learn how bad it is. You get an email with a job link on indeed, then text message saying something along the lines of “I thought you’d be a good fit”. You look at the job description and it has no qualifications o speak of, but mostly abstract qualities that everyone thinks they have. But nothing like ‘x years doing x job’ that should be in every job post. Follow this other link to apply for the job, and on that site your skept-o-meter goes nuts. Yea, its a MLM scam.

That’s what your friends think you are qualified for.

So maybe I should be a cheesemonger.

Or maybe I’ll just be an English teacher for life.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Well, coming out of engineering school, the rate was somewhere between 80 and over 200 applications to get the hire. I’m talking motivated as shit, down to business, highly capable individuals. The amount of time it takes to get there is directly proportional to the total number of applications sent. Just the way it is, even when there are apparently more jobs than willing bodies to do them. I have been through a fair number of jobs in my time, never fired, but sure got sick of a lot of them. I can count on one hand how many I truly enjoyed. Come down to it, the worst part of every crap job I’ve quit has been the people and the hardest part of leaving the good jobs was leaving the awesome people. All your observations ring true. Get ignored, get scammed, get interviewed, get shoved through the intake, get treated like a sucker when you finally get there… ask me why I 1099 ! My only issue is trying to make enough time for the work I enjoy doing for the awesome folks I serve.


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