I’m the queen of goofing off. Seriously. I can spend hours happily doing not much of anything – or at least not much of anything anyone else would consider anything. So a day off for me is one of my absolutely most favorite things in the whole world.
But when you’re not working, the sweetness of days off begins to wear thin really fast. And as any of us who has been there and done that knows, it also begins to eat at your spirit.
Recently I got a comment from Ms. Tere, who is out of work and waiting to hear back about a job interview. It’s been over 3 months since her first interview; and while the process still seems active and she seems to be a viable candidate for the job, she has nothing concrete to show for it. And there’s nothing more she can do to speed things along. Understandably, Ms. Tere is in agony.
Oh…she’s been doing all the right things, including thank-you notes and occasional polite interview follow-ups. And she’s been great about keeping busy and trying to make the best use of her time – and not just sitting still and staring at that proverbial pot of water that never seems to boil.
In her own words (the first interview was in January):
I’ve exhausted the thank you e-mails and follow ups. They’ve checked my references and liked what they heard…It is now May. Most days of the week I’m too busy (volunteering) to think about it, but on the weekends I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bug me. Everyone I talk to says to keep up the good work, that I’m doing the right thing by keeping so busy, and to not lose hope.
But as well as she’s handling things, it’s still hard for Ms. Tere (or anyone) not to just up and lose it sometimes. And she goes on to tell me she does:
There are so many things I would love to do and cannot do because I don’t have a salary anymore. That’s the most depressing part to me. I try to not let it get to me, but it’s still there, of course.
No matter how great you are about taking things day by day and keeping hope alive in your heart, you can only go so long without at least some creeping sense of sadness starting to take root – especially when money is getting tight. It’s hard to see an end in sight when that all-powerful e-mail or phone call with a job offer never seems to come.
“What if I never get a job again?”
Let’s face it. Thoughts like that can pop up for even the most resilient of us.
So for all of you out there stuck in this excruciating limbo – having been there myself many times – I just want you to know a job will come. Please know that and believe it. A job will come. It may not be your dream job. You might have to open up to new directions. It may not pay what you were hoping – or even close. And it may be less hours than you would wish. Or it may even just be temp work. Then again, it could also be everything you ever wanted – even in this economy. Just know it will come.
Even in bad economic times, jobs happen. In March 2009, we lost over 5 million jobs. Of course, that’s awful and the turnaround can’t come soon enough. But over 4 million jobs were also created or refilled. And you only need ONE of them!
So please have faith that your job is coming. It may simply be taking an extra long detour.
Whatever you do, keep looking. Even if you just had the best interview with a job you really want…keep looking. The energy you put into that not only helps keep you sane, but it shows in interviews and may result in attracting an interesting opportunity in the process.
And to help things along, don’t be afraid to open yourself up to new possibilities that in better times might not even enter your mind. While waiting for my “real” job, I’ve done temp reception work even though I already had an MBA. And one of those times, I got offered a job at a very good salary by the same person who was paying me $10/hour to be his temp receptionist. (See posts below for more on this.)
You never know what fate brings you when you go off the planned path. Straws of opportunity are around us all the time. Our job is to to spot them and turn them into gold! (Or at least into something that helps us until we can get to the actual gold. )
For some tips on spinning that gold:
To help kick your job hunt into full gear:
To read the original post with Ms. Tere’s May 7, 2009 comment:
And for all under-appreciated folks out there: