No, Really…How are you doing?
If the answer to this question is fine, stop. Eject that thought and put in a new one. Are you really fine, because what I am going to tell you is that it is okay, not to be.
In my now 9 plus months of unemployment with an unheard of 900+ applications in 2021, I have taken some classes through my local employment security department and they are fantastic. The two women that run these courses are empathetic and smart. They have been where I am now and the other participants in the class support each other through the chatbox. Through these classes, I have learned to say that I’m not fine and I hope that what I am about to share with you allows you to say that too if that’s the case.
I want to state for the record that I am not trying to be a downer. I am a very positive person but I have been searching for employment for a long time now and I don’t understand why I have not been hired. I know I am older but I am not dead. I know I would command a larger salary but I am not outside most of the ranges that I am seeing for the roles I am applying to. If I don’t know the range, then I ask for it. If the company doesn’t share that information, then I probably don’t want to work there anyway.
So is it my interviewing skills? It might be that, but I have had friends interview me and coach me through what they see as areas of improvement. I am open to mixing it up. I actually love to interview. It provides me with a platform to show how passionate I am about what I do. The fact is, I am getting interviews and I am making it to the 2nd round with some companies. Then, poof, they are gone. I ask for feedback knowing that I probably won’t hear anything, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
Is it my resume? I don’t think so. I have recruiter friends that have looked it over with a fine-tooth comb and they just remind me to change keywords and phrases to match the job description in the advertisement. I do all of these things so I feel that my resume is pretty good. I refuse to pay someone to write me one. I don’t have the extra cash lying around anyway.
How about the number of people applying for each job I am? Yes, this could be it. For one recent position, there were over 700 applicants. Is that real? Are that many people job hunting when the media says that unemployment is reducing? 700 people, that’s crazy! If I am 701, will my resume even get looked at? Will I get a shot at the job that matches my skillset over these other people? How do you possibly stand out in that type of crowd? I apply anyway and hope that my application magically slips through the cracks and lands on the hiring manager’s desk. So, I’m not fine. I’m frustrated. I want to work. I want to be a productive member of society again. I would like to be able to pay my bills. I would really like to stop borrowing money from family and move into a new place of my own. I made this change to pivot out of a toxic environment and I’m having a heck of a time making it happen.
I am surviving though, barely. I am honestly hopeful. I know my job is coming. It’s almost here. I have put in the work. This class I took was about mental health. In job-hunting, you are on the computer all day, every day, looking at jobs, updating your resume and cover letter, and applying with the information that is on that resume. It takes time to go through an application so imagine how long it took to do over 900. The class teaches to take breaks. I have really tried to do this on the weekend and get out of the house to do something fun. Or even just walk around the block or get a coffee from your favorite barista. I know you will say to me, “I might miss something!” Yes, you might but isn’t your mental health more important? I believe it is.
Whatever your higher power is, please use it to pray. I ask for your prayers for me, but also for all of the rest of you that are telling yourselves that you are “fine” while you are job hunting. I want you to find work too.
Maybe when I get my new job, I can hire you. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
Keep up the good work, it will come!