My mom was introducing me to someone at the fair as I approached her. The woman said “is this the one that’s a pharmacist, or?” I said, “housewife,” and extended my hand, offering nothing further than a smile.
I am 26, personable, articulate, poised and jobless. It’s a travesty. I could have told the woman I’m in between jobs, but this is who I am now…
I started my job search on New Year’s Day. I did not receive any calls about the applications I had submitted at the beginning of the year–19 in total– and I barely received any rejection emails. As articulate and thorough as I think I am, my resumes have proven to be pieces of crap. Is it my work experience? Is it my poor ability to sell myself because of growing up in church where all I was supposed to boast in was The Cross (Galations 6:14)? Every time I update my resume, I think the last one was terrible and it’s no wonder I didn’t get a response, so I’m not sure if it at any point has been good enough. I have been to two resume workshops and I still don’t know.
I had actually been angry when Spencer decided to join the Army because I knew my career would have to be secondary. My career is secondary, but so are the pressures of paying my own bills. I actually looked forward to my initial months off so that I could focus on learning to take care of my home, and it was a great experience. I honestly love being a housewife, but at this age, the only reason I should be home is with a child. Some people suggest I go ahead and have a child to justify staying home, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to end up on welfare, you know? So I’ll have to get a job and make some money first.
Things haven’t been completely dry. One day in March I answered a call from a lawncare chain that found my resume online. I visited the business for an interview the next day and silently commiserated with other desperate-looking people as I waited for a man with a lazy eye to summons me into his office.
I breezed through the interview. What was challenging was that there was a toolbox under the chair and between my feet, and I was having an internal debate about which was his good eye. Nonetheless I was offered a second interview. I didn’t know what position I was interviewing for prior to my arrival and the job turned out to be door to door sales from 11-7 pm and 9-3 pm on Saturdays. Me and my college degree felt we could do better; I declined.
That same day I received a similar call from an insurance company. I attended a “briefing” in a room with a big table and leather chairs. The fancy PowerPoint enabled me to see myself being successful there so I decided to pursue the opportunity.
I “participated in the job” for three months. I won’t say I performed it because I
was mostly unsuccessful in all my efforts. I truly believe Divine Intervention had something to do with it. In the whole 3 months, I likely made around $1000, which means I basically recouped all my costs and walked away with my experiences. I learned that being more professional or more intelligent doesn’t necessarily translate to success, which also means a person doesn’t have to be the smartest or most articulate to be successful. I have to pursue jobs that share my values. I also learned what it feels like when it’s time to walk away.
Now for over a month I have been back on the job market/couch. Let me be candid and say I have no faith in being able to find a good, conventional job here I don’t know if I believe very many good opportunities exist for Army wives in this town. It is hard to know how to approach this situation. Should I just take any job that fits our schedule and pays more than $10 an hour, or should I keep trying to find the next rung of my career?
I don’t really want any of the jobs I see, and frankly don’t see myself being in a traditional position anymore. I have come to realize that working from home would work best for me. I want to be flexible to Spencer’s schedule and make sure my work schedule doesn’t interfere with our family. For example, after being gone 17 days, Spencer comes home and says he is off work for 4 days! How sad would it be if I had to pull shifts at Popeye’s each day while he’s home knowing he will very shortly be leaving again for 3 months?
I’m not the only one who feels this way. I saw a friend yesterday and asked if she was looking for a job. She said “this sounds bad– you’ll understand– my husband is off for 19 days in December,” so she’s waiting until after that to find a job. Being with her husband during that time is more valuable than 3 months of salary, (assuming they can still pay their bills).
So the fact that I don’t want to go to work, can’t find interesting jobs, and have no faith in getting an interview if I did want to really kills motivation. How much can I be lacking in the job requirements and still apply? I should just apply haphazardly, you say? Well history teaches me that my tedious application is going into a black hole as soon as I hit submit, so I really don’t want to do that either.
I don’t have a job, I don’t have an income, I don’t have a new designer purse for this year, but I am very content. I have stopped wanting the
bag/shoes/clarisonicbrush. I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to pursue interests in the meantime; ie: this blog. I will have a job when God wants me to have one. I believe that, and I know I have to do my part and actually look. I’m giving glassdoor.com a rest and perusing sites like powertofly.com and Rat Race Rebellion for opportunities from home. I mean, I’ve also had zero success there but I’m not disenchanted yet. I do have some other ideas for what I can do to supplement my income and network in the meantime. Also, I have signed up to volunteer with Red Cross!
To my fellow unemployed people waking up to the indeed.com app every morning and a vanishing bank account balance, stay strong and be creative. Joblessness seems endless, but even if the odds are completely against us, we should find a job eventually.
May the odds be ever in your favor…