Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Unemployment Diaries- Take 1

Since my brutal removal from the world of work I’ve wondered how others are handling the same situation but a search of blogs turned up little or no personal exploration of this undesired status. There were plenty of mentions of not working or being out of work but no focus on how it actually feels or the personal impact. I have no such compunction and am more than willing to whine to strangers about almost anything. Is it still too much of a stigma? How can that be after national unemployment rates hit an all time high and the current unemployment rates in 10 states still hovers above 10%? Or is it simply not interesting to most people OR they’re afraid that reading about it could possibly rub off on them and soon they too will be unemployed? I'm sorry but there are too many of us out there for it not to be interesting!
I don’t have any answers (do I ever?) but I am going to start posting a bit more about my situation and see if there are any likeminded creatures out there. Don’t be shy- now is not the time to lurk! And if you comment anonymously you can say really bad things about former bosses and colleagues.
I have not begun my job search yet but do feel that after 15 years’ experience I want to stay in my field. And don't get righteous with me on that one; I've been in clothing sales, manufacturing, got a master's degree, worked in libraries, implemented library systems, designed scientific databases, and done research in the biotech industry. I've been flexible, OK? I've been open and explored new fields but for God's sake I'm tired and I want to stay with one thing for a nice long while. At least until said field proves barren at which time I will certainly be open to another new career.

Unfortunately, it is the perception of many that you should be in a state of utter terror at being unemployed and should gratefully jump at each and every opportunity that presents itself. Last week I had an interview for a job in a completely unrelated industry. I felt obligated to go because it was set up by one of my former bosses who is on the board. I went and was charming, full of questions- my usual great interviewee self (there are some perks to being laid off 3 times and having changed careers 8 times). It would have been a 100% effort on my part except that I could not enthuse about how much I have always wanted to work in this industry etc. I even admitted that I had not yet begun my job search and had not given much thought to working in their industry. So I was at about 85% enthusiasm but, at least for now, I have to be true to myself. The desperate whoring of my soul for even an interview will come 6 months from now.
All seemed to go well and I arrived to home to admit to DH that it could be interesting but I simply was not sure I was a) ready to head back to the workplace fulltime right away and b) head off again into the great unknown of a new career. No worries. I got two very kind emails from the people I interviewed with saying they enjoyed talking with me but that they were going to be continuing the process with other candidates.

Fine right? No. I’m a little depressed. Oh, I know why. It is the dumpee vs. dumper syndrome. No guy looks so good to you as the one who broke up with you before you could break up with him. I recognize this but it still hurts and my mind is now filled with the belief that this was indeed the perfect workplace for me, the only interview I’ll ever get, with perfect pay and perfect benefits, and cute fun co-workers who would become good friends (see things I miss). Why does that happen? And why is it followed so quickly by the overwhelming feeling that I need to buy something? That I’m so sad only a material item will make things better? sigh


sascedar said...

love your honesty here, I'm intrigued to find out how things are going now!

Catherine said...

@Sascedar- I wish I could say better but my latest post on the subject was Thursday: http://inside-outpdx.blogspot.com/2011/07/unemployment-diaries-to-everything.html. Nothing positive I'm afraid.

MultipleMum said...

You hear so much about the dreadful levels of unemployment in the US but I haven't read anything so personal before now. Best of luck getting a job! Thanks for Rewinding x

life without mathematics said...

Rewinding the weekend. Finding a job, finding a partner. It's a good comparison. There is a bit of mutual wooing, and we do attach a bit of ourselves to every one we start to hope for. Search well!

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