Being Unemployed

The first couple weeks, it wasn’t bad. It felt like a mini vacation after years of hard work. I had finished my degree, moved back home, and started working the day I got back at my new job.

Unfortunately, my employer was paying me through cash below minimum wage. Worse, the employer was openly homophobic and racist. I lasted 3 months before I quit for my own sanity.

Those first couple weeks were a necessary break after 2 straight years of schooling and working. I was applying to jobs that I would enjoy, leisurely looking through job boards to find a fit for me. I mean, I was a great candidate! I graduated at a top institution, with a great degree and good GPA!

The vacation vibe quickly wore off, as after three weeks of applying to over forty jobs, I had yet to receive an interview. All that self-esteem I garnered through my college career gradually eroded away as the prospect of finding a full-time position with decent pay seemed less and less likely to occur.

I then signed up with a temp agency, hoping to be able to get at least a temporary job while still applying for a full-time position. The first temp agency was a bust. After interviewing with them, I excitedly received a job interview for a position at a property management firm. However, much to my surprise and amusement, the job that I applied for was not the job that I went in to interview for. That was a bust.

I called another temp agency that had a better reputation. After a similar interview process, I again received a job interview at a small business. I was one of the last two candidates, but they decided to go with the other person.

Now I am applying for any job that is available. At this point, after being unemployed for almost two months, I have racked up over one hundred job applications, redone my resume at least ten times, have cover letters for over 15 different types of positions, and yet, I live in unemployment.

I think when I was younger, I thought it was so easy to get a job. But being unemployed is like not being picked for dodgeball, over and over again, until you eventually don’t want to play anymore. Being unemployed is like living in a Joseph Heller novel, that you can’t get a job without experience but you can’t get experience without a job. And throughout that catch-22, the things that lower are your expectations and your confidence, along with your motivation.

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