I have been looking for a full-time job since April.
I have applied to roughly two jobs a day in three different states and two countries. I have written three different resumes and dozens of cover letters. I have been in the work force for more than a decade with seven years of management experience, I have a Masters degree, I am a published author. I am trying to find a job in Writing or Social Media. My degrees are in English, Literature and Writing and I have eight years of Social Media Management experience.
I cannot get a job in the fields I’m applying for. Instead, I am working part-time retail and continuing to apply for positions in the careers I’m interested in.
I have done Zoom seminars and meetings, interview preps and resume workshops. I have been told my resume needs zero to little work, I have been told I come across well virtually. I have been told to keep going, I have been told it will happen. These are all statements I can deal with, all statements that are true. What I cannot accept is when someone tells me: “I know, I’ve been there.”
Unless you’re more than 100 years old and were looking for work during the Spanish Flu Pandemic, you do not understand what applying for a new job, a career-changing job is like right now.
And that’s okay.
The fact is that even seasoned HR professionals, even people with decades of professional experience, people who were applying for jobs in the early 2000’s and then again about seven years later — do not know what it’s like right now.
This makes the situation more scary, I know. Believe me, I know. I have leaned on my siblings, my relatives, my seasoned career-hopping friends, for years. I have asked them to look over my resume, cover letters, I have asked them to put in a good word for me. But now, whose advice really matters, who really knows what to do?
I can’t answer that question. I can’t say what the future holds. What I can say is that every day I get up and I try again, it’s exhausting. Tomorrow, I will do it all over again. And that’s exhausting.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay because it’s the best I can do right now. It’s okay because this has been a really hard year with a few scattered and fortunate moments of wonderful. But this year, a year that will live in infamy, is my year to survive, not thrive. It has become my motto of 2020.
It’s scary to admit that our parents, our mentors, our teachers and professors, have not lived anything like this before. It’s scary to accept that the people you always leaned on for answers don’t necessarily have them right now. But it is necessary to accept that these times are beyond what has been lived in by the generations that are around us now. We need to depend on ourselves and each other to get through this.
When this is over, we will all be a little different, and we rightfully should be.
As we face further shutdowns, hiring freezes and the holidays, the anxiety is heightening. Now, I am hearing something new: keep going, just know it won’t happen till early 2021 — probably.
Insert eye-roll emoji.
I’m sorry to say that there is no happy ending to this article. I am still trucking away, battling depression and walking the thin line of hope and realism.
I’m not looking for pity, I’m looking to spread some awareness; for people to take a second and be considerate of what others are going through. It has been a long year, we all have felt it.
This essay is me trying to help people remember that these are not normal times, not normal circumstances. Be easier on one another than you once were. Be easier on yourself than you’ve ever been. Send messages of love and support, check in on one another. Furthermore, if you need help: ask for it.
Asking for help is more than okay, it’s a strength to know your vulnerabilities and when it all becomes a little too much.
We are all struggling and we are all in this together, even if we feel very much alone.