Job Hunting Should be Illegal

Another day, another interview, and more personal questions about what the heck am I thinking? I just got laid off work a month ago, worked for that Canadian national police force that is famous because of their red clothes, poured my heart and soul into my career aspirations only to have to let them go…and now I am thinking of going back?

Yup, because I don’t like this feeling of non-work, even though I took a temp job to keep focused and start a technical writing course tomorrow at BCIT, I still took the day off and spent money and time preparing a presentation to get yet ANOTHER contract job with said clothing police. It is about an 80/20 split today whether I will take the job (80% being NO). The 20% is the fear inside that I can’t succeed in this brutal job market no matter what experience, education and enthusiasm I have. I have done all the right things. I took out tons of books from the library about job hunting, resume and letter writing, winning that interview, and changing your life. I did the flower exercises in What Color Is Your Parachute? (great book, I guess I should read it again at this low point). Admittedly, I have been preparing myself for this very unemployed feeling since back in October 2005 when I knew it would happen, but I really don’t like this. The job world is cruel, unforgiving, and cold. Even when you think you have nailed it (and they even offer you a job) the rug can still be ripped from under your knees where you kneel awaiting the magic words, you’re hired!

And wrapped up in all these inundating waves where one minute you are confident that you can do almost anything, then the crashing, jolting, searing bolt of self doubt hits, and you start to panic about being an old lady with no money, shriveled, cold, hungry, no RRSPs, no social security, no equity, no kids to complain about you. The evil, self serving thoughts start creeping in about how you would kill (yourself, no I am not a psychopath). Would it be pills and booze? What about poison? Or driving off a cliff like Thelma and Louise? These thoughts pierce your wandering thoughts every day in panic and as a self fulfilling prophecy because you question whether it was worth getting your degree and then whether it was worth believing you can make a difference to people’s lives. And then you get that chance and things are great for a while, but that cruel union/city non-employee, temporary casual, part time existence (like pond scum) suffocates your every move and you have to bend to the end. Here I am, at the end and the beginning trying not to drink too much and trying not to give up, and maybe not take that damn job that I don’t really want but it feels safe….what if I don’t ever find a job again? All these years of preservation and thinking that it is all for something? Shit, and the antidepressants aren’t working as well as they used to. That is why job hunting should be illegal.

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