After 167 job applications, 39 recruiter interviews, 11 hiring manager interviews, 3 times I did a panel interview, and two offers, but the offer ghosted me, I reached the 1 accepted job offer.
I started back in April, and it has been a horrendous search, with several times when I simply just wanted to give up. I knew the job market was tough since I could see all the social media postings on how some individuals have been looking for months and some even years. I was scared because I have a family to take care of, and if I did not find a job soon, I would be one more homeless statistic.
I have to tell you that some of the employers wanted me to jump through hoops, and sometimes I had to complete tasks for them just to show them that I can do what I say I can. Most of the recruiters were kind, but many ghosted me, without such an email. Now, some other recruiters stated that they were going through thousands of applicants and to attempt to email them all was impossible, so I had to understand, which I did. The thing is as the reserve money I had started to dry up, I was getting nervous. Now, I know that I was one of the lucky ones since I had a reserve, and I know many families out there do not have reserves, and many have been devasted by this massive layoff at the end of last year and the beginning of this year. So, I count my blessing, or whatever you want to call it, the thing is that I have never been out of a job since I was a kid, I mean a kid.
I started delivering papers when I was 8 years old, all the way through until I was 15 1/2, then I got a job at a restaurant, and since then I have never been out of a job, until this year. April, May, June, and part of July I have been out of work, let me just say, it is not a good feeling. It could tear into a man’s soul. Ok, wait I am not saying women might go through this differently, all I am saying is what it did to me. I felt useless, not worthy, and I did go into some dark moments.
The good thing that came out of my layoff is that I was able to focus completely on finishing my Master’s, which I did, so that accomplishment was a needed occurrence at such a time. But trust me, even with finishing my degree, there were times I just wanted to give up. There were many nights when I could not sleep, and in many cases, I broke into a sob. Yes, during the day I had to pretend to be ok, so no one would worry, and putting on a happy face was not always easy.
The sort of good news is that I finally found a job and started work again, as a contractor. The sad thing is that I took an extreme pay cut, 50k a year, and I am getting no benefits. I have to tell you, that makes a huge difference. You see before I was able to put away more for retirement, put away some reserve, and buy a few nice things here and there, but now, I have none of those options, and I am barely squeaking through each paycheck. If I did get laid off again, I would not have any reserves and that is what worries me. On top of that, my family and I will be penalized for not having health insurance for those months I was out of work. I have to get insurance outside and let me tell you, even with the government help, it is costly – very costly.
Now, after nearly four months of job searching, I found a paying job, not what I wanted but it is paying. I am still looking for a permanent job, but now I get to do it with a little bit of room to breathe. There are still nights when I cannot sleep, and find myself sobbing uncontrollably, but somehow, I find the strength to wake up each morning and push ahead.
I appreciate you stopping by to read, and as always, I try and leave you with a thought, “If you find yourself out of a job, don’t fret, it is ok to feel sad, angry, and down, but this may be hard to believe, and I know I struggled with these words, but remember you have been through a lot and come out on top, this is no different. Everything will be ok”.