I Stumble, I Get Back Up

22 Jul

There are two things that you must believe when conducting a job search. 1) That you are as brilliant and capable as you profess on your applications and 2) that ultimately, your job hunt will end—your stasis carries with it an expiration date.  These are your steadfast truths, and they keep you from spiraling into insanity. However, at one point they will waver, and if you lose belief in one, your conviction in the other will fail as well.

This week, I declared myself a failure. Granted, perhaps I should take heart in the fact that it took me 25 weeks to get to this point, as opposed to six or 17; maybe I lasted longer than the average post-grad unemployed bear.  For the first time, I had the thought, “But what if I can’t get a job?  What if I don’t?”  My What-If Gremlin has always plagued me with questions like, “What if I don’t get this job?” but never “What if I turn out to be a total loser who doesn’t live up to everyone’s expectations?”

Then the What-Ifs really started to flow.  “What if I don’t get hired because I am under-qualified?  What if, after all this time and all this effort, I still don’t know how to apply to jobs?” Now I was walking down Self-Doubt Drive, and unless I made a turn at Get Your Shit Together Blvd., I was heading toward Self-Hate Street and Pity Party Parkway.

Once you’ve given up, it’s difficult to motivate yourself again.  You’re tired of the whole process: writing cover letters, tweaking resumes, networking, cold calling, online applications, the whole caboodle.  All your efforts result in nothing; you are piece of paper withering one someone’s desk, or an email spamming up a manager’s inbox.  A broken dishwasher gets treated with more urgency than you.  Well let’s be real, who likes the raisin hands that comes from handwashing dishes?  Maybe that’s a bad example.

What has helped me regain a lot of my steam is my ever-increasing desire to pursue the field of education reform. I want to do good.  I want to help so badly! My two literacy students, both of whom are 25, have told me such terrible things about their educational experiences.  Janella had a teacher who told her that her special education diploma was worthless.  Olivia had a teacher tell a vocational class that none of them had any chance of becoming doctors or lawyers, so they’d better pay attention and learn these skills if they wanted any success in life.  If that isn’t enough to get anyone pissed, they’re both high school graduates, but since they were Florida ESE students (Exceptional Student Education), their diplomas were actually worthless (mean bitch was right).  They can’t complete their goals and further their education without a GED, which means that much of their high school experience was a waste.  (That’s disregarding my suspicion that they were placed in ESE simply because they exhibited trouble reading, and not because they’re legitimately disabled.) All together now: WTF?

Thinking about my students, and the education system at large, is what inspires me to keep on keepin’ on.  I can’t just be a bystander when so many children are entering and exiting a system that is in shambles, even if I am having moments of self-doubt.  Whether I believe in myself or not, my resume indicates that I have the capacity to do things besides whine and complain. Yes, I do live in fear that it will take a long time for me to get a job in this field, so long that we could be calling Sarah Palin “Ms. President” instead of “Douchenozzle Supreme.”  (Be cool God, don’t let this happen, and we won’t invent anymore sandwiches that use meat as bread.)  But no matter how long it takes, it’ll take even longer for Janella and Olivia to become a nurse and a teacher, and the wait will ultimately be worth it if it means I can help affect significant change.

The moral is this: find your passion.  Let that be your truth, your principle, and don’t let go of it.  This crazy roller coaster to employment will get vomitously bumpy, and you will cry and question all that you knew about yourself.  Confidence can be shattered like glass, but passion is the hot sexy sports car that will drive you to the best places in life.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: