The Job Search Blues (or How Searching for Jobs has Brought out My Inner 16 Year Old)

Searching for jobs has made me feel all kinds of inadequate. Honestly, I haven’t felt this kind of inadequacy since high school.

I had a phone interview on Friday with a library that I REALLY want to work at. I was thrilled when I found out about the interview. I planned and planned for a variety of questions I thought they might ask.

After the call, I felt…okay. I was able to answer some of the questions well, but a lot of the questions assumed a level of experience that I just didn’t possess. They asked about specific  programs I’d put on…and I’ve never done any programs by myself at a library. I haven’t had the opportunity yet! I was hoping they’d ask me more questions where I could try to sell myself. I got to talk about why I wanted to work there, but they didn’t really ask me about myself much at all. They told me they’d call on Monday if they wanted me to fly out for a second interview.

All weekend and all day yesterday, I kept it in the back of my mind but I tried not to get my hopes up. I kept thinking of reasons why the job wasn’t ideal… They’d need me to start sooner than I was really prepared to, and it’s a children’s librarian position and though I love working with kids, I’d really prefer a teen librarian position.

I sneakily checked my phone  compulsively when I was in class last night. I kind of knew that I wouldn’t be getting a call and when my suspicions were confirmed by the end of the day, I started getting upset. I just wanted to come home, hug my boyfriend, and listen to sad, angry music and have myself a little pity party.

I’m turning 26 in 2 days, but I’m feeling like I’m 16 again.

I can’t stop comparing myself to my friends and my classmates, but now it’s less about looks and body image (although that’s always a concern) and instead I look at someone and think of all the ways they could one-up me job-wise. Instead of fretting over how to make myself more desirable to boys, I’m worrying about how to make myself more attractive to potential employers, and I’m ready to pounce on the first one that shows any interest in me.

I’ve been questioning every school/job choice I’ve ever made. Why didn’t I try harder to find some part-time job that would have given me better experience? Why didn’t I get a second job sooner? Why did I pick such an expensive school? And such an expensive, lengthy program? What else can I do to make myself more worthy?

And just as I did with boys in high school, I find my standards getting lower and lower. I guess I’ll apply for that job that pays next to nothing. Crappy location? I can deal. Maybe the competition will be less fierce. I’m scouring the job listings for things that require minimal experience. Bachelor’s degree preferred? Well, by May I’ll have two Master’s degrees so at last I fit that requirement!

And my thoughts and worries keep snowballing. If I don’t find a good job, I’ll be paying off my student loans for a hundred years. And then we won’t be able to afford to get married. And we’ll never afford to buy a house. And we’re going to be in debt forever and ever.

I’m sorry to be such a Debbie Downer but I just hate feeling this way. Before last week, the job search was kind of fun and exciting. I felt like I had plenty of time and the fact that I could go anywhere was scary, but a bit thrilling. But after that interview, things finally started to feel real. Real and scary minus the thrilling bit. I feel desperate, and it’s an awful feeling.

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5 Responses to The Job Search Blues (or How Searching for Jobs has Brought out My Inner 16 Year Old)

  1. maria says:

    aww i know, and ive been there tooo…but i must say i wish i enjoyed my time off more, because working is not all its cracked up to be 🙂 good luck on your search!

  2. suzymarie56 says:

    This post totally covers the way I’m feeling at the moment! It’s so frustrating isn’t it! It’s like having a crush at school where you’re checking your phone every five minutes, wondering if it’s broken because they haven’t called. I’m now seven months into unemployment and it’s driving me mad! We’ll get there though, our brains will be appreciated at some point! I am just trying to do as Maria said and enjoy being free 🙂

  3. katherine says:

    it’s not easy for anyone – definitely – and you are not alone at all. really, you just have to keep trying, and you may have to take the not most amazing job, but you also may stumble upon something great. just keep trying and don’t let them know you are down! i got really down job searching too, but it did work out, as i am sure it will for you!

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