Jobhunting: The Endless Cycle of Hopelessness

21 Feb

Those of you who have been paying at least a modicum of attention are aware that I’m currently in the market for a job. And by aware I mean that you follow me on twitter and have been watching my tweets get steadily more and more whiny over the last month. That or you haven’t seen me posting a blog in all-caps emblazoned with the words ‘OMG I GOTS A JOB BEEETCHES! WOOOOO!’

It’s sad but true; I’m one of millions of other Americans in the ‘Post- college got a degree but have next to no useful work skills’ rock and hard place position. In the last month alone, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Jobhunt is an endless cycle that goes around and around, feeding off the rise and fall of the huntee’s hope and disappointment.

So here it begins:

Stage 1: Starting Point
‘I really need a job!’

I consider this the ‘unpleasant realization stage’, the point where you, say, look at your bank account and try to decide which is more important this month, eating or putting gas in your car.

Stage 2: Hunting
‘Scour internet and local businesses for viable jobs’

The definition of ‘viable job’ changes with every rotation of the cycle. The first round of the cycle most folk are picky, opting only for the most quality opportunities for employment. After a few times around the merry-go-round, however, even jobs like inbound telemarketing or dogsitting start to sound appealing.

Stage 3: Applying
‘Fill out a billion applications’

This is one of the more lengthy steps. Applications and the requirements for applying for a job can be as simple as ’email us your resume’ or as complicated as ‘send us your resume, then fill out this extremely complicated questionnaire, and then this other one. Then sign a contract in blood proffering your firstborn upon acceptance of the job.

Stage 4: Waiting, Part 1
‘Wait to hear back from jobs’

This step is the least fruitful, but can be done in tandem with stage 3 if applied correctly. If job prospects fall through for those jobs you applied for, this is usually where you return to step 1 and begin the cycle again (I call this the mini cycle of job hopelessness)

Stage 5: The Interview
‘Be offered an interview’

The interview comes in two forms: some places go for a sit-down interview right from the get-go, others just start with a phone interview. When an interview is offered, the hope begins, thus leading to me considering Stage 5 one of the more difficult, crueller stages in the jobhunt.

Stage 6: The Interview part 2
‘Attend the interview’

One of the more nerve-wracking stages. Before you go to it you spend hours twitching and adjusting your attire, muttering motivational phrases to yourself and wiping your sweaty palms on your pants. After it’s over you sit there and twitch some more, wondering what you’ve done wrong and how you could ahve screwed it up

Optional Stage: Second interview
‘ Attend the second interview’

Some places request a second interview for one reason or another. Often it’s because interview one was a phone interview and they want to meet you in person before they deem you worthy of hiring. Other times they go for a group interview to see how you will function within that office with those interviewers. Whichever one it is, the second interview further sparks that flare of hope in the heart of the interviewee, kindling it all the more until it becomes strong.

Stage 7: Waiting, part 2
‘Wait for results’

The worst stage. Some places make you wait days, others make you wait only hours, but they’re the longest hours of your life. Time passes slowly, and the flame of hope wavers and sputters. It’s impossible to do anything else related to jobhunting at this point; you can try to fill out more apps, follow up on leads, but it just adds to the frustration and the uncomfortable knot in your stomach. However long it takes, waiting to hear back from a job is one of the more potent forms of mental torture available on this planet.

Stage 8: Responses
Hear back from potential job

There are two ways this response can go, very simply: One, you get a call or email that regretfully informs you that while you were well qualified and have all number of skills, you were not selected for the position. Two, you get a call or email that joyfully congratulates you on joining the team of whatever job you applied for, and then hashes out when you can start. However, in this job market and day and age, the more likely of the two responses is always going to be One.

Stage 9: Mourn
‘I didn’t get the job. Screw all this’

Mourning is a tad melodramatic a term, but the essence is there. Not getting the job crushes the flare of hope kindled by the interviews and the applicant returns to his or her life of cynical alcoholism or similar. My technique for dealing with rejection usually involves a fair amount of alcohol and the shedding of tears. Then the playing of videogames, congratulating oneself on at least making a strong effort to track down a job.

And thus, the cycle returns to stage one. It is of course possible to break the cycle, but the only way to do this is to go around and around, hopes rising and falling over and over until the money runs out and eating your own shoes becomes a viable option for sustenance.

Fellow jobhunters, I hope your searches are more fruitful than mine, and that you get to spend less time going around this cycle.

If I get the chance later, I’ll draw you an easy flowchart.

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2 Responses to “Jobhunting: The Endless Cycle of Hopelessness”

  1. heideelahree February 21, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Despite my “like,” the accuracy of this post severely depresses me. Good work.

  2. misanthropicverbiage February 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    You captured it perfectly, my dear. 😦 I’m sending positive job getting vibes your way, always.

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