#5 – Facing the Devil I Don’t Know

Isn’t it funny how when you’re gainfully employed, you complain about it? It could be your co-workers, your boss, your benefits, your office, your view, whatever. It wasn’t uncommon for my friends and I to find ourselves in a collective gripe session, which usually led to each of us encouraging the next to look at suchandsuch position that we noticed had opened up. No one ever did.

I had many concerns about where I worked. I thought about finding something “better”, but was too scared to break out on my own, held captive by the popular The Devil You Know vs. The Devil You Don’t teeter-totter (for the record, I always have preferred the devil I knew). I had moved from entry level to the position I last held within a relatively short amount of time considering my education was all internal. I doubled my salary in just eight years. But I always thought I could do better.

For as many faults as I thought the company had, I truly loved the job I had. The only downside is that it was too customized. While I could take some of the skills one learns as an employee to the next employer, the actual duties aren’t transferrable in a town the size I live in. An analogy would be like being a successful mime and then being laid off from the circus. I can’t just go to the circus across the street and know that they will immediately understand my job duties. There is no other circus in town.

I’ve landed several interviews in the past nine months. I’m not sure what happens after that except while I must look good on paper, I fail to meet whatever expectations they are looking for in person. My husband is trying to convince me that I’m more than likely over-qualified for many, which most have been entry level, but I have to start over. Funny, but no one’s hiring mimes right now.

I feel myself falling into a funk that’s seeped in self-doubt and lack of value. I’m lucky to have the temp position I have, and even though many days I am treated with the same respect as my co-workers, I am also reminded frequently that my future here is extended only day-by-day.

One of the canned questions that I’ve been asked in interviews is “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and I have no idea how the hell I’m suppose to answer that. And why even bother? A year ago, just fresh back to work after my maternity leave, I never would have seen myself working as a temp, our COBRA health insurance coverage half way over, with no prospects for permanent employment, and a self-esteem so damaged I’m tearing up over something as inane as this post.

8 thoughts on “#5 – Facing the Devil I Don’t Know”

  1. I do not like change. I do love my job. I’m used to being the head bitch, and not having what I want undermined or fucked up by anyone else. I don’t have that liberty anymore, and I’m learning to compromise – because I know that a good job is hard to find, and I have a good job. You will again, too.

  2. having this same problem with Hairy getting work up here. It’s so hard to take rejection as not being personal. He’s over qualified for everything but would do anything (job wise).

    wish i had some thoughtful words that could make this feel better but i’m at a loss both here with you and here at home. I just keep saying, Something will come up sooner or later but please FSM make it sooner.

    hang in there lovely it’s not you it’s them.

  3. I’m sorry. I’m watching J go through this daily also and I know that it sucks. There’s nothing fun about not knowing what’s going to happen. It’s like if you knew that in 3 months, you’d have a job and be fully employed, those 3 months wouldn’t be so bad. But when you don’t know if that will happen or not, every day of those 3 months will be painful and achy and anxiety-filled. I wish there were some words of wisdom to give you.

  4. Having trouble finding work feels like such constant rejection. It’s worse than a breakup in some ways since it’s a bunch of people not wanting you at the same time, plus you actually need a job. I’m really sorry. I’ve been there, and it sucks.

  5. Right there with you. I’m in a town with lots of jobs like the one I lost, but my industry has had massive layoffs in the last year, making the jobs more scarce and the competition more fierce. It’s gotten to the point where my reaction when hearing of another layoff is not sympathy, but, “Oh great, more people to fight over the remaining temp/contract work.”

    Hang in there. This too shall pass.

  6. You are fabulous. And it’s scary. It’s a scary scary world out there…but you can get through it. You are awesomely amazing.

  7. Since my husband cannot find a job in a year despite 10+ years of experience I understand. Now I am trying to find work and nobody is going to hire someone that has been a “homemaker” for 6 years.
    It is terrible out there.

  8. I’m not sure what to say. I’m just starting the process of looking for a new job having been furloughed last week.

    However, maybe you should throw your resume in for some jobs above entry level. You never know. The potential employer may see something your skills could provide but wasn’t clear in the job ad.

    Also? You are fabulous, don’t let job shit make you think any differently.

You can say it here.

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