There’s a certain irony that I am a volunteer careers mentor. I’m trying to help my mentee to get into employment, just as I am exiting my own job, without having another one waiting for me. This week my mentee was particularly down; her confidence at a low, she didn’t feel like job hunting at all, let alone applying for anything.
I can empathise. Before I had the “termination” meeting (every time I see that word I imagine Daleks saying it… is that just me?) I was merrily applying for jobs at a fair rate of knots. Even positions that I was way under-qualified for, roles that I had no experience at, I kept going. Mostly I didn’t hear anything back at all. A couple of times I actually got an acknowledgement of my application, along with a polite “not this time” rejection. Those e-mails were brilliant.
“I got rejected! I got rejected! Wooooooo!” I’d sing. I know it sounds mental. But when you spend hour after hour on an application, meticulously crafting every cover letter, tailoring your entire CV, adjusting each section this way and that, it’s utterly exhausting and frustrating to hear… silence. A rejection, although technically no better than hearing nothing at all, feels so good in comparison. For one, it shows that they actually bothered to read the application that I spent so long slaving over.
Silence is like a little kick. By itself, not too bad. You can rub it better, get up and carry on. But one after another after another is like a barrage. Just as soon as you get up, you’re kicked back down. Then, before you have time to get up again, another one comes. Kick, kick, kick.
I can totally understand why my mentee doesn’t feel like looking at the job sites.
This week, neither did I. As I said, pre-termination I was all over the job sites like a rash. Afterwards… I didn’t feel like typing in the web address. Pre-termination, looking for a job was still a bit of a game. Rejections or being ignored, while annoying, weren’t too bad, because I still had a job, and a pay cheque at the end of the month. Now, though? Well, now if I get a rejection, or get ignored, it reminds me of the harsh reality. No job means no pay. I can cope with that idea for a while… but how long?
I had to give myself a mental deadline. Leniently, I allowed myself one week to wallow. One week to enjoy the no man’s land of “still getting paid” and “contract terminated” of my one month’s notice. After that, I told myself sternly, I would have to buck myself up and jolly well get on with it.
What I really want is to totally ignore reality. I want to pretend that I’ll go on getting paid my corporate salary in return for no work at all. I could be a lady who lunches! I could volunteer more, spend time baking cakes, go for long runs whenever I wanted. Why, I could write a novel!
Unfortunately, that’s not an option, is it? I’ve got to face reality because, with a boring inevitability, the day will come in just a few weeks when I stop getting paid. So I can’t ignore the job sites, I’ve got to just get on with things. On Sunday, my designated “Go!” day, I logged on and searched for vacancies.
Watch this space…
P.S. Don’t forget that I’m now posting every Sunday, so come back next week to find out how I get on with my first post-termination application!
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