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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Unemployed - A Lot of Questions

Starting on April 22nd, the day after I finished classes, I began calling myself The Unemployed Drunk. Because I was losing my title as student, and have yet to be gainfully employed. What does that mean anyways, "gainfully employed"? The only time I have ever heard the word "gainful" used is before the word "employed." It serves a singular purpose I suppose. You can only profit from employment I guess?

SEE? This is what unemployment does to you. It makes you contemplate the completely meaningless and unnecessary.

However, I haven't really embraced the whole drinking bit of my description much, so "drunk" would be a gross overstatement. I'm not even a proper Stay-at-Home Mom, because technically, I still drop Lilly off at school every morning (hey, it's already paid anyways and she loves it), and we have a housekeeper (no need to propagate the joblessness).

Wow, so how useless am I? No all-day childcare, no [deep] cleaning, and Andrew still makes dinner most nights.

This post is not very complimentary towards myself, is it?

Moving on...

I suppose you could argue that since I don't graduate until tomorrow, I am still a grad student, but that seems to be arguing semantics really. I would be lying if I said I was 100% embracing this "time off." While many (Hi Mom!) argue that this is a break I won't get often in life, I would find it much easier to enjoy the break if I knew when it would end. Isn't that completely cynical?

[Side note: Unemployment also makes me all about the rhetorical questions apparently.]

Not knowing what is going to happen, when I will be employed, what I will doing, makes me a little batty, and I will confess that I am having trouble functioning beyond that right now. Job hunting is a full (ok, substantial part) time job right now. While I vividly remember thanking my lucky stars I wasn't graduating last summer, when everything seemed death and doldrums, I didn't even consider that the following year, this year, would be a worse time to graduate into the job market. And that it is. Less than half my class (just under) is employed at graduation.

I would argue that if we had any idea what it was going to be like, we might have thought long and hard about returning to school full-time. And that is the part that I try to push into the back of my mind as quickly as possible when it creeps up front and center: Will this investment of time and Dear God The Money, be worth it? I have to believe it will be in the long run, it just might not pan out immediately as we might have expected. All those trite examples we did in finance, doing the NPV of an MBA, has to be more than complete bull, right?

I think this is one of those life trials for me. The kind of fight you have to make in life, when everything has been relatively easy, or at the least attainable, and now the world is going to see what you're REALLY made of. How hard do you fight when just wanting it and throwing effort at it, doesn't cut it? Do you whine and complain? Do you give up? Do you blame someone else? Or do you swallow the rejection, grit your teeth and keep going?

I can say that this is leaps and bounds the hardest I've ever had to work to get a job. And maybe I should clarify, that finding any job, is not impossible. If I needed to go back to engineering, I hope (!!) there would be an opportunity somewhere. (I will probably laugh maniacally at the stupidity of that statement in a few months.) I'm trying to slug it out getting into a field where I don't have prior experience. The point of me going to school full-time was to be a career-changer. And let me hear an AMEN! if you have noticed that the job market is not a friendly place if you don't have prior experience in your industry of choice right now. With lay-offs running rampant, there are plenty of experienced people fighting for spots in the job force as well, rightfully so, and that gives employer the "buyers market" mentality which means that "entry level" doesn't have to really be filled by a truly "entry person." Why wouldn't you hire someone who has some experience over someone with none? That's less training dollars out of their pocket. And so that is where I end up, trying to decide how long I am willing to throw darts in the dark before I accept the mentality that this is going to have to be a longer-term, phased-approach into a different industry. The cliche killer is, only time will tell.

In the mean time, I will give a valiant effort at "enjoying" this by job-hunting pool-side when possible. No need to be unemployed AND vitamin D deprived.


Janet said...

Though I do <3 Mondays :)

sw4ng said...

You're too awesome to be unemployed for long... so enjoy the freedom while you have it!