Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Being Brave in a New World

I had assistance navigating the online job boards yesterday at the career center. It took over an hour for me to post my resume and apply for one job. I was struck as I struggled through this, how much job hunting is similar to the grief process. You feel like a fish out of water or trying to swim upstream. It is hard, stressful, tiring and discouraging - two steps forward, one step back. This is not a circumstance any of us signed up for - and for many, it is an unexpected, surreal shock. There are new rules and new ways of doing things as well as even looking at the world. But for a long while, we don't know what these new rules are and we struggle to fit in.

What really hit me was how hard I seem to be resisting change. I haven't seriously had to look for a job in about 10 years. And back then you faxed your resume to a potential employer or used the mail, plus a lot of phone calling. I am not a proficient computer user and am now having trouble figuring out all the online nuances and details. But I just want to do things the old way, the way that was comfortable for me and always got me results. I am floundering in this job market just as I floundered and still flounder with grief. I just want the comfort level of my old world when I knew what fit what and where. Sounds a lot like what I used to say when I would moan, "I just want him back" or "I just want my old life again."

In the end, we're pretty much forced to adapt. We have to resign ourselves to this. After a few weeks on my own and not getting any results with the job search, I sought assistance from a career placement center. Today I am meeting with them again and we'll discuss a job searching plan. Right now I'm in the dark and don't have any real direction on how to proceed.

That's what happened in the end after I was widowed. And again when I was divorced. Just have to dig in my heels and face the world which looks rather intimidating and threatening. The only major difference I see between unemployment and grief is that eventually the unemployment will end because a job somewhere, somehow will come into fruition. But of course, we all know the ending for our grief tales. Our partners are not returning - no tidy and happy endings there.

I am grateful:

1. For low-cost job searching assistance.
2. That the snow that came again is not a blizzard - but we all are sure getting tired of the white stuff.
3. For living in a safe community.
4. For the wide array of skills and experiences I have behind me - it will all come together in the end.
5. That in a week it will be March.


  1. i could offer words but they would sound like platitudes. i still search online for a more secure job than the one i created for myself with all the sewing of quilts. nada for one year. i don't speak Spanish. i don't have children living at home with me to make that need known. i can't afford nice clothes for an office. i'd need some kind of understanding on that. i would have to take a bus. a lot of employers don't like that. and my credit, though a little better, is not up to the job offer plateau. i was left with nothing but the bills after the divorce. paying it all off took my Dragon and i a long time plus putting my two through college. i don't have a disability unless you count a broken hand that healed wrong and arthritis so i can't get in on that for a job. i have no claim to any minority for that federal act either. that's enough of my job whining. =0} all one can do is do. i fell into the self-employment thing of making quilts. scary scary being on your own.

    Churchill said, "If you're going through Hell, keep going." that's all you can do. you're doing all the right things. just keep going. you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Everything about life seems scary when you are on your own and you have the added burden of trying to live each day buffeted by grief. I was very lucky that when my job ended and this country took a deep dive into unemployment..I was only a year away from getting Social Security. Hopefully the job market will pick DO have a lot of skills that are needed and the grief will be the tiniest bit less each month.

  3. Well, I just wrote a very intelligent, and elightened comment, but my computer decided to install an update without asking, and I lost what I wrote.

    So, yes, it is a new age. If a person wants a job, you must bow to the ever powerful computer and internet. You're right, this process does appear to mirror grief. I'm not looking for a new job, but I am experiencing many of the same frustrations of navigating life with a new map.

    Good luck!

  4. wNs - I think it is amazing what you do with your art and talents. It is a creative way to get through this time, it is doing something you love and you are certainly giving back to others. All very good and productive. I also appreciate that it is a labor of love.

    I really liked the Churchill quote. It is very appropriate and I will think of it when the going gets particularly tough.

    Jude - You are so right about the scariness of life when on one's own and facing grief besides. It is a very, very crummy combination. I wish my current situation was a little easier but in the meantime, I truly appreciate the kindness sent from good people like you.

    Dan - Thanks Dan! It IS frustrating but the hardest part for me at least, has always been plunging in and taking the first steps. Everything becomes easier with practice.