The job hunt is literally the worst. Personally, I don’t agree with any type of hunting, but job hunting is abhorrent.
It takes longer than expected, drains all of your self-confidence and can sometimes drive you insane.
My recent job hunt was all of these things, with the extra excitement of doing it in a foreign country. Because who wants things to be easy??
It takes so long...
Someone recently told me that for every ten thousand dollars you wanna make, you’ve gotta look for that number of months. $30,000 = 3 months, $40,000 = 4 months and so on.
This may not be completely accurate, but what they were trying to say is nothing is going to happen overnight. And if I wanted to land the perfect job with the perfect salary with those sweeeeet benefits, it’s gonna take time and hard work.
A job hunt is not a sprint. But believe me, I wish it were.
Having moved to America to follow my husband and his job, I had to give up mine with absolutely nothing lined up on the other side. So along with all the other joys of moving abroad, I also had the looming fear of the job hunt. And I couldn’t even start that until I had my green card, social security number, driver’s license, blah, blah, blah, making the whole process even more exhausting.
I’ve tried to deal with this by calling it a “character-building experience”…
You begin to question yourself
Job hunts take a long time, but there’s also a horrific amount of rejection to deal with. (Unless you are one of those magical, lucky people who seem to immediately get jobs. I hate you all. But please, tell me all of your secrets).
In some areas, the demand for jobs is insanely high, so it seems impossible that your resume will even be looked at by a human. I am in one of those areas… The job application site, “Indeed” would send me well-meaning, yet sickening, updates on the jobs I had applied. These updates revealed the number of applications for each job was consistently over 100, so all this did was make me want to cry.
I completely understand that due to the number of applications, companies will often only respond to applications if they want to call you for an interview. However, if they invite you to an interview they should let you know either way.
For one job I got through the first interview, then got called to a second. So I was doing well, right? For the second interview, I once again took time out of my day to shower, put real clothes on, leave the house and respond to unimaginative questions for half an hour with a manic smile plastered on my face. Then I waited. And waited. And waited. Only to hear NOTHING.
While radio silence is a pretty clear indication of a no, is it really so hard to send a generic “thanks, but no thanks” email to put us job seekers out of our misery?
When you continue to hear nothing after sending in endless applications or even after attending endless interviews, you become convinced that people dislike you so much that they can’t even bear to tell you they disliked you.
That’s definitely not a healthy frame of mind to be in.
And your sanity begins to slip...
To a lot of people, not going to work sounds fun.
These people are wrong.
Days and dates lose meaning. You spend time planning which house chore you are going to do each day just to give yourself something to do. You can’t justify spending money on things you want as you haven’t done anything to earn it. Netflix becomes your new best friend. And you take up running long(ish) distances to be healthy and give yourself something to do. (WHO HAVE I BECOME???)
Actually doing job applications is a good way to stay busy and will DEFINITELY fill your time. But they are mind numbingly boring. There’s no way you can do them continuously for weeks on end or you will most likely go insane.
I swear there must be a circle of Hell in which you are forced to rewrite cover letter after cover letter, all for essentially the same job but with a very slight, but very important difference in the specification.
You'll get there
So to anyone job hunting, at home or abroad, I get you. It sucks. But you’ll get there. Today I had my first day at work in just over 7 months. It was nerve-wracking and scary, but so worth the wait.
Months of waiting, looking, and preparing paid off. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s just to make myself feel better. But everything that has happened has led me forward and been right in the long run.
So if you didn’t get the job you thought you wanted, don’t freak out! There’s another one out there for you. Keep focusing on the ones you REALLY want, will enjoy and will give you opportunities. The first few will reject you. That’s just life.
All of this stress will make that first day at work for the 5th, 12th, 67th job you applied for, that bit sweeter as you truly earned it.
As a wise person once said, when life gives you lemons, make a gin and tonic.