BAM. A shot in the foot is painful.

by Beth Anne on March 25, 2013

It’s late tonight for me to sit at my computer – usually I’m already in bed, asleep or deep into a book while Doug snores beside me. I pull my hands across my eyes & the words feel trapped inside me.

I’m not supposed to tell you about the phone interviews, sitting in my car while it rained outside. Or putting on slacks & a blazer for the first time in over a year to sit nervously across a table from three strangers. How my hands flew as I spoke only to disguise the way they shook if I held them still under the table. How I drove back to the office & worked late since I still had spotlight tags to move.

I’m not supposed to tell you any of this.

I’m supposed to smile prettily & in a few months, pop up with SURPRISE! JOB! & throw sparkles. I’m supposed to make it look easy & seamless.

I’ve been praying for a year that my contract position would turn into a permanent job. Every morning for the past 337 days, I’ve stood in front of the mirror & thought “This could be the day.” This could be the day I no longer have to worry about health insurance. This could be the day I never send out another resume.

I’d picture the entire scene in my head – being called into my boss’s office & him smiling, me screaming & my coworkers laughing & then somehow keeping it quiet until I walk through our front door with a bottle of champagne. I would picture Doug swinging me around & Hibby shrieking because of the excitement, even though he has no idea what it all means.

I’ve played that through my head over & over again.

Some days it would make my heart thump a tattoo against my chest in hope. Other days the feeling crawled up into my throat & settled thick in weariness & discouragement.

It is most likely that I’m not going to get that moment. I have been offered a second contract extension & I am thankful for it, but the head count is not there to bring me on staff & they know I have to start looking. So I work harder than ever at my job, soaking up everything I can. I sift through job listings. I send out resumes & check LinkedIn connections & cross my fingers. Then I put on heels & remind myself to take deep breaths & give a firm handshake. I leave meetings praying that they like me, feeling a rush of breath leave me that it’s over but maybe, just maybe, they’ll like me enough to call back.

Please, please like me. Please choose me.

So I wait for a new moment, the one where a phone rings & an offer is extended & I’ll rush out to buy champagne all the same.

Until then, I sit nervously in every moment of my life. I joke that I’m a walking ulcer waiting to happen, that every muscle in me is wound so tight that no wonder I’m clocking the fastest running times I’ve trained. Every “no” sends an avalanche of self-doubt & failure. I think of very little else but the looming date of July 1 when my COBRA ends. It pounds through my head in everything that I do…6 months left….5 months left….3 months left. Everything is a countdown. There is no option for Doug’s company to provide insurance. Everyone tells me they wish they could help., but it is all on me & the pressure feels suffocating at times.

8c273a38933a11e2879322000a9f1376 6 BAM. A shot in the foot is painful.When I’m quiet at the end of the day, staring at the blank pages of my blog, it’s because I’m not supposed to tell you any of this. It is not supposed to be there in plain English for the entire world to see, where Google knows my name & every potential employer can see my head in my hands. I’m not supposed to tell my boss that I am interviewing & we’re not supposed to both feel sorry for it. I’m not supposed to tell you that job hunting is hard work & sometimes I feel like a toddler, stomping my feet & crying that life just isn’t fair. Maybe I’m shooting myself in the foot. Maybe I should hit delete.

The only thing I know for certain is that tomorrow morning I will stand in front of the mirror & tell myself that it might be the day.

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

KellyGreen March 25, 2013 at 10:44 am

Keep writing. You’re one of the few blogs I keep up with because you’re one of the few bloggers who really keep it real and don’t gush about how wonderful every second of every day is, and how great they are at EVERYTHING. You’re genuine and real, and that’s what keeps me coming back every day!

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Aubrey March 25, 2013 at 11:00 am

Thank you for this post, it’ s nice to know that it’s not just me out there in this world feeling this exact same way. I have so much I need to blog about like my job, or family relationships but I’ve been bullied to not show the things that will “make us look bad”. The sunshine & rainbow moments are great to share but there I’d much rather read/blog about reality-that is where I grow, learn, & feel encouraged by mighty women like you.

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Toni :O) March 25, 2013 at 11:02 am

Wow, I have WALKED and WALKED in your shoes big time. My contract expires Oct. 3rd this year and I have been actively looking since January of 2012 and actively interviewing since June of 2012. I finally, finally got an offer on March 11th for a direct-hire position. Thank God because I could not afford to be unemployed as it would sink our family as I had lost two jobs previously due to downsizing and we’re still trying to play catch-up from those two losses. It’s been an EXHAUSTING and PAINFUL search let me tell you. It’s not easy out there at all and those of us looking are the only ones getting how tiring and fruitless it seems at times. All I can say is that I’ll pray for you to find something. Please keep the faith and don’t give up. God will wink on you at some point and you’ll just know when the right opportunity comes along, you’ll just know. Stay strong girl.

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KeAnne March 25, 2013 at 11:46 am

We haven’t had a chance to catch up lately, so I wondered what was going on with this, knowing that the date was approaching. I hope so very much that you get the call very soon.

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Beth Anne March 25, 2013 at 11:48 am

I miss you. Lunch soon. (also, I still have your Downton Season 2!)

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andrea March 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm

My dad was in the same position for two years as a diabetic on COBRA. Prayers for you to find the right job for you with the benefits you need. Keep your head up, someone will see your awesomeness soon. Keep writing, you’re too good at it not to.

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Lindsay March 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm

<3.

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Jenny Joseph March 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Good luck, internet stranger/friend. Hope today is the day!

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angela March 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I have been a silent reader lately but wanted to come out of the internet to say I’m sending good luck prayers and job vibes for you :)

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Jaime March 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I’m glad you didn’t hit delete, and I hope you are, too. Count me among one of those people who wishes she could help in some way. Hey, wanna move to New Jersey? Maybe then I could help! :)

I’m sorry you’re dealing with this crap. I hope it’s over soon and you are toasting to your good news.

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Jacki March 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I’m sorry girl. I don’t always understand how life throws us these curve balls and we’re suppose to make it through with a big smile on our faces… but know that there are a lot of people praying for you and wishing you nothing but the best.

(Slight aside, kind of weird but tomorrow my post has a fortune cookie picture in it… I hope you don’t mind)

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Beth Anne March 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm

thanks, friend.

(of course I do not mind! fortune cookies are delicious.)

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jessica March 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm

i wish you the best of luck beth anne. even with a degree, i was unemployed for well over two years…more than two years of “please, pick me!”, “well, if they’d hired me, they wouldn’t be reposting the position (again)”, “well, not this one. God’s GOTTA have a plan.”, etc. i even took an unpaid internship just to squeeze my way back into area planning. different circumstances though since you have doug and harry & i had my folks to help me out (a huge understatement!). but, i feel your pain but i can PROMISE you that God’s got it. it’s hard, but stay positive. i did (no easy task, lots of tears) and it worked out. i landed this job 6 mos. ago and i LOVE it. i love what i do, get along with my boss and the other ppl in the office and my commute is 30 min. or less. i wouldn’t change it for anything so it makes the wait WAY worth it.
(hope to see you at easter at blbc)

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KatieInClayton March 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I hope it happens for you soon. Until then, sending you a virtual hug via the interwebs.

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Helen March 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I am sending job pixie dust your way. Job searching sucks plain and simple. Just keep plugging away and keep your head up. You will end up in a great job no matter what. I’m in the midst of job searching and I swear it is like having a full time job but just not being paid.

To put a smile on your face, add “in bed” to the end of your fortune : D

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Tottums March 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm

It was amazing to meet you last weekend, and hug you, and SHAKE MY BUTT with you. You’re an amazing writer, Beth Anne – and any company would be lucky to have you. The ‘right’ job WILL come along.

Much love.

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Marisa March 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Maybe your not suppose to say it…but you did! You are so brave and courageous you wrote whole heartedly I send you my good wishes that an offer comes soon to you! I know how how you feel! TY for sharing!

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Nikki March 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm

While completely unrelated to a job search, I can completely commiserate with you on wanting to stamp your foot, cry and scream “LIFE ISN’T FAIR!” at least on a monthly basis (TTC for 18 months now and it is EXHAUSTING.)

Hang in there – thoughts are with you!

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Kyley Leger March 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I don’t have the words to fix this, but I do have comfort and prayers. It’s not fair and it sucks. You’re an amazing woman who has been dealt a sucky hand. I hope it turns around real quick! I hope spring brings joy and happiness!

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newmomintheburbs March 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Sorry you are going through that! I know its hard out there! Just the other day I got into an argument with some ladies at my book club when one of them smugly said “If you look hard enough – there is something for everyone” Its easy to say that when you have chosen to stay at home and you don’t have to worry about bringing in the dough (That’s what I told her!). Anyway that conversation does not matter – what matters is you are doing everything possible – and there is that one unique job with your name on it – its just taking some time to come find you (That’s what I told myself when I was fresh out of college and looking for work). BTW what kind of work are you looking for? Which field? And where? If nothing I could ask my contacts….of which I have plenty.

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Heather March 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Hugs. Job hunting is hard work, mentally and emotionally. Thanks for sharing, as ever.

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Jill @BabyRabies March 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Oh, sweet friend :( I’m so sorry you’re going through all this, and I think it’s far too much to expect yourself to carry the burden alone. We all love and support you, whether you should tell us or not.

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Kristen March 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Thank you for your honesty. My husband is going through the same thing (or something similar) and it is so…hard. I love your blog and your true feelings on life. Please never stop!

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Hannah March 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Hang in there! Hugs and cheerful thoughts and all that jazz.

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Jessica @ Southern Belle Boy Mom March 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Hold on, it will be the day one day. Job hunting is one of the most nerve-wracking, insecurity-inducing things to go through, and I’m right there with you. God has a plan for you, and it exceeds your imagination’s dreaming. It will be worth this stress!! Praying for your peace during this time.

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Brandi March 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I am so sorry to hear. I am in a similar position. I was laid off while pregnant with #2. The #2 was planned for, not the lay. Here I am 9 months later trying to find a position that will cover daycare and some extra. I have a Bachelor, but people want to pay me $9 or $10 a hour. I can’t afford to work for peanuts.

Every interview, I think is this it? Then I hear nothing.

9 months later I want to puke because in 3-4 months, I will lose my unemployment and my daycare spots.

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Sara March 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Praying that your day comes soon, love. I know it’s hard. Hang in there.

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Christene March 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Hang in there! We are all here pulling for you and are ready to listen whenever you are ready to share

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Marissa March 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm

It’s amazing how brutal job hunting has become. I remember when I first graduated in 2006, all the interviews were a breeze and multiple offers flew in, I got to be all choosey and ended up with awesome pay. How the heck was I supposed to know that after taking a few years off to SAH with my little one that things would become so hostile. It’s been about six months of jumping through hoops: resumes, application, first interviews, second interviews with boardrooms full of execs, drug tests, physicals, pint of blood, my first born, etc, but I did finally land a job. Pay isn’t as good, but benefits are better and commute is shorter. We have similar work backgrounds so I definitely know how you feel. Hang in there, you’ll find something soon and be stronger from the experience.

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August March 25, 2013 at 9:58 pm

I’ve missed reading your writing! Thanks for the honesty in a sometimes fake world! Wishing you the best- as soon as possible!

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Christina March 25, 2013 at 10:02 pm

you know what, you’re like a cat… you always land on your feet and you will this time too.
You’re one of the most persistent and driven people that I don’t actually know and when the job and the time is right it will happen for you.
Your life seems to fall into place at very strange times, so probably the day you get a job you’ll also get pregnant, win the lotto and find that harry poops 2 dollar bills.. You’re weird like that.

So hang on, because this is probably the most calm your life will be if you think about it.

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brooke March 25, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Praying for you tonight. xoxo

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Jessica March 26, 2013 at 7:38 am

in all my years reading your blog, there is one theme that stands above them all: you never, ever, ever give up. keep fighting friend, one of these days, amazing things will happen and all of this will just be a story to tell.

i miss you around this place. keep talking, we’ll keep listening

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Ames March 26, 2013 at 10:27 am

Beth Anne,
Prayers since I have been in a place similar before and I understand it is very frustrating. I saw you mention linkedin, and I’ve had good success from linkedin. I’m going to send you a request to see if any of my connections might be helpful. Most of the recruiters i know are in the banking industry and I can ask if any of them are covering the north carolina market. The way many people I know have found jobs lately is through the groups on linkedin, like one for your college alumnae, or industry groups. Take part in relevant conversations where you can add value to the discussions and you may impress the socks off someone who could use your expertise. Just trying to think of a way to help make progress for you from far away. Most of all, sending good wishes and good luck for the right thing at the right time (but sooner rather than later)!

Ames

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Abigail March 26, 2013 at 3:38 pm

I too have felt the terror of the looming loss of health insurance. Most recently we thought we were going to lose our insurance the month before this little guy was born. Talk about stress. Thankfully things worked themselves out.

I really think things will work themselves out for you too. Hugs and happy thoughts and all that to you.

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Jenn April 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Just wanted to offer my services if you need someone to look over your resume and or cover letters for positions. I work in Career Services in Higher Education and work with graduating Seniors everyday. I can feel their anxiety and stress and confusion. Job searching is quite possibly the most stressful thing you can go through. Let me know if I can assist in any way….it never hurts to have another set of eyes on your materials. Definitely keep networking……with all of your “fans”…..someone has to “know somebody”!!!!!!!! I think you should be able to see my email, but if not, let me know through here, and don’t be afraid to contact me! Good luck.

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Jenn April 2, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Also, this is a great site to check out….. http://www.careerealism.com/. May offer some assistance and fresh ideas!

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Tara April 8, 2013 at 2:35 am

BA,
Thanks so much for writing this post! I really could relate to it, as well. I have been job hunting, and I have all these “rules” for myself about what I put out there in social media… I have lots of the same thoughts, fears, etc… that you shared. …I haven’t blogged in several weeks, because it’s all on my mind… but maybe I’m a little inspired now. :)
Good luck & Hang in there!

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