What it’s like job hunting and not finding a job.
When I was a kid, I had a love-hate relationship with kickball.
Two kids would be the captains of opposing teams and they would pick people to join their team. Of course, the captains would pick people they knew and those they thought were good at the game. The number of people left to be chosen would dwindle until there was just two people. One captain chooses a person and that last person automatically goes to the other team. You never liked being picked last because it meant you weren’t a good player or not in the captain’ circle of friends. You are just a placeholder, someone that has to be on a team and ends up on this team. Being the last person picked means that you weren’t wanted by anyone.
It’s been nearly two years since I was laid off from my job. It was December 2014, two days before Christmas and I was chosen to be laid off. The supervisor had the nerve to talk about hitting the streets soon so you can find a job. Uh huh. It’s the holidays and most workplaces are shutdown until the new year.
So, I started looking for work. I already had a part time job as a pastor, but I needed something more to make up the lost income. I looked at similar positions at churches. I was a communications specialist, with some duties in IT as well as audio and video production. I started interviewing at different places and each time I didn’t get the position. One recent church actually called me and said they were interested in me. I was hopeful as I went to the interview and felt I had things nailed. But no, I didn’t get that position either. I spent three months in limbo wondering if I would get the position or not.
Another church said they were going in another direction, whatever that meant. I sometimes wonder if it meant, we aren’t hiring black folks.
I’ve applied at other places both for profit and non-profit and the record there is even worse; most of those places don’t even bother to respond. I try to listen to the job advice given and meet with people, but they don’t seem helpful in the way the job advice people say they should be. They keep their eyes open for listed positions, but it’s not like they are going to the hiring manager or person and telling them they should hire me.
I’ve put together a portfolio in the hopes people would see my work and notice me. That didn’t work either, at least so far.
After a while you start to wonder if something is wrong with you. I have Aspergers, and I know that I can come accross as aloof or uncaring. You wonder if you don’t really have what it takes to do the work.
I am thankful that I have some work very part time doing some of what I love. But I want a job that offers better pay and is more focused on what I do best and what I enjoy.
I recently sent my resume and cover letter to another non-profit and got a perfunctory letter about getting back to me. My heart immediately sank, because I worry that is jobspeak for “don’t call us, we’ll call you (if ever)”.
When you’ve been looking for so long and been told no so many times, you start to lose a bit of your confidence. The get-up and go that I had to look for work and have hope has got up and went. I haven’t totally given up, but I am less hopeful that there is anything I can do to stand out in a crowd. For whatever reason, I am still the last person picked.
It’s hard to see others who always seem to be the first picked, the ones that get into the jobs your want and get the promotions.
I have to believe that there is something out there for me, but at times it feels like it is a fading hope.
Being the last one picked sucks. Here’s to hoping someday soon I will picked first.