Thursday, July 28, 2011

In case you missed the unemployed angst.

I've been having so much fun finding Australian bloggers to read. One of my favourites is The Many Colours of Happiness. One of her recent posts is about playing the victim card.  And particularly this week, this post was pretty fitting for me.

My job is nearing completion - maybe. And then I'll be back into the abyss that is unemployed land.  I watch as people around me get great jobs, great internships, and I know why it is happening for them - they worked really hard to make it happen.  They did other intern-y things, they volunteered, they did extra stuff that no one asked them to do, they motivated themselves to make it happen.

I feel like I've lost that drive a little.  I got two rejection letters this week from jobs that I was quite a good fit for. Not even an interview.  I take those rejections a lot better than I used to, I used to cry every time even if I didn't want the job.  My feelings would be so hurt that they didn't even WANT me that my only response was tears.  Now that I shrug them off, I wonder if I've become impervious and what that really means about me.  Of course, I don't actually shrug them off, if I was really apathetic I wouldn't be writing this blog post right now would I?

But I've certainly lost some of that drive and motivation to make this happen for myself. I'm exhausted from pushing myself to be a people person when I am not, to constantly make my past achievements sound better than they are, and don't get me started on how tired I am of worrying all the time about whether I'll ever make this happen for myself.

Internet, I need my bitches help.

How do you stay motivated and inspired and passionate about something that slaps you in the face time and time again? What are your tried and true methods to stop feeling like a victim and start making yourself go out there and do it (to quote the US - to be all that you can be).


  1. Just hang on there...btw you can still kick ass...

    And oh, always wear a smile!

  2. I have a feeling that will be me in a few months when I grow tired of my unemployment status and start looking for jobs in the Alps. I know it's not an excuse, but I often chalk up my lack of motivation for job hunting and career planning to living in a foreign country. I don't think I can ever be "my best me" here in France, and have started to accept that I might not ever have a fabulous job over here. That said, I don't know exactly what constitutes a "fabulous job" for me.

    Hang in there and keep applying, but no you are not alone and that I hate pretending I'm a people person too when I'm really not ;)

  3. Aw.


    You'll get there. I know that sounds lame and pedestrian and whatnot, but it's true.

    Sometimes we go through these phases where we evaluate ourselves, our motivation, what we've achieved thus far...we think there should be more, that we should've done this and that, yada yada...

    I'm in an editing job that I relatively enjoy, but I also have those moments where I'm like, "But...I should be doing something else/following my dreams/doing a PhD/[insert activity here]."

    The thing is, it's equal parts realising what we wanna do and pursue to the max, equal parts hard work and gunning for it.

    (And I'm sure you ARE working hard already, no doubt! We're always most critical of ourselves during these phases and think "I'm this, I'm that.")

    Onwards and upwards!

  4. Its really the sad state of things here in the states. Especially, this week. I dunno what the downward spiral of it all really is. But more and more are in the same boat. Hopefully, things will look up soon. I hear it might take up to 2 years if you want a divorce now in California due to a lot of clerical people being laid off in the judicial system. If you get that job, you want to keep it ..even if you have to put up with so much crap from co-workers. Find a way to relax at home. Anyway, be on time. Don't be afraid to help old people. Really listen. Be friendly, but not too friendly. Don't talk too much about yourself, yet be happy to mention someone's favorite TV show or hobby. And when they ask you to do something you were never really trained in (I won't go near paper cutters still) tell them you'll give it a shot. You might be having to do more jobs than just one in specific that you thought you were hired to do. You might have to find time to do weekly inventory. Make sure there is enough supplies. Its just these days you can't hide in the corner, thinking a bit of busy work will do the trick. You have to face those co-workers. See if you need to fill in for them. And don't forget the customers. You might feel like a bartender before its over.

    Before hand. Stay healthy. Exercise. Put your resume on every site that someone might see that needs help. Stay educated. Get to know your neighbor. You might have to take 2 jobs instead of one. Like even babysitting. Or perhaps you do something where you could get commissions online. Temp agencies seem to be a plus here. Just keep networking through friends and family. You never know what window might open up. And smile.

  5. Well. Since you ASKED. I have to say, I am a quitter. That's the truth of things. A long time ago I started to live my life on the whole "The Secret" mode where you put all of your thoughts, energy and time into achieving that one goal that you believe it for you. It works! It really does! But there is a second side to that: Sometimes you lose motivation. You lose your inspiration or you CAN'T spend your time. Life steps up and gives you a block at every turn. That is the moment when you should stop and look at your goal and re-assess.

    Ask yourself these questions: WHY are you losing motivation? Is the path your on REALLY your goal? If it is, what is another back road you can take to get there? If it is not, are you prepared to chuck it altogether and start over on something new?

    Sometimes when you continually hit a wall it's the universes way of telling you that you need to take a different path. If you can't scale the wall, go around it. Or perhaps you simply have to turn back and go another way. But the wall is there for a reason.

    There is no shame in giving up. I had this idea for a book that I have been "pursuing" for YEARS. One day I realized I lost my passion for it and when I looked at WHY I found that is was because my book idea was BORING to me. It wasn't REALLY what I wanted to write. Now I have another project I am MUCH more excited about but takes a lot more work. It's still hard to stay motivated because LIFE happens, but I WANT to spend the energy to find that motivation again. Whereas before I was kinda "Meh" about it.

    Find out why you feel "Meh". It will help you find your "Woohoo!" again. :)

    And HUGS, of course.

  6. I've definitely lost that drive too. I hate my job and want to go into something entirely new. But that takes time and hard work.

  7. I think of it as being a cyclical thing. I always assume that if I keep slugging through, I'll get back to the point where I regain my motivation...and then I always do.

    I have a 6% inquiries to booking rate in Chile. That's a lot of rejection. It definitely gets to me at times, but at the same time I realize not every bride is a good fit for me nor me for her so it's better off this way, and I trust that I'm working with the people I'm meant to be working with.

  8. I know how hard it is to keep motivated. But it really just does take persistence. I've been trying to find a good job for a couple years now. It is sooo hard. But, persistence will pay off!

  9. I know how hard it is to keep motivated. But it really just does take persistence. I've been trying to find a good job for a couple years now. It is sooo hard. But, persistence will pay off!

  10. i know exactly what you mean re: getting upset when you're rejected even if you don't want the job. you can't help but take it personally.

    i lost my drive regularly when i was living in london. it was really easy to tell myself that it was the bad economy that was the reason for my lack of enmployment (some of that was true but it's not an excuse).

    i think i stayed motivated by knowing what employment brings. the obvious things like a salary and a daily routine, but also a sense of purpose on a daily basis.

  11. Thank you so much for mentioning my blog! That was really sweet of you and made my week :)

    I am so sorry to hear that you're feeling like this, I wish I could do something to help :( If it is what you really want to do then you will get that passion again; it can be so hard to hold onto when the job market is so awful, but it always comes back. And if you're not sure anymore, maybe write a list of everything that you enjoy doing, and look at jobs that could come out of that.

    No matter what, all of us here in blogworld are here for you (even if our advice isn't always the best :p)


  12. ah I love her blog! err I need some motivation as well, sometimes it is hard to keep going and going!


  13. When I lost my job last year I had the HARDEST time even caring about looking for a new one. It was kind of nice not working. For awhile. And then my motivation was to find a job so I wouldn't go absolutely batty!

  14. (chuckle..) Well, you probably wouldn't like me in real life. I'm one of those really positive people and usually wake up each day that way. LOL! Hang in there! Sometimes these bummer times really make your appreciate the great ones when they come around. (Spoken like a true cheerleader right! )

  15. Aww, I know exactly how you feel! My job is winding up too, and we will probably have to close down within 2 months or so. But i realize I'm not even that sad about it. I have disliked that job for a long time and maybe this is just the universe's way of telling me to get my rump in gear and start doing something I actually like doing. And I bet it's the same with you too! :) So maybe just look at it as a chance to start over with something you are really excited about!

  16. I LOVE the many colors of Happiness! Her writing is fantastic! The search for a job can be more than frustrating but something will work out! Hang in there lady!

  17. I don't even know where to start looking for a job! I finished my studies a few months ago, and I didn't want to start searching for a job right away. But now I'm too scared to even search for one. So, I'm definitely not the right person to answer.
    But as the others said before me, hang in there, put your smile on, and be patient! You'll find what you're searching for soon enough! :)
    Thank you so much for commenting on my blog!

  18. *Sigh*

    I totally know this feeling. It's hard not to feel discouraged, whether it's finding a job, looking for a man, searching for an apartment, etc. But you have to hang in there and know that good things are around the bend for you.

    In recent years, I've convinced myself that these tests in life are what shape us into the strong people we eventually become. If you have at it and stay motivated and fight for a job, think of how much better you'll feel when just the right one comes along?

    Sending all positive thoughts your way, hun!

  19. I am so sorry that you are going through a difficult time. I have been there. Aside from not giving up, the most important thing is to be sure you surround yourself with positive people who believe in you and will remind you how qualified and wonderful you are when you aren't feeling it. It really helps.

    I know it will turn around for you soon. It just doesn't feel like it when you are in the middle of going through it.


  20. Do't worry, I feel the same, I keep getting rejections that I get to the point of crying/having too much wine! I've also lost the drive to volunteer, join groups, etc because of this - it really knocks me down. I'm thankful that I still have a job but I do want to move on in life. I just want to be accepted for once....

    Sorry I can't give any advice! :(
    Thanks for the comment on my blog though!
    Julia @ Retro Jules

  21. No matter how amazing you are- and you ARE amazing- this can happen to anyone. My only advice is to keep trying. Focus on what is good in your life. Your new apartment, your gorgeous man candy who adores you, your lemon plant. I know it is hard. My favorite quote ever is an anonymous proverb that I am sure you've read on my blog before: "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly." Hugs!!

  22. Jacques - Thank you!

    Crystal - I always ask myself if this would be easier if I just went home. And the answer is always no.

    Pretzel Thief - You're right, I am working, but there is always more I could be doing. of course it'll happen.

    Ellie - Thanks for the tips.

    Ev Rev - Yes you're right! I do have to ask myself about the wall and how I can get around it! At the moment I think I mostly can't face the endless job applications. And they are endless...

    Alex - So much hard work!

    Kyle - Wow, I had no idea. But you're right. I sometimes forget that every job I apply for isn't a good fit for me either. No matter how desperately I want it.

    Poppies and Sunshine - yes! persistence will eventually pay off. surely. Probably? right?

    SJ - Yes, the sense of purpose is really important! It's sad to define ourselves by that, but it's also important for my self esteem.

    The Many Colours of Happiness - I love your blog!

    Chelsea - She's fab isn't she?

    Krysten - When I first became unemployed last, gulp, november, I was sooo relieved it was so nice. But now that I can see a year anniversary of unemployed, it makes me choke a little.

    Happy LIttle Trees - Definitely spoken like a cheer leader! And being surrounded by positive people is really important!

    Hazel and Mare - Yes, I definitely want something I am really excited about! But it has a lot of other boxes to tick as well.

    Aqui - She's fab!

    Call me M - It is so hard to start looking. So so so HARD good luck!

    Charlotte - Yes, I feel like I could probably conquer the world, if I could, just you know stop being so discouraged.

    PP&P - So true!

    Julia - rejection letters are the worst! good luck!

    Teacher Girl - IC and I had a good laugh over my "gorgeous man candy" hahaha I LOVE IT.

  23. It's been a bit of a challenge being home, struggling through re-entry and trying to make enough money to pay the bills *while* turning down traditional full-time work. I don't want to return to the 8-5 permanent position because I'm not through traveling and don't want to quit a job again to do so. It's a career change to move from my previous lifestyle toward location independence. I've been persistent in looking for opportunities and networking, but all of those networking contacts have told me to be patient. Argh O:-) Meanwhile, folks at home don't understand what I'm trying to do and think I'm mad for not pursuing permanent work with benefits (it almost feels that way typing it...).

    Things haven't turned out at home the way I envisioned they would, but I have to hope that they'll eventually go that way. All I can do is plug away with networking and trust that something will come about eventually.

    Hang in there -- feels lame that I'm not offering anything inspirational, but I think the fact that so many people are commenting to offer love and support is pretty cool :-)

  24. I have been playing the vicitim a little this week because I am getting moved to a new section of my work that i dont want to go to, i should just be happy that i have a job! i hope it all works out for you!

  25. Hello D :)

    To be completely honest I feel like I'm in the exact same boat as you are... in fact, I've got the drive and motivation, I just lack the opportunities. That's life in SA.

    And I'm the complete opposite of Crystal - I don't think I could be my best me here in SA, so I'm kinda looking for any job anywhere... even Somalia.

    But I don't doubt that you'll kick ass in whatever you choose to do ;)

  26. It is seriously hard to stay motivated about job hunts. And I do agree with Crystal that being a foreigner makes it tougher. Maybe don't put as much pressure on yourself to hunt everyday. You're sometimes more "on your game" if you relax and do other things from time to time.

  27. ugh, this is such a hard place to be at. i was there for a whole year, as you know. i am a firm believer in feeling what you're feeling. it's probably a whole lot more of a buddhist/hippy idea than most people are comfortable with {i get "oh geez, she's one of THOSE." when i say this}, but i think there's value in letting yourself feel frustrated. so maybe you aren't a victim, but you ARE feeling non-good feelings. and that's okay. you can feel sad, angry, resentful, confused, fed up, etc. etc. it's certainly not fun to feel all these things, but sometimes the best thing you can do is just let yourself be unhappy for a little while. destroying stuff helps a lot too. sometimes dannon would come home to find a million shreds of paper which used to be a phone book scattered around the house, me disheveled and wild-eyed on the floor. ...and i would be feeling GREAT! :) also typing a letter to the universe/life telling it all the things you really think, feel, and want to scream {go eff yourself unfair life!"} can be therapeutic too. mostly i just want to stress the difference between wallowing in "i'm a victim, there's nothing i can do!" and admitting that life sometimes really sucks and just sitting with that for a while.