My Fragile Self Esteem

I had been feeling pretty good about myself. Procrastination was way down for the quarter and, while I was clearly not as fit as I was a couple of years ago, I hadn’t completely let myself go. I had accepted the reduction in our income with grace, if I do say so myself. All things considered, I really had nothing to complain about.

Then came the second reduction income, really just an adjustment to the first. I began to panic. I admit there were tears and not just about letting the cleaning lady go. But I had a plan. Time to put on my big girl panties and get a full time job that pays actual money. My bonbon-eating life of leisure was coming to an end (’cause two part time jobs is kind of like that). No problem, right? Except for that little recession thingy and those annoying unemployment hoozits. Oh yeah, those things.

While I have had prolonged job searches in the past, this time is different on many levels. This time I am old(er) and it has been some time since I worked in the industry I want to return to. This time I am sending out emails (I said it has been some time, didn’t I?) without contact names with which to follow up. This time I have emailed my resume out a bazillion times for positions that I am confident that I am qualified for and I have not received one response. Seriously, not one single response. That sound you hear is my self esteem crashing to the ground and shattering.

So I did what any rational person would do, I checked my spam blocker to see if my settings were too high (the 2010 equivalent of checking to make sure your phone still has a dial tone). They weren’t. I checked my spam folder and found only spam. Then last week I decided to check my home voicemail because, while it is my cell phone number that is listed on my resume, well, I don’t know why actually. Just hoping. And there was a message from a professional sounding person asking me to call him back. I didn’t even listen to the whole message. I sat in traffic, congratulating this person for seeing past my patchy resume and realizing that I was quality people. What a visionary. I began planning the interview in my head; I was overcoming objections and explaining my experience all the way home. When I arrived at home and listened to the message in its entirety, I discovered that I was overdrawn in my checking account.

To add more insult to injury, I busted out all my best interview attire (for the interview that I may get someday) and it appears that I have, in fact, completely let myself go. I fit into none of my suits, the nicest of which still has tags on it. And to be clear I am not a doughnut or two away from fitting into these things, I am a three to six months of Jillian Michaels away. I took the suit with the tags on it to a tailor who politely suggested that I take up running by the lake as there was not enough excess fabric to accommodate my newly enlarged ass. The crunching you hear now is someone in steel toed boots stomping on my shattered self esteem.

I have heard from others, both younger and with better resumes, that this is the most difficult job market they have encountered. I know it is not just me. I also know that my wonky resume isn’t helping and my age may be working against me. But most importantly I know that I will eventually find a job that pays well and that I enjoy. The sound you hear now is me sweeping up the shards of my self esteem in a dust pan. With a patience and faith and a sense of humor, I can put it back together.