Looking for a job is hard work. I knew that even before graduating. Looking for an internship had taught me one or two. I was prepared to look for one till I got one, to not give up. But now looking back, I think I prepared for the wrong things.
You see, there is the physical and mental work. The whole CV, resume and cover letters stuff, mixed with searching on which companies or institutions to bombard with those documents. That’s what I was prepared for. I anticipated that it would be tiring and hard, but having sold insurance before, I knew tarmacking both literally and figuratively, wouldn’t bring me down.
In retrospect, I had prepared myself for the easiest task. Because that’s not where the hard work has been. Searching and applying is hard work. But its only 10% of the work.
The rest is emotional. This is where rubber meets the tarmac. The myriad of emotions that one goes through when looking for a job can not leave you unscathed if you stay searching for a while.
Uncertainty. You never know. Should I apply for this one or not? Should I inquire first or just send an email? Will they call me back? Should I go back home right now? What if they call me for an interview when i’m away? Assuming I even get that job right now, where shall I leave to be able to access that workplace?
When you are jobless you are uncertain about every single thing. Nothing is constant in my life right now. Its like standing in the middle of the ocean not knowing where the wind of life will blow you to. I’m weary of making plans with people, especially plans that will take place in a month or more ,who knows? I could get a job in Lodwar and not be able to attend.
Hope. Hopelessness. Every single application sent is a sign of hope. That this could be it. Whereas its a good thing, wait until you have 50 hopes dashed. You start slacking in applying. Because the last 30 applications didn’t get a reply, and the 5 that called you for an interview didn’t get back to you. Hope starts fading. It never goes away at once, just bit and bit. Till you find yourself hopeless. Until something jolts you back to the game. Hope and hopelessness are two twins who for once appear together in the same room in form of sent applications and silent feedbacks.
We are only human. And as much as I need a job, my sanity is more important. Some people take a short break from applying for jobs. I took around 6 months. No single application sent. I had issues I needed to deal with. And I’m really glad I did take that break, I’m not so sure if I had gotten a job in that state of mind and emotions I would have hacked it.
But now I’m back. To the uncertainty, hope and hopelessness.
But its not all dull. You get time to do your own things. Well..there is the issue of money. Jobless people aren’t the richest around, but opportunities do appear to travel or visit people or watch movies, in my case read as much books as I can.
But if you asked me to summarise how my time was when looking for a job? I would say it is living in perpetual uncertainty.