Job Hunting is a (Crummy) Job

I’ve spent more time on this computer in the last 2 weeks than I did in the entire last month! OK fine, I’m exaggerating. I may be prone to bouts of exaggeration when I’m frustrated, but who isn’t?

I have spent 75% of every waking hour working on this new “job”. This is hard work. And I know I am not the only one doing this. Us unemployed folks are working our little fingers to the bone.

My mind is occupied non-stop with thoughts about how to search, where to search, rewriting my resume, writing cover letters, fixing up my LinkedIn, making the right connections, redefining myself and what job I want to look for, assessing how long I can go without employment, touching base with everyone I know, setting up (and reading through) job searches, researching companies, looking at Master degree programs, reading through certification programs, reading executive coaching materials, and a thousand other related tasks. And catastrophizing.

It’s exhausting, friends. No wonder I can’t sleep at night (Harper the Puppy Artist laying on my legs notwithstanding).

I don’t know about you, but I put a lot of pressure on myself. I’m not sure why i thought I’d have gotten callbacks already – I’ve only applied to 3 jobs and those were panic-driven applications. I shouldn’t be applying to anything until I have my tools in order. But, alas, I feel like I cannot afford to waste missing even one job opportunity.

I want patience and I want it right now! Not hearing from these companies drives me up the wall. I mean, it’s been a whole day and I’ve heard nothing! WTF? <grin>

I hear you all chuckling…I know exactly how ridiculous that statement is. I know it in my logical brain. The part of my brain that operates the Imposter Syndrome part of me is completely unaware of the logical fallacy however. I regularly have to beat that part down with a large emotional stick. And I know there are many of you, dear readers, who are in exactly the same place. I see you. I hear you. I feel you.

I am envious of my friends and ex-co-workers who can “take time off” so they can recharge and rejuvenate themselves. Friends, I do not know how to not work. I don’t know how to not do some kind of forward motion.

I think the most painful questions I get asked are: “what do you do” or “what do you want to do next”? How do you put nearly 30 years of varied tech-business experiences into a succinct, 30-second, answer that muggles will understand? That’s actually a very big, very real dilemma that I will have to work out because most people have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to listening to someone describe their work. Interestingly, I have no problem answering these questions, btw, when I’m talking with people in the tech industry.

Side note: y’know what’s been really bizarre? Nobody assumes I’m executive material. I don’t know why. Is it because I’m a woman? Is it because I’m older and unemployed? Is it because I don’t dress in designer clothing? It makes no sense. I ran a business for 25 years…I have skillz, yo. Do you other out of work executive types experience this too?

That said, I am having an internal battle trying to decide what I want to do next. One of the problems of not having spent the last 2 decades in corporate life is that I lack the language, the corporate-speak that others have. And I haven’t had need for the tools that corporate environments use. So while I do have skills, I will need to train up on the practical tools.

With such varied experiences, I fit into a bunch of management and executive roles: customer success, professional services, managed services, and chief of staff come to mind first. I fit them all very well. I do know that I’m a helper type. That’s my nature. That will have to factor in to whatever I look for. My next task will probably be to augment the job search with some process and leadership certification classes so that I have something “official” to bring to interviews. Anything I can do to stack the deck, right?

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Pam is an experienced MSP-owner and IT consultant. Most recently she was a content writer, writing about IT admin life and tech. When not working, Pam spends her time with her dog, visiting her kids across the country, and being creative with yarn (though she's learning other crafts as well).

One thought on “Job Hunting is a (Crummy) Job

  1. Keith Richard

    Rooting for you Pam. I can’t speak for you, but I know that I have taken classes and obtained certifications in the past because I thought I needed them to be qualified for the job descriptions I was seeing. However, I realized I was also using those classes as a way to put off applying to those jobs. Upskilling because you want to learn something isn’t a bad thing to do, but don’t discount what you already know.

    You’re ready now. You have executive leadership running your old company. The skills translate.

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