August. 2015. I’ve been job searching for 9 months now. No luck. I feel like I haven’t really gained anything. But I have gained stuff. It’s not tangible stuff though. I’ve gained more patience and more perseverance than I thought possible. I’ve gained a lot more interview skills and have learned that if I’m truly nervous, it means I actually care. Turns out I care a lot. As in a lot of the time.
I’ve also learned that I really have a great team of people wishing me to do better. A few weeks ago, I opened the Facebook app on my phone. I had a notification from one of my managers at work. She had tagged me in a comment on a Humans of New York post. The girl in the post explained that she had graduated early and had been searching for a job for quite some time. She also explained that she had submitted thousands of resumes with no luck. The comment I was tagged in simply read, “Seeeeee Mary keep your head up!” I read the comment. Then I read it again. I wanted to cry. Not because I was frustrated with my search or because I could relate to the young woman in the post, it was because there, in words, was the full support of my manager. I wanted to cry because I knew, in that moment, that she actually wanted me to succeed.
Fast forward a few weeks. I was sitting in my apartment, meeting with my sister and our home teachers. (oh, I’ll explain. Home teachers are a companionship of men assigned to households within a ward to go and visit the households. They check up on the people there, and make sure everyone is okay.)
“Mary, how about you? How is the job search going?”
I sat up a little straighter. “Actually it’s going fine. I had an interview at a place via Skype a few days ago. It went really well. I have another Skype interview for the second round of interview at the same place next week. I’m super nervous, but I think it will be ok.”
“Skype interview? Is the job not here?”
“No, it’s actually in North Dakota.”
“Ohhhh. So you’d have to move? Ann how do you feel about that?”
My sister smiled in my direction and then said, “Honestly, I just hope she gets it. She’s been trying so hard to get a job so I just want her to get one so she can be happy.” I just looked at my sister with a little bit of awe. It’s not that I wasn’t expecting her support, I just wasn’t expecting it on such a level. Again, I wanted to cry. Not because of my frustration, but because of the love my sister had for me in that moment.
As I told my managers at work about this exact job interview, one of them looked at me and said, “Well I hope you get it. I know how badly you want this, and I want you to be happy.” Again, it wasn’t because I wasn’t expecting their support, it was because I just didn’t think about it. To hear all of these people voice their support, and love, to me out loud made me realize that I’m not alone in this search. I mean, yeah, I am. I have to put in the effort to submit resumes and write cover letters and find postings, but I’m not alone in what happens as I’m waiting. As I’m waiting to hear back, there are countless of my friends, family, and coworkers who want me to get the job just so they can, if I can be corny for a second, get the old Mary back. The Mary who looked happy all the time and who never stops smiling (or talking). The successful Mary. I want her back too. But, as I’ve learned in my job search, I have to be patient in order to get that Mary back.
As a conclusion to the job I had interviews for, I didn’t get it. When I found out, I was so completely heartbroken. I thought I had done well in the interviews. Well, that’s not completely true. I thought I had done well in the first, but not so much the second. I was so devastated that the moment I heard my mom’s voice, I burst into tears. I hate crying over the phone. Because then the person on the other side has to listen to me sob and be miserable and that’s just gross. As I cried and cried, my mom keep trying to calm me. “We’ll find something for you. There’s something out there. We’ll find it.” A while after this phone call, I realized something. Before, when I called my mom, crying because yet another job failed, she always said, “Keep looking. You’ll find something. It takes time.” And now, all of a sudden, You became We. When I realized this, I wanted to cry. I realized it takes a village and the one person who takes every single rejection harder than I do might be my mom. But by changing You to We, my mom comforted me by telling me that she would be with me throughout the whole process. She has been, since I started my search, but now, in the time I needed it the most, she stepped up and made my job search a joint effort. I’m not alone in this search.
But anyway. I didn’t set out to write this post about the people in my life who just want me to be happy. I meant to write about all the crazy things that have happened to me. I have one friend I’ve been constantly talking to during my whole search. She’s told me countless times, “Yeah I haven’t ever heard of anyone having experiences quite like yours.”
I also didn’t set out to write this post an introduction to a series of the not so believable happening to me throughout this whole process. But that’s exactly what I’m going to do. These things actually have happened to me. It’s weird and some of them will sound completely made up but they actually all happened. This is what I’ve been living all year, so I might as well share it.
So. In all my months of searching without any luck, I have gained some stuff. I’ve gained patience, perseverance, and a whole lot of support and love from those close to me. But what’s more fun, I’ve gained a whole slew of stories. And some of them are good.
(As a disclaimer, because we all know I’m really good at them and include them in everything, I won’t write about recent experiences. I know that this could potentially go wrong and could cast me in a terrible, unhireable light. So I will exercise caution and discretion.)