Not working is hard work.

There are job databases to explore, listings to peruse, cover letters to write, resumes to tweak and email, follow-up voice mail messages to leave, online profiles to create and so many other ways to spend countless hours sitting before a glowing computer screen outside my bedroom. Then, you swallow the mounting disappointment and frustration, go to bed and do the same thing all over again the next day.

If nothing else, this process is teaching me a lot about humility (well, more like forcing humility down my gagging throat, but I think you get the picture), which I know is not a bad thing. I’ve met some good and interesting people in my search, and I’m becoming more and more acquainted with the area and how it ticks, which will come in handy if I ever do secure a media-related job here.

I know it’s only been a couple weeks, but the days of pushing and pushing with nothing but silence and unreturned phone calls and emails on the other end is disheartening; there’s simply no way around the fact. If I were dating a woman like Job Opportunities, we would have broken up a long time ago.

It’s been eye-opening in other ways, as well. You’d have to have been living in a cabin in the woods for the past few years to not know our economy is weak and unemployment is sky-high, but I still never came close to grasping what it’s really like until I joined the ranks of the job seekers.

Of course, the worst effects are internal: the self-doubting, the isolationism, the internal battle between settling for something decent and holding out for The Best. The sense that you’ve been disconnected from most everyone else, that the world is spinning on — and doing just fine without you, by the way.

So, yes, I’m discouraged, but I would like to think I’m a lot closer to realistic than hopeless. There are so many who are in far worse situations than we. And my trust in God hasn’t wavered; he’s done an excellent job of taking care of me to this point, after all, and I don’t have any reason to think that will change now.

And if he leads any of you to offer me a full-time job at a local newspaper while you’re reading this, feel free to drop me a line.

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One thought on “On being unemployed, part 1

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