“Your value is not your current circumstance.”

I went to see my Therapist today. Let me just say, she’s wonderful.

One of the biggest takeaways that came from today’s session was the fact that I’m someone who correlates my value to my present circumstance.

I’m in a shitty place in my life right now. I am. I don’t avoid that fact at all. I’m unemployed, I don’t get along with my parents, my family and most people around me. Not for lack of trying, mostly for the fact that my beliefs and outlook towards the world are vastly different than those which I was raised with.

I know that I’m an intelligent, competent, qualified person. I know that I have a pleasant personality, that I’m loyal and I giving of kindness, compassion and love. I don’t see those things though. I see consistent rejection. I see consistent disappointment. I see myself consistently falling short, whether it’s my fault or not… I always find myself blaming… myself.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think no matter who you are or what your situation is, a lot of people correlate their value to their situation. And a lot of people wind up in bad situations at one time or another in their life. After all, we’re all only human.

It’s something that I struggle with. I need to be better at accepting rejection. Because this is my present situation and even though it’s my present situation, it’s not my value. Even if they reject me, I’m still intelligent, competent, qualified, pleasant, loyal, kind and compassionate. I’m still all of those things. But when I consistently find myself getting rejected, I consistently find myself believing I’m being rejected because I’m flawed. Because I’m a problem, because I’m a loser. Because there’s something wrong with me. There’s always something wrong with me.

I’m not saying that I’m perfect. Because I’m definitely not. But I could be a fucking incredible addition to any office, and all of these rejections do not have anything to do with the value that I bring to this world.

I need to do a better job at talking myself up. I need to do a better job at remembering that if they don’t hire me that’s their loss, not mine.

My therapist, the sweet and wonderful human being that she is, said ‘I think you’re too big for this town. I really do. In the limited time that I’ve known you I’ve come to realize the sheer capacity you have to change people, and to make them better.’ And honestly, hearing it come from her was a huge boost to my self-esteem. Then she went on to say ‘I wish you would take that power you have to change others and use it to instill change within yourself. It’s time you start believing in yourself.’

After I left her office I went to watch my nephew play hockey. There’s no reception in the arena(it’s basically a giant cement cave) so I had a few missed calls when I got out of the arena. One of the voicemails was from my Therapist. She’d gone online and looked up positions pertaining to my skills/experience and called to tell me the positions that she found that she believes I should apply for. How amazing is that? She went looking for potential jobs for me!

I need to do a better job with rejection.

I need to remember my value. In 2019, dealing with this shit storm has made it so easy for me to believe less of myself and diminish my value. I’m not any less of a person than I’ve ever been and I need to start remembering that.

Circumstances don’t define me. It’s just a temporary stop on a journey to where I need to be, where I belong and where I’m happy with what I truly deserve.

Had a good job interview… for a change.

Oy!

I thought I was the only person who added ‘Batman’ on the end of a statement when I was trying to accentuate the statement.

I had a job interview over Skype this afternoon. It was with an Architectural Design firm and I think that it went really well.

It started off on a bit of a funny note. I’ve been dealing with a woman at the firm who has been arranging the interviews for the CEO. When she called me on skype prior to the CEO walking in she was immediately startled and said ‘Holy Blue Eyes Batman!’

I laughed. I also said ‘Sorry’. I’m not sure why I said that. I just chalk it up to being Canadian. I’ve gotten reactions from people about my eyes for my entire life. It’s not really anything new for me. And I genuinely do think I startled her. I can’t imagine what it’s like to see my face as big as a wall.

She said ‘Are you wearing contacts?’

‘Nope, this is my natural eye colour,’ I said.

She apologized to me several times for commenting on my eyes (I think she felt really awful about her reaction), and then she told me she needed to dim the brightness of screen. (She seems like a good person. I bet if I did work there we’d be friends.)

The CEO came in, the interview went really well. I genuinely think they quite liked me. The CEO was laughing and told me that my qualifications were impressive on a few different occasions.

I don’t want to get my hopes up only to get disappointed, but my hopes are up with this one.

Cross your fingers for me, please!

Day by day my soul strips away.

Okay, that’s a little dramatic, I’ll admit. But when I get upset, that seems to be how I feel.

I went to a job interview today for an office assistant position. The position title was “Office Assistant”, I did not misread it. Thinking I’m more than capable of doing that, I applied.

Upon getting to the interview today, I learned that they weren’t wanting an office assistant, they already had one. They were wanting a collections agent.

The company is 1.6 million dollars in debt, due to the lack of collecting payment for services rendered over the past several years. As they sat there explaining to me the position requirements that were, and I quote: “making calls all day every day to collect payment”, I couldn’t help but think I was wasting my time.

When I was asked if I had any questions for him, I only asked one question. I said: “Why did you advertise for an office assistant if you’re looking for a collections agent?”

The boss was dumbfounded that I would ask such a blunt question in an interview.

His response? “I’ll be straight with you, doll. I really didn’t think that I would attract the right type of candidates if I posted the job was for collections.”

I can’t even begin to explain how much it made my skin crawl to hear a 65 year old lying creep refer to me as ‘Doll’ in a job interview. But hey, at least he was straight up willing to admit he lied through his teeth because he knows the job he’s offering is shit. A LOT of employers won’t do that.

When he asked if it was a job I was interested in I told him that I’d need to think about because I have no experience with collections and that’s a definite worry of mine.

His response? “Don’t worry doll. With that sweet and sultry voice of yours I’m sure you can convince anyone you talk to of anything. Getting money from them will be a piece of cake.”

Excuse me while I hold back my vomit.

I said ‘thanks for your time’ and then went on my way.

I’m really not sure what to do. On the one hand, I need a job. On the other, if he’s talking to me like that in an interview, I can’t imagine what he’d talk like if I was actually his employee. Also, if he can flat-out lie on the job posting, how do I know what he says is truth or not?

Ugh.

Unemployment.

Can Wal-Mart just hire me already? It seems like it’d be nice to just stand at the cash register and scan items through for eight hours. It’s mindless. I could do that. I could do that well. Seems like a much better way to make minimum wage than working for a creepy boss trying to collect more than 1.6 million dollars in unpaid funds.

Unemployment is exhausting on the body, mind and soul.

Another day, another setback.

I first had a phone interview with a company on July 3rd. They had liked me so much that I had a Skype interview with the same company on July 10th.

Then I was told they needed a week to continue interviews with other candidates and they’d get back to me. I was told I’d hear from them regarding a decision on July 17.

On July 19th, I sent an email and said ‘Hey, haven’t heard from you guys, just wondering if there are any updates’, in a professional manner. Less than ten minutes later they wrote back and said ‘Hey, we’d like for you to have a skype interview with our CEO. He has a busy schedule though, we’ll get back to you when we know he’s available for an interview’.

On July 22 they sent me an email that said the CEO would be available to do a Skype interview with me on August 6. More than two weeks away, and more than a month after my initial phone interview.

I ain’t got nowhere to go. My job offer had been rescinded on July 11, so it’s not like I had many choices. I agreed to call them on Skype on August 6 at 11 am and asked that if a time came up prior to that point they let me know because I’d love to speak with their CEO sooner.

I waited my turn. I continued applying for jobs, arranging interviews, wasting my time filling out assessment tests that explain nothing more than a candidates deductive reasoning skills. I’ve not been sitting on my butt. I’ve genuinely been trying as I waited for August 6th.

August 6th finally arrives.

As I’m straightening my hair and putting on my makeup this morning I hear my phone beep with an email that’s come through.

9:55 am I receive an email that says “We’re so sorry to do this to you but we have to cancel. An emergency came up and we won’t be able to have the interview this morning. – M”

ALRIGHT. At this point you’re just screwing with me. You’re wasting my time and you just don’t give a fuck.

Honestly, I’m so tired of these games. If you’ve got another candidate you’ve offered the job to, that’s fine. Stop lying to me. If you actually had an emergency in which you have enough time to email me, you’d say “We’ll reschedule”. If you actually cared about me as a candidate whatsoever, you’d say “We’ll be in touch” or something of the sort. But nothing. No “We’ll call you”… noooo language whatsoever that’ll allow me to believe I’ll ever hear from this company again.

I feel like this is the unemployment version of a breakup where… instead of breaking up with you they play stupid games with you in hopes that you get fed up and walk away.

Things I’ve learned applying for more than 200 jobs.

I’ve been unemployed for seven months. It has been seven months filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

On one hand, I’m glad to be free of the prison-like confinement I felt being around my previous boss. I’m glad I’m not in an environment that celebrates toxic-masculinity and treats women as though the only thing they bring to the table is boobs.

On the other hand, I miss work. I miss financial independence. I miss the feeling that I felt when I was contributing to something, when I was making a difference to someone’s (not in my office) day.

I looked in my resume folder last night and I realized that it now has more than 200 files in it. 200 resumes. 200 times I was rejected. 200 times I was said no to. 200 times I tried and it didn’t work out.

I’ve been applying for employment throughout the past seven months. I’ve applied for career positions, for retail positions, for casual positions, for any position that I thought might allow me to start earning a pay cheque again. I’ve been hired and had my job offer rescinded after I signed contracts and employment paperwork, I’ve made it to the final round, I’ve been one of the last two candidates for them to choose from, I’ve had people ignore my resume, I’ve had scammers tell me that I need to pay $4,000 as a security deposit before I can work for them. I’ve been to good interviews and bad interviews, I’ve wasted my time trying to hunt people down and I’ve spent a lot of time on interviews and conversations that didn’t end up going anywhere.

I’ve been through it all and, through it all, these are the things that my unemployment has taught me.

Always, always, ALWAYS review your resume. The most embarrassing thing you can do for yourself is to send off a resume with the wrong company name on it, or with spelling mistakes. Whether you’ve sent off 3 or 4 resumes, or 200 resumes, ensure you’re reviewing and spell-checking every time you curate your resume.

Curate your resume. Every time. As annoying as it is, it will stand out a whole lot more if you’ve got it curated to the job your applying for. Everyone on earth can write standard skills for standard employment on a resume. If you want ‘this’ job, then curate your resume to showcase skills that would make you an asset for ‘this’ job.

Rejection is not about you. Think of it this way: most often, you’re competing against hundreds of candidates for a position. As one of hundreds of candidates, if your resume doesn’t even make it into the ‘read’ pile, that says nothing about you. Sometimes, they only read the resumes of those who are local. Sometimes, they only read the first 300 resumes they get instead of all 800. I know what you’re thinking… that’s silly. Why would they only read 300 of 800 resumes, they’re missing out on so many candidates. The newsflash here is… most companies don’t give a damn. They really don’t. I’ve seen this in action. Though they’d never say it publicly, the previous office I worked in would eliminate all resumes from the pile for, management positions, if the candidate had a female’s name on their resume. If they had a name that is more gender neutral (where it could be a guy or a girl), they’d go into the maybe pile. They’d only move to the gender neutral named candidates if they couldn’t find the person they want in the resumes that were clearly men. I guarantee you that my former office is not the only place on earth where things like this happen.

Don’t feel bad about lying to put yourself ahead. Companies don’t care about you. They don’t. If you need to state that you’re living in a place in order to get them to consider you as a ‘local candidate’, say that. If you need to have your best friend pretend that he/she worked with you at your last job in order to get a reference, do that. Companies are putting themselves first, so do the same thing for yourself.

DO NOT be afraid to correct a potential employer. I’ve been called the wrong names… multiple times, I’ve had companies read form the wrong person’s resume to ask me questions… in front of me. I’ve had companies imply things about me that weren’t true and I’ve had companies speculate things they have no business in asking. When you’re unemployed, it’s easy to sit and be quiet about these things because you worry that if you speak up they won’t like you and you’ll miss the opportunity. I’m telling you right now, honestly, it’s far more important for you to stick up for yourself then to fall quiet and be seen as a push-over. Do not let a company ask you when you plan on having children. Do not let a company call you the wrong name. Let them know who you are and that you’re strong enough to speak up for yourself.

If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. I had a company tell me that in order to work for them I needed to pay a $4,000 security deposit. I was told that it’s a ‘normal thing and that all employees have to do it’. There is no security deposit required to work. None at all. There are, however, a lot of people in this world ready and willing to scam the vulnerable. If you feel as though someone is scamming you, they probably are. Be mindful of what companies are saying and trust your gut.

You are strong, you will get through this. Deep in the throws of unemployment, it can often feel as though you’re never going to get a job. It’s easy to get ‘down in the dumps’. Though it seems as though it’s never going to end, it will. You’re talented, smart and a viable candidate for many a positions. Don’t let your current situation define your future. Don’t let your head win.

Use each devastating blow as fuel to the fire. Having my job offer rescinded just three days before I was supposed to have my first day of work… it broke my heart. It really did. I think it’s important to remember in times like these, though, that I still got the job. I still was their candidate selected. And I dodged a bullet now that I’m not working for them. Turn those negative thoughts into positives and use it as motivation for your future job applications, future interviews and future opportunities.

Seek help. Accept help. Use help. Wherever you find it, however it comes about in your life, help is a good thing. Whether it’s someone to vent your frustrations to, someone to read over your cover letter or someone give you money, no questions asked, so your bills get paid… use the help. Don’t be too proud. If you’re lucky enough to have people offer help when you need it, take advantage of it when you get it. There’ll be a time in the future when you can pay it forward.

Remember your worth. There are a lot of companies in 2019 who list egregious qualifications and education requirements for positions where they’re only opting to pay minimum wage, if that (a lot of companies are trying to turn these positions into internships). Don’t ever allow a company to make you feel as though you’re worth less than you are as a means to pigeon hole you into a run of the mill position in a sub-standard office. If you have a means of holding out for the right position, do that. And if you don’t have those means, take the position that pays minimum wage, but take it ‘for-now’ and don’t stop looking for your dream job. Because it’s out there and you deserve it.

Find and effective means for managing stress. Unemployment is stressful as heck. You need an outlet to help you get through. So find that outlet and make use of it. Whether it’s yoga, a good book, screamo music or whatever helps you destress, find it and use it.

If it doesn’t work out, it’s probably for the best.

Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop.

Unemployment isn’t easy. It’s one of the most difficult things that anyone can go through, quite honestly. I think the biggest thing you can remember through a trying time like this is to just keep going. Keep your support system close and make use them, every step of the way. Whether it’s for a cup of coffee, help with your resume creation or just And don’t ever stop. In the words of Ayn Rand, “the world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”

A (whiny) day in the life of an unemployed millennial.

It’s been a few weeks now since my mom was officially declared to be in remission. Here, here! I’m thankful for the incredible doctors, nurses, caretakers and specialists who looked after her for the past eight months. It’s all because of them that she’s now healthy.

Since she’s been in remission, I’ve been struggling to find my way. Truthfully, I don’t know how I fit into this family. When I was looking after my mom I had a purpose for being here. Now I just feel like a little bit of a dead-weight permanently attached to their ankles.

Every day is different, but most days involve the same themes to them.

8:30 am – Wake up, take dog outside, feed dog.

9:00 am – Eat breakfast, watch the Maury show. (I’m not sure if anyone else loves this show as much as I do but watching Maury makes me feel a lot better about my problems)

10:00 am – Crawl back into bed because… really, I don’t have anything to be awake for.

11:00 am – Wake up for a second time.

11:30 am – Go to meet my brother and sister-in-law for lunch. Tell my brother and sister-in-law how excited i am to be starting my new job next week, that I really needed this and that’s important to me to be making a pay-cheque again. Tell them all about the issues I’ve been having in the past six months trying to find work and how frustrating the process is and feel as though they genuinely understand and don’t just presume I’m lazy and unmotivated. It’s a nice change.

1:30 pm – Return home. Take the dog for a quick walk to get her out and give her some exercise.

2:00 pm – ‘To-be boss’ phones and leaves irky voicemail while I am in the shower asking me to call her back immediately.

2:20 pm – Call back my ‘to-be boss’ to be informed that the job I am supposed to start in three days I am no longer hired for. Is it technically considered as being fired if I never made it to my first day? Apparently corporate restructuring came down just three days before my start date, so my job offer has been rescinded. But, she said ‘You’re a smart kid, I know you’ll land on your feet’, so everything’s going to be okay. Right?

2:22 pm – Immediately start crying. Cannot control the crying. Text my mom and Knight to tell them what happened. Proceed to spend several hours feeling sorry for myself and mad at the world whilst trying to tell myself that this wasn’t meant to be, I’m meant for bigger things and that I’ve ‘dodged a bullet’.

6:30 pm – Ordered takeout

6:35 pm – Back to the drawing board. I opened my computer back up, searched jobs in this city and jobs in Calgary (where I’d like to be) and began editing and submitting my resume to each of these businesses.

I would just like to say, job hunting is an aggravating process. One of the applications I filled out asked “Can you speak Canada?” That doesn’t even make sense. I can definitely speak better English than that, so can I have the job of creating your job applications from now on?

8:30 pm – Take dog for a long walk. There’s a large hill with 100 stairs near my house. I like to take the dog there and I do the stairs and she runs the hill beside me a few times over to tire her out. Exercise is good for the soul, especially when you’re in a bad mood. I wholeheartedly believe that.

10:00 pm – Back to the drawing board, continuation from earlier. I’m browsing job postings. This night I am also submitting my resume to McDonald’s and Burger King. I may not like the outfits, but I think it’s time I start one of these jobs, at the least, to ensure I make some money this year.

I like to put Friends, The Big Bang Theory or Two Broke Girls on the tv in the background. The great thing about all three of these shows is that they’re pretty much on at all hours of the day if you look.

Job hunting isn’t the funnest process. At least, with these shows I can have a couple of laughs during the hunt.

1:00 am – Play Clash Royale until I’m ready to fall asleep.

I’m not really sure where I’m going next. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do. At some point I’m going to have to tell my friends and family that I was ‘unhired’ and had the rug pulled from beneath my feet. I presume that’ll come on Monday when they all ask me how work is going and I don’t have a response fo rthem.

Right now, I guess I just have to keep going until I find the path that’s right for me. I hate having so many unanswered questions. I hate having so much up in the air. For someone who moved out of the house when she was 16, it’s a really hard pill to swallow to be unemployed in my parents basement at 30.

I can truly say that I never saw this happening for my life. I can truly say that it’s a struggle, most days, to keep going. But I guess the important thing at this point is to keep going and stop feeling sorry for myself. I need to get out of this rut. Life isn’t always easy and I need to be better at dealing with that.

I know I’ll land on my feet eventually. I just wish I knew when that was. Because, quite frankly, not knowing is what makes this so hard.