On 2013 Being the Lucky 13: My Unemployment Chronicle

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Wow this post has indeed undergone many incarnations… I added this final bit to it in September 2013… the moral of the story: The job hunt is not for the weary… The funny thing is that this post, the “job” I supposedly found is not at all the job I ended up with.

Exactly what I did when it was finalized….

You see, sometimes I write posts that will be future posts, if they could just happen in the present.  It’s a bit like positive affirmation.  In the end I am employed, and will tell that story in another post, I just wanted to share just how long and arduous my job search journey has been this time around.

And just an fyi, I know I am one of the “lucky ones” being underemployed with two Masters degrees, is a lot better than being unemployed with only a High school diploma.

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And here it is July 2013 and I can finally post this!… yes, this post had undergone many incarnations and additions.

I didn’t want to post about the ups and downs of the job search because it’s pretty darn depressing.  I made a decision sometime circa March 2013 that I would just wallow in self-pity all by myself.  Some things are better left unshared with the world… ha, ha…

But, I was severely underemployed since February 2013 which was indeed a step from being unemployed.  My job, a full-time, paid internship, was something to pass time with, and afforded me the chance to keep up with my Arabic (that’s for sure!) but it paid a paltry salary: There are people with high school diplomas who make more than that… and certainly people with fewer degrees/experiences than I have.

At any rate, the past few months were difficult for a number of reasons and having a job that fell so far below what I should be capable of earning, hurt like the dickens.  But what was a girl to do?

Oh God, I wish it were that easy…

Sometimes I hated my job and everyone I worked with, but then I would come down from my depression high and realize that how I felt had nothing to do with them, and everything to do with my circumstance.  I talked a good talk, trying to give pep-talks to my underemployed/unemployed compatriots.  But I was actually trying to jazz up my situation in own mind, “everything happens for a reason,” “Rabna Kareem (God is generous…i.e. He will work it all out)” “My situation could be a lot worse” “One day, I will get out of here”…

My life for the past several months…

But the reality was that sometimes I would literally go the restroom and cry for 5 minutes… It would really suck when someone else came in and I had to make sure to stifle my groans… ha, ha… (but not really funny, because it really happened, like a lot).

I largely kept to myself, (for financial reasons and for personal ones).  Socializing wasn’t on my brain, not when that time could be spent applying for jobs.  Networking for me, always turned around to bite me in the butt… to this day, I have never ever got anything via networking, besides a bunch of false hopes… ha, ha… some people’s lives are like that.  I just got tired, and grew increasingly so with every passing day, with each application that didn’t end in the way I wanted it to… the best (i.e. worst) one was when the person who was hired in my stead had Zero, 0, zilch, no middle east experience whatsoever!

I’ve gotten that one a few times too… fml

It wasn’t a wake-up call per se, it was just another one of those wtf moments… fml…. It was ironic in a way, the people I felt were my real competition turned out to be rejects just like me, at least at the time.

Yup, besides all the positive reinforcements that I was giving myself, the fact of the matter was that my life was in fact F*&* up…..Sometimes I wondered if I wasn’t cursed… like for real, cursed (and I am not overreacting… my underemployment was just the cherry on top of my cake of problems… I always allude to things, but can never delve into everything on this blog… suffice to say my life has been a shit show in a lot of ways… sigh)

But, that part is over now.  Now, I can finally publish this post that I had hoped to be able to put up months ago without the edits and preambles that it now has.

Oh well…..

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from circa December 2012:

Alhamdullilah! all is not lost, I have been hired for a position. ( and that apparently is no small feat).  I will get to speak Arabic, maybe travel to the Middle East and get some meaningful, full-time work experience under my belt.  So Gazelle the constant traveler is docked on this hemisphere for a while.  No more extended trips out in God knows where, doing God knows what.  That is a relief?

I always say I want more family time. Well I get it now.

So life is not quite as disappointing as it felt a few weeks ago. Or last year…  This job was a welcome surprise. Knowing that my Spain dreams were grinding to hault, I began a daunting job search in earnest.  Did I mention how much job searching in this economy stinks?  I went from being upbeat and optimistic at interviews to making my heart as cold and unfeeling as the whole job-hunt feels.  I tired of the waiting on bated-breath as some really nice and some not- so- curteous institutions got back to me with a big fat “NO!  We don’t want you!”  I think the rejection after the interview is worse than just getting a you didn’t make the first cut rejection.  By the time you interview, especially if it’s a second interview, you have so much vested in this process/organization…. it just makes your denial a little more personal.

(incidentally, I first drafted this post while on a high  after one of those what I thought was a shoe-in interviews.  Then, I had to pump the breaks on posting because, well the wonderful job opportunity was not mine.  I could definitely go on and on about the self-doubt and just complete despair this process engendered  but let’s leave that to other bloggers.  I am just glad it’s over).

Is all right with the world again?  Hardly. But God threw a flashlight at me, which enabled me to see down here in this pit of despair.  2012 has been a weird year.  I have much to be thankful for, that’s true, but also much to sort out.

I have had a nagging feeling since my uncle passed that I wasn’t going anywhere— and I don’t mean in the physical sense.

In short, this  lost opportunity is the least of my worries.  Here’s to 2013 being lucky 2013…

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