What Am I Doing Wrong?
February 3, 2012 12:02 PM Subscribe
My job search is making me extremely upset and depressed. What am I doing wrong? How can I push through the constant disappointment? Please hope me.
posted by thereemix to Work & Money (31 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
I was laid off two weeks ago, out of the blue, wasn't expecting it. It wasn't for cause. I have since applied to between 15-20 jobs literally every single day. I have signed up with temp agencies. I have reached out to people I know and I have tried to enlarge my network. I know two weeks isn't that long, given the economy, and many people have it worse, but I just got a call back from a temp agency that had a 6-month placement for me that they figured was a shoe-in, but the company decided to pass on me. This has completely destroyed my already fragile self-esteem. I have a competitive resume and lots of useful skills. I graduated from college 5 years ago and have been working ever since - this is the only time I've been unemployed and I am so scared. I'm thinking, god, if a temporary placement passed on me I must really suck. I know this is not rational, but I am sitting here crying like a baby over this. I had a phone interview for another position last week and was passed over because the company was looking for someone with closer to 10-15 years' experience - fair enough, I don't qualify for that at this point in my career. But a temporary position where I would be answering phones and doing internet research? I don't understand why I was passed over for that? I'm not trying to suggest that office support positions are beneath me (I started out in one such position and I am considering anything and everything at this point), but I am just so thrown for a loop right now.
In addition to applying for jobs online (which I know is a crapshoot) I have joined a couple of networking groups - I haven't met anyone face-to-face yet, but a meet-up is scheduled at the end of the month and I am looking forward to that. I'm also taking this time to enroll in a couple of relevant certificate programs to my field (with the generous assistance of a family member).
I'm reading What Color is Your Parachute right now. I'm trying to stay active. I've been going swimming and walking. I've been keeping a routine and not sleeping in till 11.
I have tried to connect with people through LinkedIn by asking my connections for introductions, and while I've gotten a few introductions that way, I haven't been able to take things to the next step by getting anyone to agree to meet me for an informational interview. I have tried, without being overly pushy. I have sent messages to the effect of "I'm looking to get a position doing [x related to this person's job] and was wondering if you'd be willing to give me some advice as to how best to do so." And then I've offered an email chat, a phone chat, or face-to-face time (offering to buy them a cup of coffee) and said I wouldn't take up more than 30 minutes. No one has responded. What am I doing wrong? No seriously, I am sure I'm doing something wrong there, can someone help me and tell me where my approach isn't quite right?
I've identified a few companies I would like to work for and have thought about contacting them directly, but I have no idea what to say in such a letter. Begging for a job is desperate, but what the hell do I say? These are small companies that don't have a "careers" section on their website but welcome you to contact them. I've heard of people landing jobs like this but I just don't believe that it could happen for me. I can't even get a freaking temp placement. What would I even say?
What am I doing wrong? I am desperate for any help at this point. My health insurance runs out at the end of the month, I won't be able to pay my bills if I can't even land something temporary, and I'm just so angry and upset and disappointed in myself that I'm in this situation after I worked so hard to get to where I was. I wasn't like some impressive department head or super manager or anything, but I was a good worker, not entry-level but not a manager yet ("experienced non-manager"? "associate"?). I am a good writer (the incoherence of this post aside - I'm just very upset right now and rambling) and I'm comfortable with technology and I know I'm just one of so many people out there looking for work right now and the odds are not in my favor, but I feel so lost and scared. I've spent the last 15 minutes staring at my computer and crying after the temp agency called to say that the company had passed on me for a 6 month position. I have no idea what to do. I am freezing up.
What am I doing wrong? How do I get beyond this? How do I not let this destroy me? I don't have a lot of friends nearby and my network isn't that big - I don't even have any 2nd degree connections on LinkedIn at any of these companies I'd want to work for and am thinking about approaching. I went to a really good college - a really overpriced Northeastern liberal arts college - and you'd think the alumni network from a place like that would be useful but apparently I am the only person in the entire history of the school who has decided to go into my field, so the network isn't terrible useful to me.
If it's relevant, I'm in my mid-20s, in the NYC area. Relocating is not an option right now due to a family situation. Any more specific information about my situation (industry, etc) I'm willing to provide via MeMail if anyone wants to help me.
I am very scared and upset and I can't stop crying.