Some people say, "don't quit your day job." I want a day job not to quit. This has turned recently into "I need a day job not to starve." Employers don't agree.
posted by dekathelon to Work & Money (55 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
So, details, I guess. I don't have a full-time job. I freelance currently, and in my field I am both well-respected and very good at what I do. (I can't go into much more detail because I feel like it will be counterproductive in a job-application sense to attach my name to this.) I'm incredibly grateful for all this, of course -- but it is not enough to pay the bills and never will be. Even beyond the basic Maslow facts of "not having a place to go every day has slowly ground me down to nothing": I have one month of rent left in my bank account before I literally have no money remaining. Getting a job immediately is now my only option. But I've been trying for six months to get a full-time job and have gotten nowhere.
Moreover, I don't have health insurance anymore. The copays from medical bills in the past, from when I did, were a large part of what eroded my savings, and considering I've had to spend that much on health care when I was insured, young and healthy-ish, so who even knows), it terrifies me to think how much I could have to pay without. I need cavities filled, but now I can't afford that. I haven't had a checkup since high school, but I can't afford that either. I'm still young enough to theoretically go on my parents' plan, but in practice I can't because I haven't spoken to my father in years, and my mother just lost her job and insurance and is unlikely to find a new one soon. (I'll never tell her that, of course -- but, well, it's true.) This also means I can't move back home. I'm completely on my own. Special snowflake details all, but I'm also literally in tears typing this.
So: every day I browse the job listing sites for anything even remotely applicable to my experience, but this only results in a few applications per week, just on sheer "what am I even qualified for" grounds, and I haven't had a job interview proper in months. Needless to say, it is incredibly demoralizing applying to entry-level job or internship after internship and not even getting a polite email back. I've been told by friends/colleagues that I should aim higher, but when aiming even at the bottom gets me nowhere that doesn't seem to hold much weight. It is a like a parallel world where I am simultaneously successful and worthless, and the worthless part is what determines my income and my life. (Before you ask, I cannot really dumb down my resume -- or rather, I can, but the nature of my work means that any prospective employer can Google me, find everything I left off within seconds, and then have questions about why I lied. It would take no conscious effort at all.) What I want, of course, is a job that I enjoy and that will lead to a career where I can actually know what the fuck I'm doing in 10 years. But I can't even get a terrible dead-end job that I hate -- I can't even get an interview for that job -- so I'm at my wit's end.
One thing that doesn't help, I'm sure, is that I used to have a full-time job, but leaving it was not my choice. This sounds like a euphemism because I don't even know what to call it. It wasn't part of mass layoffs, and my position, such as it was, still exists, but when it happened they cited no issues with my performance (I asked), and I was given what I gather is substantially more severance than usual. (That thing about my mother getting laid off? She got less severance than I did, which boggles my mind.) So now there is that classic six-month gap with freelance work afterward, which every HR representative knows is often obfuscating bullshit, even when (as in my case) it isn't.
Things I've tried or considered: temp agencies (busts, all of them; a few have flat-out told me I am overqualified, the rest just never get back to me); retail and food service (never heard back from anyone, which is understandable as I have no experience and I'm in a city which asks for another tier of in-city experience); tutoring (I'm in interview purgatory with one company and haven't heard back from any others; no private postings have even bothered to reply, which is understandable enough for parents vetting experience-free strangers to be around their kids but also doesn't help me); selling shit (I don't own anything valuable enough to substantially offset shipping/packaging costs, and besides that's just a temporary bandage); letting everyone I know in my field and out know I'm looking (a few leads, all of which went precisely nowhere); pretty much anything else you might suggest, above or under the table.
Please help. I've tried everything at this point, but nothing's worked, and as Eminem would put it: success is my only motherfucking option; failure's not.