Friday, July 6, 2007

If you have spoken to me... all over the past three years, or even just read this journal, odds are you know that jobhunting has taken up a great deal of my energy since I graduated college. For the past three years, I have let my jobsearch issues, more or less, take over my life and dictate my moods and how I felt about myself. Because of this jobhunt (or, two jobhunts, as it turned out), I have had many crying spells, sleepless nights and days when I don't even want to get out of bed. An interview which felt successful left me bubbly and hyper...a phone call or email rejecting me made me slam my door and flng myself onto my bed and sob.

(That sounds very pathetic, doesn't it?)

My first jobhunt lasted two years. I began it bubbly and excited, with my first interview being with Scholastic...if I wasn't tailor-made to work for Scholastic, who was? I had spent three years working in the children's department of Barnes and Noble. Children books were my "thing". My plan was to write them, and then eventually get a television show based on them. (We would teach grammar and manners. And have people dressed in animal suits. And I wanted my friend, Broadway actor Cheyenne Jackson, to play the magical mailman who sings and dances.)

But I didn't get that job.

Nor did I the next...or the next...or the next...fifty or sixty. Finally, in March 2006, I was offered a position with one of the biggest names in the Broadway industry and I understood why my hunt had been so frustrating. I was truly grateful for this little job in this big industry. I gave it my all. I took every demeaning order with a smile on my face...and then I got laid-off almost a year after I began the position.

(One of the duties of my job included buying birthday cakes and cards for my officemates. I found JUST the right card and cake for everybody. Then they fired me just a week before my own birthday, so I never got my own cake or card. I think that sucks, and I will most likely be bitter over that for the rest of my life.)

I went head-first into Jobhunt Round 2, and I have already been on about 20 job interviews since the beginning of April.

Nobody's hiring me.

I don't get it.

There was one job I wanted very much, and on Tuesday, the office left me a message to call them back. In my experience, they never leave you a message to call them back so they can say, "Hey loser! You didn't get the job! See 'ya!"

I was convinced the job was in the bag. I took a deep breath and called them back.

However, it was just a very nice rejection. After I hung up, I ran into a guy I knew and could barely get out "Hello" before I burst into tears. The rejection and disappointment have all just become so familiar and frustrating.

I don't think it's possible for me to count how many times, over the past three years, I have said, "What's WRONG with me? Why won't anybody hire me?"

The other night, I sat on the beach to clear my mind and I started thinking, "What IS a job, anyway?" It doesn't matter what you do. It matters that you're a good person, and pursue your dreams. When I worked at the bookstore, I used to get embarassed when people I knew from high school and college would come by...I hated admitting I was still working my afterschool retail job when they had moved on to bigger and better things. Looking back, that was a stupid way to think. I had nothing to be ashamed of. Whatever job I have ever had, I have always done my best, and that is what matters. I also realize that if I really do want to call myself a writer, now is the time to o after that. Nobody can write for me!

Last week, I walked past the Scholastic headquarters building...I looked up at it, and the Harry Potter and Clifford decorations and remembered how excited I was when I went to my very first job interview there. I had been so happy, and was so certain that I was going to get that job. I wonder what would have happened if I HAD gotten that job and hadn't had to go on 34,565 interviews over the next two years. Did those two years make me a stronger person? Or am I just further behind because I did not get on a career track sooner? I guess that's something I can't really answer, because, well "who knows"?

I have always, unfortunetely, been somebody who plays "what-if" a lot. One thing I often associate "what-if" with is my father's death. If my father hadn't differently would things have turned out for me? My grades probably wouldn't have dropped my junior year, and I probably would have been able to have gotten into a really great college. I could have made connections. Maybe I would have met famous writers or editors. Heck, I could have had a book on the bestseller's list right now, instead of writing on blogspot. I probably wouldn't have some of the emotionally screwy issues I have that one often aquires when losing a parent when they are a child (all that detachment stuff...) But...once again..."who knows"?

A job is a job is a job is a job.

It's 8 hours out of a 24 day.

When I was laid-off in March, I sunk into a pretty bad depression which I am still not pretty sure if I am 100% out of yet. But I am trying...because I know what really matters...

Diana Rissetto