It’s been a funny old day. Today is the first Monday in an exceptionally long time that I haven’t had an office to get up and go to, or an office from which I just happen to be having a welcome day off. Finding myself suddenly unemployed at the age of 35 feels decidedly odd and not in a ‘nice odd’ way. The closest thing I can liken it to (from what I remember) is the feeling post God-awful-breakup. I find myself asking completely pointless questions and even more pointlessly answering myself in true ‘just-dumped’ style: ‘How did I make such a gargantuan mistake??’ ‘It isn’t me, it’s them…’ ‘But what if it is me??’
This is probably because I am without a job under slightly unusual circumstances. I haven’t been made redundant, nor have I been fired, nor have I quit. I was unfortunately recruited into a position that it turns out doesn’t really exist. Suffice it to say I am now left with another practically full-time job called ‘job-hunting’ which is proving frustrating to say the very least.
Oddly, it felt completely different applying for jobs when I was actually still employed to applying for jobs now. For some bizarre reason my confidence has taken a nosedive over the weekend. Why this should be I really don’t know. Is it because I have been on the other side of the table so many times and I know how suspicious ‘breaks in employment’ make potential employers? Did I look more favourably on those currently employed than those who weren’t? Is it because, as an applicant, I feel you are always going to be looked on as ‘more desperate’ when unemployed? I honestly don’t know, but I can see how dangerous a situation it could potentially be if it goes on for too long. I can see how a lack of confidence may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So, this I WILL avoid. I’ve made myself some promises:
1) I will check my job alerts and various bookmarked websites every morning and apply for anything suitable (I have approximately 320 daily job alerts set up – or at least that’s how it feels). Being me, I will also keep a super detailed record of when I applied, who the agency / employer is, where the job is based, what the salary is and the closing date for applications etc.
2) I will keep my options open and explore other possibilities besides what I know best and what I have been doing forever.
3) I will keep my brain as active as I can by reading and writing every day.
4) I will make the most of the extra time I have with my children while I have it. I can’t afford to take Bella anywhere special on the two days per week I will have her with me, but I will give her my time and will even let her do messy stuff if that’s what she wants to do. Although Chloe will be at school during the days, I will see her for longer in the evenings and will try and read to her each night without being told off for yawning.
5) I will make the most of the extra time I have with my parents while I have it. My parents have done, and continue to do so much for us. I honestly don’t know what we would do without them and they never ask for anything in return. I can’t give much, but again, I can give some of my time.
6) I will constantly remind my wonderful husband how much I love him and not nag him about playing Warcraft. After all, he doesn’t nag me about reading and writing. We’re a good team.
7) I will do my best to look at this situation positively and hope that fate knew what she was doing when she brought this situation about. After all, things could be decidedly worse. My ‘break’ has coincided with the hottest weather the UK has experienced in over 35 years and I do have the best, most supportive family and friends a girl could wish for. I also do have some exciting possibilities out there. I just need some patience and a little bit of luck.
Positive things that happened today: I got to spend the whole day with Bella and she was a complete cuddly delight; we bought (cheap) sweets and I didn’t eat any of them. I also received a tweet from Simon Toyne (an author I am somewhat in awe of) calling me a ‘lovely lady’ for writing a glowing review of his book. Lastly, my doctor congratulated me on losing weight.
Tomorrow: I am spending the day in a Secondary School talking to English Teachers and observing English lessons & will apply for Job Seekers Allowance.
Now: I’m going to go and read some more of The Cuckoo’s Calling…