Saturday, November 5, 2011

Much Success!

After filling out and submitting 48 applications and having 21 phone or in-person interviews over the course of four months, I was recently hired as a nanny/house manager for a family near me, which means I am in the process of transitioning from "funemployed" to "fun employed."

The mother of the family emailed me to let me know. Before telling anyone, I closed my gmail and opened it again to check that the email was still there. I read it several times to make sure I was reading right and that she was actually hiring me. After receiving only rejections, you start to assume all communication is going to be rejection. But no, the family really did want me. I did a victory dance in the living room, then ran and launched myself onto Brit, still asleep in bed, to tell her the good news.

I've been metaphorically patting myself on the back, but with some apprehension. I don't want to celebrate too much, just in case I wake up one day and find out it isn't real. I've gotten so used to not getting jobs it's weird to know I now have one. Here are some other things I've realized during my Funemployment:
  1. A generic rejection letter, though less awkward, is more dehumanizing than a personal rejection call.
  2. Though you generally have more time on your hands, you somehow don't get any more done in a day.
  3. You plan your life week-by-week, sometimes day-by-day, because thinking long term is depressing, and besides, that's how part-time support work is scheduled.
  4. You get roped into a lot of things because "you're not doing anything, right?"
  5. Job searching is a full-time job with no dress codes or weekly staff meetings.
  6. It's annoying to hear any complaints from the gainfully employed.
  7. Despite not wanting to hear those complaints, they do remind you that work isn't life.
  8. As desperate as I sometimes felt, it was never really that awful and there were still things I was not about to do.
  9. Community was a lifesaver. I don't know how I would have survived without a group of cheerleaders, meal-sharers, snuggle buddies, Twitter followers, and gentle friends to encourage me, send me job postings, help me write cover letters, and love me up when I was feeling unmotivated.
  10. Even though it was a stressful, frustrating period of my life, Funemployment gave me a lot of writing material and could be a very funny topic in conversation.
I know my period of funemployment was not as long or as intense as it is for many others--I was technically working, albeit sporadically, so while I wasn't working I tried not to be super dramatic about it. Now that I have regular employment, though, I'm feeling pretty damn good. Not just in the Paying Bills and Productive Citizen categories of life, either. This is a boost in the Self Esteem, No Shame in Not Doing Job-Related Things, and General Purpose for Life categories as well.

And now I get to do all those things people say they'll do once they find know, like get a tattoo, buy something outrageous, dye their hair, go to Spain for a week...people do those things, right?

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