One of my first posts on howto20something was a piece about my job hunting experience which (spoilers) ended with me losing my job 3 days before it posted. This post begins where that post ends. Click here to read that post.
I lost my Job, and I couldn’t have been happier.
I don’t know if many people can say this, but the day I lost my job was the best day of my life. Although I was happy to have a job and an income, that was about the extent of my happiness. It was really sad to think I wasn’t enjoying the majority of the hours in my week because they were being spent at a job I hated.
As I was leaving work that day, which was less of leaving and more of being forced out the door, I immediately picked up the phone and called the camp director of the summer camp I had worked for since I was 16. I left her a voicemail filled with tears and desperation, telling her I needed a place to go for the summer. She called me back immediately and said, “Can you be here tomorrow?” And I was there.
Camp was my escape from reality.
I was really lucky to have summer camp when everything went down. Instead of going home and wallowing in the fact that I was failing at being an adult, I got to go to a place where it’s your job description to act like a child. I fought my sorrows by choreographing dances to Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” and helping 13 year olds find dates to the dance. It was awesome.
Now I don’t know if this was a good decision or not but it’s a decision I decided to make nonetheless. While at camp for the summer I decided I wouldn’t think about the future until summer was over. I applied to very few jobs, and I told myself the worrying could wait.
See my last job hunt put me in a very dark place.
Looking for jobs before had stripped me of every good thought I had ever had about myself. Not being able to find a job destroyed me, and that was not something I was willing to let happen again this time around. With the opportunity to put all of my job hunting anxieties on pause for the summer, I decided to leave the future for the future.
Now the future has become the present, and I would be lying to you if I said I’m not worried. I have started applying to jobs and reaching out to people, but nothing is really lining up right now.
At this point I see that I have two options for dealing with my current state of unemployment.
I can repeat my own tragic history and return to nights of sobbing and feeling sorry for myself. Or…I can do things differently this time. While I don’t really think I can change the job hunting process (it will still likely consist of endless applications, few responses, and reaching out to a friend of a friend’s uncle to get a name in), I can change how I let this process make me feel.
I am choosing not to let the job hunting process ruin my world, because there are other things going on in my world that have a stake in my happiness as well.
There are things I have this time around that I didn’t have before, and I think that’s going to be what carries me through.
I have hobbies I am really passionate about. One being writing for this really cool website. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it or not but it’s called howto20something.com. I get to tell people how terrible I am at life; they get to read it and enjoy it, and I really enjoy that. So writing is something new I have one my side, which is going to help me shed some humor on my less than funny situation.
I have also started putting some of my creative energy into creating weekly videos for a personal youtube channel. It has become a really positive thing for me and it gives me something to work hard on. I am not going to have to worry about my days of nothing to do during my job hunt, because I have found things to do outside of the professional world that I am really passionate about.
Personal success can be found outside the professional world.
What I am learning and trying to remind myself every day is success isn’t only found in a job or career. Success is something we can feel about every little thing we accomplish in this life. I have begun to feel success in the person I have grown to be, the things I create, and the life I am building for myself. My lack of professional “success” cannot take away the pride I have for all of my personal accomplishments, and that is how I know I am actually going to survive the job hunt.
Now this is my story, and how I feel about heading back into the job hunting struggle. I may not be able to tell you step by step how to survive this aspect of twenty-something life, but I can say finding success in other aspects of your life can really help you feel better about yourself. By working hard at things outside a 9-5 world, I have really grown to see that my life is going to be worth so much more than whatever I eventually find to give me a paycheck.