It has been almost two months since I updated you about my life after France. Since returning home to the U.S. in mid-July (and with my overseas work contract officially ended in August), I had spent an agonizing 1-2 months on the job hunt. I expressed my frustrations and despair in my last post about it all, which you can go read on my blog.
I will say that it’s an understatement that I was feeling sad during the 1-2 months that I was unemployed. Not to say that I was full-blown depressed, but I was extremely unhappy, especially during the month of September. I had a “job” in August upon returning to the U.S., but it turned out to be a MLM scam. Even though I was only in it for three weeks, what I’d experienced was traumatic and somewhat messed me up– following the time I quit, I became really jaded over the idea of how some people could be so horrible in this world, and I admit that I became super bitter and low-key misanthropic. I had a hard time trusting people, even my own family, when it came to my finances and emotions. Even three months later, I’m still trying to get over it.
Besides the MLM scheme, the general feeling of uselessness took a toll on me. I’d spent the past four years of my life in France teaching, earning my Master’s degree in Education, traveling a lot, and overall being an independent human being. I was earning income and fashioning the identity I wanted, all the while being free for the first time. That was why coming back to the U.S., returning to live with my parents, and being unemployed had felt like a horrible step back. I also knew that I didn’t want to teach anymore, and I would be making a career change.
However, I didn’t have a lot of transferable skills and varying experiences to make the leap easily. It was the combination of having no transferable skills and being over-qualified for many entry-level jobs (e.g. having a Master’s) that made it so hard to get accepted, let alone even an interview for. I easily applied for over 100 jobs, only to get a small handful of interviews…and a few of them were from MLMs and/or shady jobs, which I noped out of. Each rejection I got sucked, but I grimly accepted it and moved on.
Being unemployed takes a toll on you. Again, I felt useless at home and I was still living in my glory days of being abroad, being independent, and having adventures nearly every day. I was bored out of my mind at home, and I didn’t want to spend money out (e.g. restaurants, travel) that I’d saved from my time in France. I felt really stuck and lost in life, and I was afraid that it would take months, even a year, to be employed again.
I’d interviewed at a company in late September, who’d told me that I was over-qualified for the position I would be applying to (ouch). However, they said that they would “take a chance on me” and basically offered me the job, to which I accepted. However, it took over a month to get through the on-boarding process to my first official on-the-job day, which was on Halloween. Even if I knew that I had a job, the whole month of October was still anxiety-ridden due to the time-consuming process of submitting background checks, taking online training courses, and so forth– all the while not having a paycheck yet.
So yes, I have a job now. It’s been barely a week in, but it’s all right so far. Basically, I work at the airport, and I help passengers with their arrival process. It’s not a hard job (entry-level), and I’m only part-time, but so far, so good. I’m still learning a few things, but otherwise I don’t mind the job overall. Hours do suck a bit, as I’m starting with the night shift, but I hope over time (should I choose to stick with it), I can move to working more-ideal shifts, i.e. morning/afternoon. Any case, it’s a job that pays all right, and I’m working in a travel-related industry, which is kind of cool. Not like I’ll be traveling with my job (no flight benefits, boo), but I get to meet people from all over the world and practice my Chinese and French with some of them.
Overall, I’m happy that I have a job. Granted, I wasn’t unemployed for even that long (1-2 months), but now I know how shitty it is to be jobless for any given period, whether it’s weeks to years. Really hits you hard mentally, and people often don’t completely understand how you feel– trust me, when I was employed abroad, I felt this way about the unemployed. Best way is to keep trying, because that’s all you can really do (especially in the U.S., where unemployment benefits aren’t that great). I have a close friend who’d been unemployed for over three years until she finally got her first real job, so there’s always hope for everyone out there.
I’ll probably check in a month or so down the line as I continue working at this new job. I hope to get some of my mojo back, in terms of being a pleasant, functioning human again (particularly after the MLM stint that made me misanthropic) and being a good worker for my company. Even if there will be some not-so-great days from time to time, I hope to gain experience in this new career and eventually move on to another position later down the line. We shall see.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a great day!
— The Finicky Cynic
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