I’ve been in job search mode since early August now, but I can’t pretend my circumstances are dire. Savings are ok and the other half of my marriage is reliably employed, so while it’s no picnic not having a job, I suppose I don’t have that urgency of bills piling up and no way to pay them.
So is it bad that I don’t really get excited anymore when I get interviews? I mean, when you spend four months of your life principally engaged in a job hunt, then finding the perfect opportunity kind of stops being novel. Getting an interview is still cause to prepare carefully, but it loses the “Aha, an opportunity! I must tell everyone I know!” quality of early success. Every aspect of the search becomes commonplace, ho-hum.
I feel guilty for having that reaction, too. I know that I’m very, very lucky to have avoided the practical realities of un-payable bills and a rumbling stomach, but is that an excuse to stop feeling that keen drive to find a job and elation at every opportunity? Or would anyone, dire circumstances or not, feel this way after a long enough period of going through it?
The last time I did a job search, it wasn’t because I needed to – I just really, really, really wanted out of my then-current position. I’d been applying for nearly a year with almost no results, and I experienced the highs and lows very acutely. I was positively giddy over every plum posting, dejected when I never heard a response, and freshly determined to nail it the next time. And I was always frustrated at being stuck.
But now? All of those feelings are there, but somewhat tempered. It’s different, because my job hunt is, frankly, my new job. It’s taken on qualities of the daily grind, the sameness every job has on a day-to-day basis. Interviews are still exciting, but my initial reaction to them is now more akin to “ah, something else to schedule.” Cool opportunities are still cool, but getting my dream job has taken a back seat to getting, well, any job. I only tell people about those postings or upcoming interviews when asked specifically. Otherwise, how’s life? Meh. Job search. You know the drill.
It’s probably just my personality, but I suspect that even with a mountain of bills I couldn’t pay, I’d settle into a take-it-as-it-comes attitude pretty quick. It’s one of my better qualities as an employee, too, I think – I adapt to new circumstances quickly and take curveballs as they come. I bring that sedate, professional sameness to new situations because it’s the best way to handle them rationally.
Still, it makes for some thinking to do when I get a call, as I did this afternoon, for an interview and as a first reaction think to myself, “I’m in the middle of something! They had to call now?”
That being said, it took all of half a second to remember that this particular company was one of my dream postings: Marketing Communications Writer, and at least on paper, I meet virtually all of the job requirements. Maybe I’ll put the champagne on ice after all.