I’m so depressed. My hands hurt, my neck hurts. I’m frozen in time. If I don’t get a job soon, I’m screwed – but there are few jobs, and the ones for which I’m suited don’t agree that my two decades of experience mean as much as the abilities of an English major fresh out of college.

But the “motivational” talk I’m listening to right now tells me to fall in love with what I need to do and I Can Make It Happen! He says you can simply become an (unpaid) intern and suddenly You’re In The Movie Business! Or The Music Business! And you have The Work You Love! And it all Flows From There!

Obviously, there’s something I’m not doing right.

6 thoughts on “Blechh

  1. Oh, Susie, I so understand how you’re feeling. I’ve read a number of those career planning books and see them as complete BS now. “Remember back to when you were a kid… think about your dreams….” Unfortunately, the one the thing I wanted was to stop stuttering. I’ve worked as a mathematical typist, a proofreader, a copy editor, a production editor, a paralegal, an administrative assistant. I’ve work in private industry and the non-profit sector. At my age I don’t see going back to school as an option — what field would I find a job in that I can’t now. I know IT people with experience who are out of work. The library systems in NYC are about to lay more people off. I can’t drive (I never learned and I have some problems with sunlight which would make me an unsafe driver for others around me.) so I can’t move out of NYC. And these books just don’t consider our situations. I don’t know what I’ll do when the retirement money runs out.

    I wrote several weeks ago that they (the government, business, whoever) have to develop programs (a version of Nixon’s guaranteed minimum income?) that would support us with the understanding that it might be a permanent program because the jobs just don’t exist for us. The whole profile of work has changed and we don’t fit in anymore. The “experts” keep saying that industrial and manufacturing jobs are gone and aren’t coming back; well, the same thing is happening in white-collar, office jobs.

  2. You’re frozen? I know that one.
    Take a tiny step, and then reward yourself for having done just that. This is one of those Buddhist times, where Letting go of outcome is the thing.
    And I’m saying screw it, and going back to school. I’ll at least be unemployed in a field I like.
    (I shouldn’t talk. I got myself into low-income housing, so I’m relatively safe.)

  3. Some of those motivational things are just designed to make you become a good corporate servant. Maybe most.

    I struggled with ‘what to be’ as I didn’t want “a job”, and for a long time thought I must be lazy–until I realized I was always working 2 or three jobs at a time, at things not considered Important, or a ‘comedown’ for a genius IQ… but I was much happier being what I had to be than what some company or university wanted me to be. Sometimes piecing together things that don’t kill you, that you do love, can lead you to something that will really be good for you. Go through open doors; forcing yourself to be someone else’s idea of what works will only make you ill.

    That ‘unsuitable’ work blossomed into my own tiny happy business, farming for myself. It made possible the grace of taking care of my mother as she was dying– a “job” would not have allowed that.
    Here’s wishing you some good mojo for lovely work that suits you.

  4. This is my story, too: “the ones for which I’m suited don’t agree that my two decades of experience mean as much as the abilities of an English major fresh out of college.” In my case, four decades of experience. HR tried to place me in the digital division of our magazine company, at a salary cut of 40 percent, but the division decided against it because it “didn’t fit their business model,” which was to hire fresh college graduates at $20,000, who would stay for a year while looking for a better job.

  5. I’m depressed as you are, and all that motivational stuff only makes me feel shittier and more like crap about myself. As if I don’t have enough of those feelings right on my own.
    “Do what you want and the money will follow!!!” Really? Not in my experience. Who’s gonna give a loan to an unemployed person??
    Shoot, I have trouble enough with the mortgage, you think anyone else would wanna invest in me??
    Am I crazy? Am I ‘not positive enough’?
    Perhaps. Still, it sucks, and I don’t know what to do.

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