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Friday, January 15, 2010

Singlutionary Job Search

All this week I've been agonizing over my job situation. Before this month, I was unemployed for two months without a clue as to what I wanted to do next. I just knew that I didn't want to return to anywhere that I'd been.

I also struggled with accepting that I NEED a job. I mean, I don't NEED a man/partner/relationship/spouse so why would I NEED a job? Can't I just do it myself and have my own business and make a life for myself that way?

Well, I can. But right now I need income.

So. I NEED a job.

(It took me two whole months just to accept that).

Anyways. I am looking now, diligently, for a full time job. This week I had two interviews and at the same time I was working full time, for 2/3 of my usual pay, at a temp job in a call center.

Talk about desperate!

But the thing is that this job, which I took so reluctantly, only out of desperation, has been the best thing ever. I even got a mini-promotion there after just a couple days. I feel appreciated, I feel that it is OK to be smart. I feel rewarded for being smart and quick and a good worker.

I have been pretty beaten up by jobs lately. This job lifts me up. This crappy little temp job with a not-so-nice commute and lousy pay is a TOTAL BLESSING.

So, while I know that this job is not long-term material, I've decided to stay there until after I get back from India. This way I can focus on negotiating a salary when I get a full time job and not take lower pay just so that they'll let me take off time in March to travel.

Also, this way I can go to India for longer since most of the expense is in the plane ticket.

This jobs pays me just just just enough to scrape by and to save a tiny bit of money. But it is so much fun. It is Friday and after working a 40 hour week (which I am not accustomed to) I feel energized, not drained.

I never once had to defend my integrity or my abilities this week. I never had to sit there and take it while someone tore me apart. I didn't get bitched at for not taking enough initiative one minute and then bitched at for taking out the garbage or using too many swiffers the next.

I've been in abusive relationships. Both with men and with employers. And it has been so long since I've been treated WELL that I kinda forgot what it was like. I forgot that I am deserving of praise and respect. I forgot that I AM smart and a good worker and employable and promotable.

At my last job I was refused a promotion for a job that I was already doing. And then I got fired. That was after my boss told me that I had a horrible personality and condescended to me every single day for three and a half months.

Before I became Singlutionary, I was so desperate to be in a relationship that I would take any kind of treatment (for a while at least) because I thought that if there were problems, I just wasn't trying hard enough. I've never been in a relationship where I was praised and respected and valued, where it was OK to be smart and hard working and funny. I've always been viewed by my boyfriends as inherently wrong either because I don't like music enough or I didn't want to have orgies during the full moon or I don't want to bear his children within 8 months or because I need time to work on my car instead of playing with his balls. (You think I am joking about some of these things but ALL of them are true.)

I need to apply the Singlutionary approach to jobs. I am unwilling to work in an environment that does not value me, where I have to pretend to be something that I am not in order to avoid punishment, where I am abused, lied to, taken advantage of and clearly disliked.

This temp jobs is a blessing just in the nick of time. It is saving me from financial ruin, it is reminding me of my better qualities, rebuilding my self esteem and it gives me a platform from which I no longer have to be desperate in my job search.

No, I can not pay off my debts in any reasonable amount of time working at this job. No, I can not buy my country ranch with this job. No, I can not afford to eat out or buy a car or remodel my bathroom with this job.

But I can afford to be choosy.

I can afford to wait for a good job to come along for a good company with the right benefits. I can afford to wait until a job opens up in an office where I would fit in. I can afford to interview my interviewer just as much as they are interviewing me. I can refuse to work at a property that I don't like.

Of course, no job is perfect. I am not looking for perfection. I am sure there will be days when people grate on my nerves and there will be policies which offend me. But I'm not going to get fired again. I'll quit before that happens. I'll quit at the 1st sign of insanity.

But more importantly, I now have the luxury of carefully considering every job offered to me.

I've been extended a 2nd interview for a permanent job which would pay almost twice as much as my temp job, plus benefits. But I know I don't want it. I know that it is not a good fit, that I am too smart and too ambitious for the office, that the company is too small and that the property is not expensive enough and the residents are unsophisticated.

(That last part sounds REALLY judgemental but if you work 40 hours a week in an apartment complex, you want to be in a nice one. TRUST ME. Otherwise there are a lot of evictions and collections. Also, things fall apart faster in lower rent complexes and they don't get fixed and there is more crime, etc. But nicer complexes often have lots of very interesting people, many of whom are single, who travel and explore the world and have interesting careers and hobbies, etc. )

So I am going to work at this temp job until India and then for a little while after that. I am so excited to KNOW what I am doing for the next 2 months. I've been living life day-to-day, instant-to-instant for the past 3 months now. I am excited to commit to this job for a short period of time, knowing that eventually I'll have to move on. I am excited to be working, to know approximately what my schedule is like. I am excited for payday.

But most of all, I am excited to have the ability to sit back and enjoy my job search, to feel less frantic about it and to quit being desperate!!!


Samantha said...

Good for you for not taking shit from people anymore!!!

Mikki said...

Good for you girl!!!

im doing the job hunt thing.... it sucks so bad.

irrefutably erin. said...

Yay, so proud of your revelations! Sometimes we need that kick in the pants to realize we are worthy.

Steve said...

It sounds like you've engineered an ideal short term situation that takes the pressure off you so you can concentrate on the long term. Well done! A great inspiring post!


Anonymous said...

Good for you for fighting to go to India. My friend went to an Indian wedding and described it kind of like you did--multiple events and outfits. And food. She had lots of fun. That said, don't make yourself sick trying to save for the trip. There will be OTHER India trips if this one doesn't work out!! Ok doke?


Akirah said...

You gotta do what makes you happy, even if it doesn't seem to make "sense." Money can't buy happiness!

KP said...

You DESERVE a good working environment and to be treated well. I admire you for opting to do what is best for YOU in the long run. DON'T SETTLE!!

SingleThirtySomething said...

That is so true about how work relationships can be abusive. You do hear of workplace bullying, but it's not really something that's properly addressed. There's nothing worse than having to spend 8 hours - or more - of your day in a toxic environment (I've been there). It's bad for your emotional and physical health, and self-confidence. In nearly all the places I've worked at, I never felt like I really fitted in - I was good at my job, but socially I just didn't gel with the 'in' crowd (and there's always an 'in' crowd - can we not move on from high school please?!) although I did make good friends that I keep in touch with still. It wasn't until I started my own business that I felt 100% like I was doing something I can be passionate about, in an environment that really suits me. Obviously, that's not the right path for everyone, but my advice would be that if you've found a work environment where you love the people and feel happy, stick with it for a while because other opportunities might come up there. I know when I'm hiring for my company, I'm more interested in the applicants' personalities and work ethic than their specific skills - if they show me they're enthusiastic and have the right basic attitude, I'll create promotions and more responsibilities for them. So go for it and hang in there for a job that makes you happy. They ARE out there and there's no reason to spend 40 years of working life being miserable :-) (OK, long rambling comment is officially over!)

Talia, Justin, and Turner said...

You are awesome! Loved this post!

The Singlutionary said...

So many wonderful comment! Thank you!! Thanks for all the wonderful wishes and congratulations! It is important not to settle-- in a job or in a relationship. And I'm also learning, that it is OK to enjoy one job (or person) while it lasts-- even if you're sure, from the beginning, that it isn't long-term.

Christina Onely: I've committed the whole month of March to writing about traveling solo! I will be sure to referencing Onely more than once!

Single Thirty Something: Yes, I too will be at my best when I am self employed. I have my own informal businesses now and right now I am going back to work "for the man" knowing that I am only building up the financial security to again risk going out on my own so that I can work for myself.

You offer great advice. There are always great opportunities for great people in great environments.

I just hadn't gotten to the "great environment" part until now. And now I AM NOT GOING BACK!

ShanimalCrackers.blogspot.com said...

Hey, I just came upon your blog and am your newest follower.

I'm in the same position as you were. Eh. The job scene. I don't like. But I NEED a job. Money sucks. And so do boys (especially the ones you described).