Usually when people get home from work they want to relax. Maybe they watch TV, maybe they play some video games. Basically what people want to do when they get home is relax. Well for me, when I get home I get the pleasure of looking for jobs. Currently I work two part-time jobs that only sustain me because I live at home and borrow my grandparent’s extra car. This is largely thanks to having a pantload worth of student loans. I am one of the lucky ones though as millions of American’s rely on unemployment to get by.
When I was a kid, I was always told that if you have a college degree you basically can write your own ticket. Well, I have been looking for jobs for about eight months and I have yet to see any sign of that. I have applied to jobs that range from academic supervisor to janitor. And really, why should I get a job? Even though I have a degree I really have no experience toward any specific career path and the competition for the limited job openings out there is growing. Last month, 192,000 new people applied for first time unemployment. When this figure is stated on the news they make it sound as if it is not a large number. They might even say how its actually a lower number than the month before it. Just take that into consideration for a second. Thats almost 200,000 new people that are jobless out there. A small city’s worth of people now don’t have jobs. This is on top of the 9 percent of people that are already unemployed. There are literally millions and millions of people out of work in America. This does not factor in the fact that many people who are getting out of unemployment, are doing so by applying to jobs that they are over qualified for. Those people are probably still actively looking for a job. Suddenly my Bachelor’s of Arts degree seems even more worthless then it did when I got it.
Every day that job searchers look for jobs is another day of defeat. There are no small victories in a job search. Either you get the job, or you keep on looking. At first, it is easy to stay positive. Maybe tomorrow will be different. But day after day of rejection takes its toll. Soon you find yourself wondering, maybe you are worthless. Maybe you are substandard. Maybe there is just something wrong with you. As illogical and pessimistic as this may sound, it is a train of thought that slowly becomes inescapable. It becomes harder and harder to even look for jobs because you can already feel the pain of rejection as you hit send on your emails out to potential employers. You might think, “if only they would just give me an interview. Then they would see how valuable I am” But you know deep down that most likely there won’t be one. You hear stories of people who went to ivy league schools having graduated a year prior and still unable to find a job. Where does that leave you? In the end it all comes down to luck.
So you cut back. You start turning your heat off to save on your gas bill. You stop eating out and switch to eating pb&j sandwiches every day for lunch just to save a few dollars here and there. Maybe you don’t go over to your friends house on weekends so you can save money on gas. Every aspect of your life becomes saving money and looking for jobs. Soon, any time you allow yourself to relax, you find that you feel terribly guilty because it seems like a luxury you don’t deserve. Perhaps there was a time where you were indeed employed. You hated your job with a burning passion. You hated waking up and going to that damned place every day. But you were employed. You were contributing to society in some way and you could join in with your fellow workers and gripe about your torment. You think about those days and you just say to yourself, “I wish I was there again”