21 September 2012

Fool me 15 times

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

Fool me 15 times… how did I not get the bloody hint?!

Since I started job searching I have applied for 15 jobs I thought were perfect for me!  I had the experience.  I tailored my resume to each one, and I wrote a cover letter even if it wasn’t required.  Before my interviews I scoured their website learning everything I could about their company and the department in which I would work.  I borderline stalked their employees on LinkedIn and Facebook.  I phoned a friend and called in my connections.  I dressed nicely and didn’t wear any of my rings during the interview (I have a nervous tick where I CONSTANTLY switch my rings from finger to finger or twist them).  I kept my sarcasm to a minimum and my charm to a maximum.  Yet, I am unemployed (and ironically don’t qualify for unemployment, my bad for quitting my own contract).  What am I doing wrong?
I even made an organized job search binder with color coded tabs!

I am applying at the same companies (multiple positions) for the same types of jobs – military non-profit.  This is my passion, my dream job…right?  Question is: when does it stop becoming admirable and start becoming ignorant? 

At first I thought I was resolute and determined for unwaveringly applying for the same types of jobs.  But repeating the same action over and over again and expecting a different result is the very definition of insanity according to Einstein.

When I was in college I dated (I use the term very loosely) a boy who I was enamored by.  I thought everything was going lovely even though he wouldn’t ever admit we were dating.  (I know in hindsight this sounds really stupid on my part, but wait, save that judgment for about 3 more sentences).  Well then after months went by I finally rid myself of him by moving 3 states away and severing all contact.  I’ve always been rather dramatic I guess.  Well 2 years and 2 cities later I ended up back where it all began, back with…yep, him.  Ol’ Einstein was right, this situation produced the same result.  Only this time I totally outdid myself on the move and moved a couple continents and oceans away.

I guess I’m just an optimist…to a fault.  Nah, that’s an easy out, blaming it on a character flaw.  I think the real issue is I find something I enjoy, and I get comfortable.  And who wants to leave that comfy spot on the couch you just nestled yourself into that’s already warmed by your butt?

I just thought it would be easier than this.

I remember I attended a TEC retreat (Teens Encounter Christ) and I was on this great “yay God!” high from a weekend of fun faith filled activities.  Our leader warned us that although we felt changed by the weekend, the world had not changed.  We were in a protected bubble and the real world was a harsh reality that would smack us in the face. 

I’ve left my protected bubble of Afghanistan, and now I’m smack dab in the real world armed with experience, a degree, and a waning sense of confidence.

I am confident in one thing though; I’m not insane.  So, it’s time to do something different.
pretty brilliant dude


  1. You know, when I was looking for a job just out of college, I wanted to make paint. Only paint. I loved paint and had so many great ideas on how to make paint better. Well Sherwin Williams said no, and I took a job with Akzo doing powder coatings, which is sort of paint. Then after we moved back to Ohio, I still wanted to do R&D for paint, I applied again (4 years more experience) at SW and they still said no. I applied at Akzo paints (formerly Glidden/ ICI) and heard nothing. So I temped with Lubrizol doing floor coatings. AND I WAS MISERABLE! I hated Lubrizol and the environment there. So I finally found my job with Bonne Bell doing R&D for cosmetics (or paint for your face as I like to call it) and I really am happy here. I get so much freedom to develop things in my own way. Which in the end is what I REALLY want. I love to think shit up and make it work. So very long story short, branch out a little bit, or try to find the thing that it is that makes you love working with the military and figure out where else you can get that. Don't miss the forest for the trees.

  2. Sarah, I totally understand your frustration as I, too, have been scrambling to figure out my future. I guarantee something will fall into your lap soon and make you glad that the previous job applications didn't work out.