I’ve heard that a lot this week. It has been either preceded or followed by “we regret to inform you that you were unsuccessful”. I have been told again & again that I interview well.
And yet, here I am, still woefully underemployed.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m ever so grateful that my current employers scraped together some money to keep me a little longer. It’s so rare you find people this kind! But at the same time, part time isn’t enough.
I’m tired. It has taken all of my energy (and a lot of caffeine) to get through the past few weeks while I’ve been sick & it kind of feels like it was for nothing. No progress.
The job interview I alternately shivered & sweated though; I’m wonderful, but they regret to inform me…
On & on down this path I go. I’ve never wanted to get off a path so much. I think I feel less frustrated when I’ve been unemployed, rather than under employed.
What more can I do? Someone I was talking to today said they’d had over 200 applicants for the job I had applied (unsuccessfully) for. Then they tried to sell me a diploma course that I don’t want.
I am tired of time wasters. I’m sick of being called in to register with agencies who just need to meet their new candidate KPIs.
I’m sick of not being informed of the outcome after a job interview.
I’m too exhausted to care if you think I should wear a black shirt instead of a blue one to an interview.
What I’m doing is not working. I know I’m better off than others, because I’m at least getting interviews. But you can’t buy food with interviews. In the end, they’re as useless as an internship. It’s nice & all that, but it’s not currency.
I don’t really talk much about my day jobs for a number of reasons: it doesn’t have anything to do with topics I blog about and extreme privacy that I’ve worked under.
So what do I do for a living?
I’ve posted before about my education. Like many people who study anthropology, I’ve never had a job title of “Anthropologist”. I also didn’t do an honours year at university (because none of my areas of interest matched that of my lecturers, it’s an academia thing) so I’m not formally recognised as an anthropologist in terms of level of professional membership.
Nevertheless, I do consider myself an anthropologist. I have the degree, extensive research skills (from both jobs and university) and that anthropologist brain…which will make no sense to you unless you are one. The traditional career path is (or was): Bachelors, Honours, PhD, Academic. Even while studying, I never knew what the alternative was. But I also knew I wasn’t going down that path.
I’ve used my degree to work in a variety of fields, mostly relating to work with Indigenous communities: from research to cultural heritage management. This work is all highly contract based & usually dependent on government funding, even in the private sector. I call these my real jobs. There aren’t many of them, and it’s getting harder to get them as (rightfully so) more Indigenous people are going to uni & getting research skills.
In between my real jobs, I do office admin jobs. These vary in industry, difficulty and I’ve done basically everything. There are usually lots to apply for and they’re usually easy to get. Unless there are more job seekers than jobs, which seems to be the case now.
Which has left me wondering; if the applying for jobs thing isn’t working and is exhausting me, what else should I be doing? Should I be doing social media freelance? Working as a VA in blogging or startup industries? I’ve had a freelance tab at the top of my blog but never really promoted it or anything. Maybe freelancing is actually more reliable than the job hunting hassle. It certainly can’t be much worse.
Have you ever swapped from working as an employee to freelancing? What was your tipping point?