I’m Wonderful

I'm Wonderful

I’m Wonderful.


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…


I'm Wonderful


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? 


17 Replies to “I’m Wonderful”

  1. I’m also looking for work, and there have been three jobs this year that would work (one was actually based OS but I thought I could talk them into letting me do it here online). It’s very depressing at how excited I get when the right one comes along and then I hear nothing! It will now get worse when every New Start person has to send off random applications – they’re just going to stop advertising and it will only be word of mouth….

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Job hunting is such a big up and down rollercoaster, isn’t it? It’s the one rollercoaster I don’t like.

  2. I can understand your exhaustion! It’s a tough market for jobs at the moment with so many being laid off. The pool of unemployed seems to be getting bigger while the opportunities are getting dimmer. I’ve never done freelance work but will be looking at this next year.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      And that’s the thing, I know I must be in a decent enough place to be getting interviews, but even at interview stage it’s still very highly competitive. What sort of freelance work will you be looking at doing?

  3. That sounds tough! I haven’t done freelance but have changed industries a few times- it’s a hard market. I hope you find something soon.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I probably just need to buckle down and keep going, but job hunting is a special kind of energy that I feel sapped of! Thanks 🙂

  4. I can appreciate how frustrating it must be to not even be told how you went. Surely if you can be bothered to interview, they could have the decency to let you know how the result.
    I hope something positive comes up for you soon, Vanessa.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Most people do email, but I’ve certainly had a quantity that don’t bother telling you if you didn’t get it. In some ways that’s good – I wouldn’t want to work for people like that!

  5. That’s a bummer isn’t it.
    Don’t lose hope yet. Every interview you attend you are leaving an impression. Even though you may not get the job this time, you might be offered one later or even a different opportunity at the places you are applying.
    I used to be a company manager, (advertising industry) and would receive hundreds of applications which I selected and interviewed from. Though a couple were chosen at the time, I held onto the other applications for months (even years), and still picked staff from those as later opportunities arose.
    You are networking even if you feel as though you aren’t making inroads.
    All the very best and I wish you luck! x

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Thanks Jody. I do get a lot of emails saying they’re holding onto my details, so I guess that is hope! It’s just tiring at the same time 🙂

  6. I’m fascinated by anthropology. I read a book about it as a teenager and it captivated me. I was going to do this at uni. Maybe i made a good choice. Especially as it turned out, I’m not the best student either.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I’ll never regret studying it, but there aren’t a huge amount of jobs in it either!

  7. Mate I was made redundant in 2012 really unexpectedly and was unemployed for two months. It really plays havoc with your self esteem and it IS exhausting to be constantly up and down emotionally. My only suggestion is: why don’t you try looking outside your usual job categories? What would you like to do apart from anthropology and admin jobs? Think about how your key skills could transfer to another industry. After all – what have you got to lose? It could end up being a great opportunity in disguise! Hope you find something soon xx

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I pretty much set a location & salary minimum on job websites & apply for anything vaguely skill-relevant!

  8. What a bummer 🙁
    I am looking forward to a career change in the next 12 months or so so hopefully there will be something out there for me!
    Good Luck in whatever you do!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Thanks 🙂 Something always does come up, but I’m not patient haha. Good luck for your career change too.

  9. I’ve never really done anything do I have no advice. If you wanted help choosing a skirt, I could probably help you there 😉
    In all seriousness though, i do hope you get the job you’re looking for shortly. Xxx

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