Mapping a pathway for my new future self is turning out to be hard work. The ‘new’ improved me strategy is changing from the stay-at-home-mummy to the ‘working mother’. Also, my end goal is to change career direction and move into a different area of work. However, the process is slow going. There is a dusty CV to be updated and uploaded; enrolling in online courses that will hopefully be helpful in upskilling what I’ve already got to offer the working world; putting my ‘feelers’ out into the world by querying friends and family if they know of any jobs and so on. Part of that strategy is trying to create and update my LinkedIn profile and create opportunities for keeping in touch with the industry I’d like to work in via social media outlets like Twitter. The process in itself is time-consuming and when I peer closely at our economy, the jobs that are on offer are far and in-between at best. Not to mention, not all jobs are advertised or even exist yet. Whenever, I have put out a completed job application and then followed it up, I am constantly hearing from the gatekeepers that they’re sure the application has been received – mine and the other 300 applicants, all vying for the same position on offer.
As difficult as it is, the only comfort I can draw upon is that I know I’m not the only one going through this difficult process. Finding a job is not an easy feat in the current economic climate. At my last hairdresser appointment, I was being regaled stories of other stay-at-home-mothers who were also trying to find part-time work opportunities. Some of them hoping to land the job that fit around school hours, so that they could still do the other 24/7 unpaid job of being a mother/carer/wife/bottom-snot-wiper/negotiator (you get my drift I’m sure) the other 99 per cent of the time!
Thrown in amongst the mix of job hunting is the feeling of anxiety that I’m trying to quash down. When I speak to my other half of my working life goals and the end goal I’m trying to aim towards, he is seemingly not very interested/supportive of hearing about where I’m headed. When I queried his lack of support, he was quick to point out that of course he supported me and my ideas but he was just trying to be realistic about getting a job. His mantra: just get a job first, then you can plan for your career change/goals/study/and so on. I fully appreciate where he’s coming from. I am not putting the blinkers on, if I say so myself, as I am aware that there are bills to be paid. But to me, someone who has been out of work for four years now, I didn’t feel as if I could just take on any kind of job. I definitely don’t think I’m better than anyone else. It’s just that when you’ve been a fulltime mummy for a period of time, you cannot help but feel ‘out of the loop’. As much as I have tried not to let it affect me, my self-worth has taken a bit of a battering. Thus, if I were to simply go out into the world and just do any old job (read as: check-out chick at my local Coles) I think it would erode at my self-worth big time. Not to mention that I’d be terrible at retail, having to stand in one spot all day; I would love chatting to customers, but then I’d probably be the slowest check out aisle in the store! Okay, so the list is endless and there’s not enough room here to even begin such an analysis.
Sigh. Is anyone feeling this? Am I just being too picky?