Tag Archives: tips & tricks

Adventures in Job Hunting: The Existential Crisis

I am a very capable person. I learn quickly, am probably a little too eager to please, and have zero problem with work that’s “beneath” me. But job hunting is kind of soul-crushing, isn’t it? I haven’t hunted like this since 2006, after I graduated. I spent five months applying to every job I even kind of thought I could do before I got hired on as an inventory manager with a local Austin company that was a terrible fit for me. That was a difficult year until I got randomly hired on without even an interview for the last company I worked for, and I loved it there. I was great there. Now I’m seven years out of the work force with things like bookkeeping for our small business and self-published authorship on my resume, and while I’ve maintained my skills and learned a few new things since, when I’m feeling my worst–like now–it all looks so shabby and I start wondering what even is the point?

Well, the point is to find work.

But to not get so caught up in the hunt that I forget the good things.

I’m fortunate. I don’t technically need a job. I want one, and I need it for my own sense of well-being and to ease my financial anxiety (there’s no feeling quite like realizing literally all of your money, all of your credit, all of your borrowing power, is sunk into one investment), but things are just tight right now, not dire.

My brain, of course, doesn’t realize that. It sees the bank account and goes so hard into panic mode I wonder if I need to go to the ER because I’m having a heart attack.

I’m taking a step back, at least for a couple of days. Limiting the applications and the Craigslist ads (if anyone is looking for a bookkeeper, btw, please let me know) and spending a little more time breathing. Regrouping. I’ll find work, because I always do, and I’ll find the job I want, because I pretty much always get what I want even if it means changing what I want.

And, in case anyone is in the same boat, here are some tips for battling the existential crisis borne of the job search.

Also, here’s a video of the Chippendales Gladiators show. Obviously NSFW but I’m not at work right now, anyway.

Use the Block Button

I dislike when people make my online experience unpleasant. Maybe they’re bullies or trolls, maybe they’re the type to loudly and aggressively express their opinions, maybe they never have anything nice or positive to say, maybe they’re passive-aggressive, maybe they’re sexist or racist or homophobic, maybe they’re selfish and demanding no matter what the circumstance. Whatever their reasons, they tend to piss all over everything and ruin it for the rest of us (me, they ruin it for me). Or, worse, they make me dread something I previously enjoyed, or want to enjoy, and then their crap starts spilling over into my real life and that’s just not cool.

So I’m a fan of unfriending, unfollowing, and–if need be–blocking. Even people I love. Even people I’m friends with. You know why?

1. Because I can.

The unfriending, unfollowing, and blocking functions are all easy to find and easy to use. If something as simple as clicking a button is going to vastly improve my online experience, why wouldn’t I do it?

2. Because not doing it allows them to affect me in ways I don’t like.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m way more sensitive than I like to let on. Bad reviews, anon hate or badly-worded criticism, fandom negativity and drama, newsfeed negativity and drama… it upsets me and sucks the energy and joy right out of me. Why would I let that happen if I could stop it?

3. Because I don’t need the stress.

I have enough stress in my life. Especially this year, oh boy. Why on earth would I add to it if I don’t have to?

4. Because my mental health is important.

I’m eyeballs deep in PPD right now. I have bad days. Really, really bad days. Allowing things in my life that make those bad days worse seems like a really stupid idea. I try not to make really stupid choices when I can see they’re stupid.

5. Because people like that need to understand their behavior won’t be tolerated.

I don’t believe in rewarding bad behavior. It took me a long, long time to learn this lesson. I don’t like rewarding poor behavior with the attention that person so desperately craves. Unfollowing, unfriending, and/or blocking someone allows me to disengage. They can seek attention elsewhere.

Things I Wish I Had Known… as a New Army Wife

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary. My husband was in the Army for a year before we got married, so I’ve been an Army Wife the whole time I’ve been a wife. My dad was in the Navy for several years when I was growing up, so being a military dependent wasn’t new to me, but there are some things I wish I had known when I’d first gotten married. It would have made those first few years much easier.

1. The Army comes first.

Accept this as soon as possible. He’s going to have to work when it’s important to you. At times he’ll seem closer to the people from work than he is to you. For as long as he’s in, the Army takes priority. Roll with it. It’ll make you stronger, it will make him stronger, and it will make your relationship stronger.

2. There is no ranking system for spouses.

His rank is not your rank–and neither is any other husband’s rank any other wife’s. Experienced wives have insight into being an Army Wife–they can be great resources for you. But they do not outrank you.

3. The FRG is not as useful as it pretends to be.

The FRG exists to help spouses and family members access Army-sponsored resources, but you do not need them. You don’t have to go through your FRG leader or his commander to speak with the chaplain, or apply for scholarships, or access anything else they tell you that you have to see them about. If you need them and can use them, that’s great. But don’t let them make you feel trapped and helpless.

4. Don’t make friends with any spouses you wouldn’t be friends with if it weren’t for the Army.

You’ll be forced into close proximity with people you wouldn’t otherwise associate with. It’s okay to keep it civil but not friendly. You don’t have to be friends with these people, and in fact if you have a solid civilian support system, you don’t need them. It helps to have people around you who know what you’re going through, but good friends can be just as helpful.

5. Explore the resources available to you.

There are tons. Educational resources, mental and physical health resources, volunteer opportunities, even employment opportunities. Explore them, take advantage of them, enjoy them. It’s small compensation for the sacrifices you, too, make.