The cycle comes around again, and I find myself in a familiar stage of life. Familiar, yet not the same.
The last time I was unemployed was Winter of 2002. It was January, and I had just earned my Bachelor of Science from BGSU. I was living in my first apartment, alone, more than halfway through my lease, with no income in the foreseeable future. I borrowed money from friends to pay rent and bills while sending out resume after pointless resume. Without a car, my job choices were severely limited, and I ended up finding a short-lived part-time job at a local photography studio. I had also signed up at Manpower, but they’d only landed me one brief assignment at the County Courthouse. Once they found me a full-time assignment at Sky, though, I bid the studio adieu.
I worked in the mailroom at the Sky Service Center for a few months — March through May, I believe it was. There was a major merger that May, though, and the mailroom duties I’d been performing were being moved to another location. So, I was without income again.
Sometime around this point was when Aaron and I moved in together. I don’t recall if I was unemployed when we actually moved in, but I do remember that I finally bit the bullet and took a third-shift gas station attendant position at Meijer not long after. That job didn’t last long, thankfully, as Manpower called with another assignment: Lockbox at Sky Bank. I quit Meijer without notice, just in time for my Mom’s annual visit at the end of June.
I started in July as a temp in Lockbox, was hired on permanently in October 2002, and I’ve been gainfully employed by Sky ever since.
Today is different. I’m getting quite enough severance and retention to keep my half of the bills paid well into next year (if I’m frugal), and I have a reliable car with which to drive to a potential job. I have over five years of experience in the work force (I hate the term “the real world”), and I have a couple different directions in which I’m thinking of taking my career. I have a more professional-looking resume, and I have more experience writing cover letters that actually target the employer’s needs. I’m better at interviewing and schmoozing in general. The “me” of today is much more mature and pragmatic and employable than the “me” of five or six years ago.
I’m not panicky. I’m not nervous. I feel like I should be, but I’m not. I just know something will present itself, something that screams my name, not just something that sounds like it wouldn’t suck.
I’m going to take a few days’ vacation, then I’m going to start the job hunt on a regular workday schedule. I’m fine. We’ll all be fine.
You hear me? We’ll all be fine.