I have an intense online job application phobia. I fear sending resumes and dread redrafting yet another cover letter. For the past year just the thought of applying for a job would cause my body to tense. I would feel anxious, frustrated and angry before I even start looking.
I know the reason.
After I finished my AmeriCorps service term in August 2012, I started looking for full-time work. Since 2012, I’ve applied to about 200 jobs and received about 5 interviews. That is a response rate of 2.5% and a rejection rate of 100%.
I was unemployed for nine months before I was offered a summer internship instead of the full-time position that I originally applied for. I accepted. My current work as a GED instructor at a local community college came about from my attending a career fair in the spring of 2013 weeks after applying online for a totally different position. Finally, the most recent internship that I was blessed with came about through a friend’s recommendation.
Can you sense where my phobia comes from?
I’ve been rejected 200 times. That hurts. It is pretty damaging to my psyche and ego. It brings shameful thoughts of inadequacy. What is wrong with me that no employer would hire me? What is wrong with my application? What am I doing wrong? Why don’t they like me? What do I need to do to make my resume to stand out?
Unfortunately, I have to face this fear again. I love being a GED instructor but I can’t afford a car with the income. So, I need to look again. Actually, I’ve started but those “gremlins” of doubt and shame, as shame researcher, Brene Brown, would say, are creeping back into my mind. I applied for about 4 positions last week and I heard from none. That is why…
I HATE APPLYING FOR WORK!
I know that I shouldn’t think so hard about it. You would think that being rejected so much would create a resilience against that constant hurt but it doesn’t. It hurts more because it has been embedded in your soul. That type of hurt is what nurtures nihilism. And I admit, I lost hope for while. Thank God, that it’s slowly coming back.
But I have my moments like today. I try my best to be positive but it’s so hard sometimes.
Yes, I know I need to be grateful. I have a job, I have a place to sleep, I’m blessed with food to eat! I am thankful for all of this. But the pain is still there.
So God, please be with me. Help me not to give up but instead to take breaks and start again the next day until I get that job. Help me to focus on the positive, even when it is so hard to do.