Job hunting

The realities of unemployment: the cons.

Do not (choose to) try this at home.

In the immortal words of one Forrest Gump, “Shit happens”.

I was recently reminded of this when I found myself unexpectedly, unceremoniously unemployed. Which, for the record, is not fun.

By way of explanation, I would like to clarify that I was not stealing staplers from the office and my former employer was not in the wrong – my contract was just unexpectedly not renewed because, despite being very happy with my performance, I still have half a day of uni this year, which was inconvenient for my former team. Understandable, but utterly unexpected and utterly… upsetting.

So, I abruptly found myself in a situation that I never anticipated or hoped to experience: unemployment.

In addition to not having an income, there are a few other downsides I’ve experienced courtesy of unemployment: (more…)


rain 02Image: Martina Woll


I’ve let my entire week be coloured by Monday. Its grey blanket of clouds has permeated and spread its way throughout me. My skin, my lips, my hands – they all reek of Monday.

It wasn’t like something terrible happened. In fact, in many ways Monday could be seen as a success of sorts. But alas, I received it like an unexpected punch – curling up on the sodden earth as the air was taken out of me.

See, I’ve been applying for lots of jobs and programmes over the past few weeks. It’s been busy and fairly overwhelming, but somewhat exciting, too. On Monday I had a change of pace – rather than sending off applications I had two interviews- one for a job and one for an intensive exchange programme.

In summary: the first interview went well and the second interview went pretty well overall, but I made some undeniable stuff ups. And in summary: I didn’t get the job and I am 98.75% certain that I won’t be offered a position on the exchange programme tomorrow.

Despite the potential that I will find a better job and that I will almost certainly save a shed load of money (the cost of the exchange), the double dose of rejection has set the tone for my week: and it’s flat and off-key.

I know I shouldn’t take it personally, but I just feel disheartened. Why wouldn’t you want me to work for you? I get sh!t done and I bring in brownies on a semi-regular basis. I am not skilled when it comes to hula-hooping or cartwheels, but I can do other stuff, I promise.

On the other hand, if I had been offered the job and if I had really aced the exchange interview I would still be doing little mental fist pumps today. And today is Thursday. I would be feeling motivated and excited about life and really proud of myself, too. Which, if we extrapolate, indicates that I’m letting external forces shape my confidence and self-esteem…

But that’s all theory, and this is practice. And the reality is that we are here: It is Thursday and I am watching a bobbing ocean of umbrellas and hoods pass by me. The sky is still a monotonous backdrop of glaring grey. It’s been like this for days. Hasn’t it? I’m not so sure anymore.

I feel like I’m playing Stuck in the Mud: my legs are glued down and I have to push with all my might in order to drag myself over to the edge of this bog.


I’m bogged.

All of my energy is depleted from trying, in vain, to lift my feet from this mud. It’s oozing everywhere. God, I need a bath.

The muscles framing my lips quiver when they try to lift my lips upwards. It’s just too much weight for them to bear.

All I really want is sugar and hugs and sleep.


The street has been freshly doused with puddles. The empty pavement reveals the nature of its inhabitants – tucked away at their desks with their mid-morning lattes. Navigating my way to an unknown building I spot a boy. No, a guy. No, a man. A man is walking towards me; his face coming in and out of focus as his umbrella gently floats above him. A quick glance and then eyes turn away. Eye contact is impolite in the 21st century.

As the metres quickly dissipate, I look up. And as I do, he is passing me. And as he passes me he turns his eyes towards me. And as he turns his eyes towards me the muscles framing his lips lift them up through his cheeks.

And I smile back.

And although it only lasts a minute, it pushed away Monday for a few glowing seconds.


Alex x

Post-script: And now for some Gotye (of the Non-“Somebody That I Used to Know” variety).

Another post-script: As it turns out, I was offered a position on the exchange programme, after all 🙂