Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.
I didn’t get the job in Charlotte that I so desperately wanted. I got the rejection email at the beginning of the week. It was a major blow to my confidence and self-esteem. I thought I nailed the initial interview and all but had my bags packed and a house picked out.
I’ve been trying to remain positive throughout the job-seeking process, but this really affected me in a big way. For the first time, I let the constant rejection of the past four months get the best of me and I started to get down on myself. I was starting to think negatively and took personally their decision to go with someone else.
Honestly, I don’t care who they decided to hire or how many years of experience the person who they chose has. They should’ve hired me because I would have been better. Their loss.
This past Wednesday, I took part in the Virginia Career Network’s (@VaCN) discussion on using social media to grow your professional network. I was a panel speaker, along with 3 others (@rickwhittington @MightyCasey @jasonlinas) who have much more experience in the professional networking field than I do, having only been unemployed for four months. However, I think it was great that we each had different viewpoints and could offer advice from the perspectives of those who are doing the hiring to those who are looking to be hired. All in all, I think the topics that we touched on – including how to engage potential employers and influential people online – will help the jobseekers as they dip their toes into the pool of social media for professional purposes.
I was a nervous wreck, not having done any public speaking since college. But I didn’t faint. So, you know, there’s that.
Then came the big news.
My wife got a job! She is now a kindergarten teacher in Chesterfield County – at a great school out in Midlothian. After working so hard to get her teaching license for the past howevermany years, and then finally being eligible to become a teacher when the economy is sliding and the Virginia education budget is slashed to reduce the amount of teachers on the payroll, she just didn’t think it was going to happen anytime soon. Luckily for us, the one school that is actually adding classrooms hired her. I’m so proud of her. She goes in tomorrow to start decorating her classroom. She’s going to be a great kindergarten teacher – one that the kids will remember for the rest of their lives.
This put the Charlotte rejection into perspective for me. It some cosmic way, I didn’t get that job so we wouldn’t be in the predicament of figuring out where we were going to live. Now that I know that we’re staying in Richmond, I can focus finding work here. I can begin to make a name for myself (whether by freelancing or whatever) in this city. This is a great thing for us. I’m happy to stay in Richmond. I’m going to be king of this city. As soon as I get some more money coming in.
Speaking of money…
Screw this whole unemployment thing. I mean, yeah, I’ll continue to feverishly look for regular 9-5 work, but this freelance writing thing is amazingly fun and I’ve never been happier in the work I create. I’ve met tons of people and can be extremely productive before I finish my coffee. All I need is another 2 or 3 clients and I think I’ll be alright.
That panel I participated in on Wednesday? Because of that, I have a meeting with someone this coming week about some social marketing work I can do for them. So I’ll be alright. I’m making unemployment work for me by doing what I love to do and getting paid for it. I guess since it’s not the traditional type of job, I still think of myself as an unemployed dude. But that’s starting to change.
If I keep getting work, I may just become my own business. That’s the direction I’m heading. We’ll see what happens. Until then:
This is Day 130, folks. 130 days of not having a traditional job. But I’m making a little bit of money – legally. So proud of Wifey. The kids in her class will be lucky to have her. No one can teach a kid to make macaroni art like her.