It was a Saturday afternoon. N was catching up on his favorite series. I was on my laptop identifying ladybugs, porcupines, and daisies in the captchas to submit job applications.
The last few months’ post-layoffs have been disappointing. The ratio between applications, rejections, and interviews is 10000+: 11000+: 1. I may have been rejected for roles I have not applied for.
In the past, tough times have led to unique opportunities that helped my career. Over the last decade, I have jumped positions, domains, and technologies and thrived. I have picked up many transferable skills in my previous roles and used them to my advantage. This should ideally make me a good fit for many positions. But will I succeed in every/any role? What would make me happy and successful? What would make me feel that I can still have a semblance of a career? Boy, layoffs suck the confidence out of you!
Figuring out the next step was easy, but keeping at it has been heartbreaking. Finding employers that offer sponsorship has been a hurdle. I have been constantly ghosted by recruiters and hiring managers. Submitting applications has been tiring. Fatigue has set in, making it even harder to stay motivated. I look for motivation in every conversation and situation. One such talk with N that Saturday afternoon gave me a new perspective.
In a dramatic conversation, I used the word ‘tough’ 10 times in a single sentence. I told N that everything in life had been tough – landing jobs, being in labor, having a baby, being a pseudo-housewife, and being laid off. Everything seems extra challenging when you are in a trench. We have a notion about tunnels – you need to keep walking to reach the end, and there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I have been walking in the dark tunnel of the job hunt and rejections for 7 months, and I cannot see so much as a torch to light the way, leave alone the light at the end of the tunnel that Ada Adams promised. The tunnel seems never-ending. And I am tired.
N heard patiently and said that maybe the tunnel was not a straight road as I assumed. The tunnel could be curved this time, and I needed to keep walking. The light at the end was not visible because I needed to take turns and pivot. The light could be at the next curve.
I always considered the tunnel this long, straight path where you see the light at the end and continue walking toward it. The light is your motivation to walk. But the tunnel I am walking this time is curved, and I must pivot to reach the light. Of course, I need to keep walking, like the 5.8M unemployed people in the country.
For most of us, life has been less than ideal. But we must do what we can to survive, thrive, and overcome. Take that trip you always wanted, binge-watch your favorite show, spend time with your loved ones, eat what you want, or keep away from someone because you cannot deal with them right now. Also, be kind and encourage, uplift, and motivate those around you who suffer. Remember that the tunnel can be curved, and continue walking. Sending you lots of Love and Light.