I've been looking for a new job for about six months. In this time I have, conservatively, sent out hundreds of resumes, attended many dozens of networking events, and have managed to snag exactly ONE face-to-face interview, TWO actual "phone interviews", and 2-3 other "discussions" that I thought sounded like they'd lead to jobs at the time.
The past half year has felt like being in one of those dreams where you're trying to run, but you can't move. You're desperately attempting to get away from the monster, but you're frozen, or, at best, slogging through the equivalent of chest-high water.
As I sat down at my desk this morning, readying myself to plow through the accumulated "job possibilities" tucked into my browser's tab bar over the weekend, it feels like I'm at "square one" again. How can I have put half a year of my life into desperate focused work on this and still not moved past "Go"? I am no closer to having a job than if I had taken these six months to work on painting, or write some poetry, or drink myself into a stupor before noon every day ... all far more pleasant experiences than the job search. Six months (and counting) that I'll never get back.
It almost feels like a hallucination, a bad dream, a Hell.
It feels like I'm "not really there" ... the resumes "vaporized" when I hit "send", the people I've networked with never saw me (and certainly didn't remember me), the endless hours of research were nothing but fevered delusions.
I've had numerous people strongly suggest that I try doing some sort of free-lance consulting ... and yet, the closer I come to trying that, the less I seem to be visible on the web. I hate to bitch at my readers (assuming that I have readers), but I've been working very hard at trying to generate some worthwhile content here, on Twitter, and over on my Ning site, but the more I put into it the less it seems to impact. I don't want to be a "comment whore", but on L.J. that's pretty much the only way you know if your stuff's been read (short of generating a "tracker" for each and every post, which would quickly make one unpopular with the tracking service!), and over the past week or so I've done what I considered quite "comment worthy" posts and been met with deafening silence.
I've also, as previously noted, had a bit of a shock via bit.ly whose link stats would indicate that out of the 400 or so folks "following" me on Twitter, links in my tweets typically only get clicked on a dozen times, leading me to think that there's "no there there" and my "social media networking efforts" are a total waste of time.
The question keeps coming up "What does it TAKE?", I am more talented than most, more intelligent than most, more experienced than most, yet I can't find a job and I can't even build an audience for myself.
Back when I was in the hospital immediately following my car crash (in 1993), there was a time when I wasn't sure if I was dead or not, with my perceptions going to all sorts of strange and none-too-pleasant places. There are times that I wonder if I did die in that hospital and that the past 16 years have been nothing but some cruel sick joke the Universe is subjecting me to. Given the massive futility of all my efforts, the 0-for-EVERYTHING rate of failure that I've had, the impossibility of building any sort of success in any area, I'm finding the "I'm dead, and in some 'Twilight Zone' sort of Hell!" theory as plausible, if not more so, than any other explanation of why things have sucked so badly for so long despite beating my head against assorted walls with as much focus as I've devoted to it over this time.
The only thing keeping me from spiraling down the "What's the USE?" drain is the "Arjuna at Kurukshetra" factor ... that, no matter how grim, how ugly, how hopeless the task seems, it's "my duty" to push forward. But this is hardly a help on how I feel about things, unless a "being doomed" is supposed to be a help.
Bleh. Won't somebody hire me?