When I left the work world 15 years ago, it was with joy, even elation! I had been waiting for years to be able to stay at home with my child and finally, here she was and I could leave offices and retail work and all the other jobs I had had behind.
After graduating college with a very useful English degree, I sort of drifted around for a while. I took a job here, got bored, found another job there, spent a little time earning a certificate to be a paralegal (only to find out that I hated the actual job, though I loved the classes). I met my husband and since he had a secure, steady income, I continued to drift, trying out a variety of retail environments, leasing apartments and finally landing at an insurance company, through a temp agency. So when I became pregnant with my daughter, I knew without a doubt that the minute she was born, I would leave the work world happily behind.
Fast forward 15 years and another child. Suddenly, I have time on my hands and a desire to do something, to earn an income. With two college tuitions on the horizon, we can use every penny.
The problem is this: it doesn't matter that I worked tirelessly at my children's school for years, enduring the stress of being a PTA officer, a classroom volunteer, a field trip chaperone. It doesn't matter that I have kept my children healthy and alive and (relatively) adjusted. No one cares that I had to supervise moving by myself because my husband had a broken ankle and was useless. None of these things matter!
The last time I looked for a job, I would walk into an establishment, smile and ask for an application, fill out said application, and maybe even have an interview on the spot. I was able to make a connection with an actual human being so I could sell myself.
Now, everyone wants me to apply online and then sit back and wait. Most places say "Don't call us, we'll call you.". Well, that's just fantastic!! (She said sarcastically). Because if I fill out all the relevant spaces under work history and education, all it says about me is that I haven't worked in a really, really long time. Who is going to want to hire me, based on that? There are no spaces to say "Hey - I'm a great person and you would be lucky to have me, I've just been busy raising my family.". There is no place that says please come in so we can meet you face to face and then make a decision.
It has been absolutely soul crushing going through this process. I spend several hours a day poring through online job postings. Just when I get excited about a job, I look at the requirements and they want to know what I am doing now. Right now? Looking for a job!! There is nothing worse than spending 45 minutes filling out an application, only to receive an email two days later saying thanks but no thanks. I just want to scream, "But you don't even know me!!".
So I have decided that while I am waiting for someone, anyone, to give me a chance, I will spend some time sharing what I am learning out here. Maybe someone can give me some advice. Maybe something I find out will be helpful to someone else.
All I know for sure is that I deserve a chance, don't you think?
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