It’s a ritual.
First, check e-mail for any replies from the previous inquiries. Check voicemail, just in case your phone is malfunctioning and you actually have 5 instead of 0. Curse yourself for getting your hopes up. Get back on the computer and click on the first bookmarked site.
Scroll down until you see a link you’ve already clicked on and move forward from there. Click on every listing. Read through. Twice. Check out the company to get as many details as you can.
Move your mouse over to the document that is always open on your computer to customize it for every listing. Details are important. Re-read the cover letter 3 times before saving it. Switch over to your browser & click on your e-mail. Do a search in your sent messages to make sure you haven’t applied to this one before. (Sometimes, they re-list).
Compose, attach, sign, send.
Rinse, lather, repeat 3 times a day.
Then go socialize at a networking event with the hopes of meeting someone who can at least give you a lead, or simply emphatize.
Job hunting is a full-time job. I did it for a full year while I was at a job that I hated. It’s painfully frustrating, and in this economy, sometimes impossible to cope with on a daily basis when the e-mails you send seem to disappear without reaching the recipient.
A couple of weeks ago, while stressing about money, I thought I would get back to my ritual. Maybe I was wrong about this whole freelancing/school/interning deal. I wasn’t built for not working full-time. It’s all I know how to do so I went back to my ritual.
There were tons of jobs out there. I clicked on a link for an executive assistant position and went to work on my cover letter. A sinking feeling took over me and I had a small anxiety attack. The idea of going back to a life where I had a 9-5 that I hated simply because it paid wasn’t something I could accept.
Then I got mad at myself for being selfish. Who was I to scoff at a 9-5 when there are people out there performing the same ritual?
And then I remembered I do have a full-time job: To take the chance I’ve been given and make the most of it.
I started on this path knowing it would be difficult.
I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to not get out of bed in the morning to go to a job I loathed.
I just have a new ritual.
DC Job Sources: