Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Unemployment Chronicles, Chapter 11

The Ants are Marching

Today is the first time I've felt antsy about being unemployed, or vaguely employed, or nearly employed, or whatever you want to call my present situation. I've clicked on "send resume" and copied/pasted/modified my cover letter about as many times as I can stand. I have half a dozen e-mail alerts set up to notify me when new jobs are posted with certain words in the title or description. I'm networking. I'm cold-calling. The search is on, 24/7.

But I have only one project to work on today, plus classes in the evening. And tomorrow I have nothing on my schedule. No projects, no meetings, not even any classes. So I'm feeling antsy.

Really, things are good. On Thursday, I have a client meeting, and I'll come away with more work to do. On Friday, I have not one but two interviews for gigs I'd like to land. I have cast my net far and wide, and several places owe me calls that may result in work. It's not like I have nothing going on. But I still feel antsy. If the weather were warmer, I'd go out for a walk.

This is where my age works against me. My birth year puts me on the cusp between the Baby Boomer generation and Generation X. In many ways I identify with the former, but when it comes to work, I'm more of an Xer. As in, I want my work to actually mean something to me — or at least not crush my soul on a daily basis. Yes, I know this makes me unsuitable for life on the cube farm. I've known it all along. I've only recently become willing to admit it out loud. I'm antsy for the rest of the world to catch up and admit it, too.

I also wouldn't mind if work simply fell into my lap without me having to beg and scratch and jump through hoops for every lead and interview. I don't like having to sell myself to potential employers. I want them to be smart enough to realize how I could benefit them. (Same goes for dating, by the way. Which might explain why I haven't had a date in more than three years.) Unrealistic, I know. But a girl can dream.

So I'm antsy, but that's not such a bad thing. It'll keep me alert to possibilities — like the possibility of finding work I want to do. It's good that the ants are marching. That's the only way to get anywhere.



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