Friday, August 24, 2012

Just business

I’ve been secretly stressing inside about this for a while now, and today I got the confirmation that what I’ve been suspecting, what I’ve feared, is true.

As you know, in the past couple of years I haven’t been so lucky in the job department.  In 2010, I left my fairly secure yet frustrating job, hoping for something better.  I had been there a total of 5 years.  I found a new job pretty quick, at a company that’s employee retention was fantastic, the average was 12 years. 

Eight months later, my department was sold, and I was out of work.  Nothing against me, they said, I was a great worker and they would give me great references, it was just a business decision.  This happened the same week I met my BF.

I spent a few months on unemployment, taking the time to redo my resume (which since I had been out of work a total of 4 months in 10 years at that point, was in need of a revamp), and figure out what I wanted to do. 

Then I found a great job at a non-profit coop.  I was over the moon, I thought I had found something that I could really sink my teeth into and make great.  What I didn’t know was that it was already sinking fast, and that it was so far gone, that no amount of work or will on my part could have made it work. Nothing against me, just business.

After that I went to a complete disaster that lasted all of 2 weeks before we decided to part ways.  At this point I was battling really hard against the depression knocking at my door.  This is a hard thing to do when you find yourself unemployed 3 times in one year, through no fault of your own.

I had never ever been unemployed for this long.  Before this I had never even been fired or lost a job, I had always left to improve my situation.  I was trying so hard not to sink into depression, I didn’t want my great new BF (who at this point had just moved in with me) or the kids to see me like that, but I was starting to crack.

Then I found my current job, which I love more than any job I’ve had in the last decade.  I was replacing someone whose only reason for leaving was that the office had moved too far from where she lived.  She cried on her last day, and now I understand why.  When I started here (December 2011), I was told that usually there were 2 admin assistants, and that one was working onsite at a major project, but that she would be back the following fall, and that seemed oh so far away.

Since then, I have done very well on my own, doing the work of 2, not needing any help, and that may be my undoing.  Here we are, fall, and the other admin will be coming back soon, the project is over, and they are starting to wrap up.  The thought crept into my head a couple of weeks ago, they probably won’t need 2 admins, and she has seniority.  I went to talk to the boss, and he confirmed that I had grasped the situation.  The economy is not so great; there is less work, and less staff.  If no new major projects come in before or soon after she comes back (which could be anywhere from September to November) they will have to make a decision, and she has seniority.  Nothing against me, just business.

I remember how he told me in my interview that what stressed him about my resume was that I had had a lot of jobs in the past decade, and I had explained the circumstances, but that doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t look good and that many employers may not give me a chance to explain that most of them were not my doing.

It was the same thing over and over last year.  The jobs don’t last as long as I’d like, so I have to job hunt, but my job hunt is impeded by the fact that I have had « too many » previous jobs.

I’m kind of sick of saying « it’s not my fault », even though it’s not, and I am trying really hard not to think about it too much, hoping that a big project will come our way and we will have enough work for two, or that for some reason the other admin doesn’t want my job, or anything that would mean that I don’t have to start all over for what feels like the millionth time. 

I try not to think about it because I don’t want the depression to get a head start creeping into my mind, but when you have battled depression and suicidal thoughts for your entire adult life, it seems to get harder and feel more pointless every time.

So I’ll try and focus on the good things, the things that are not part of any previous cycle, hoping that maybe this too is not the same cycle as before, that everything will work out.  I'm going to try and hope for the best, while planning for the worst.

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