Fighting job hunting worthlessness

Unemployed. Isn’t that a nasty word? It is to me. Synonyms could be lazy. Good for nothing. Moocher. Freeloader. Waste of space. 


I know those aren’t my words and as much as I don’t apply those beliefs to others, I still do for myself. My own standards are higher. I still feel driven, this need to impress and succeed, or I feel like nothing.

I have started job hunting and I’m trying to be realistic and gentle on myself. My energy is not high. I need something flexible with minimal stress and hours. I tell myself this is temporary. That one day I may apply for those more ambitious and desirable jobs again. But I’m not so sure I’ll ever be ready. So I try to focus on me now, to process the unbalanced thoughts of needing to be perfect, comforting my sadness when I feel worthless.

I keep trying to tell hubby, but he doesn’t get it, and I stop, too ashamed to continue. I tell him I don’t like job hunting. He says, yeah its frustrating. I sigh. I have no way to explain the depth of this pain. How much it hurts to be triggered by my failure stuck point with each job post I am not qualified for, or worse, so much worse, when I apply for a job I didn’t really want but get rejected.

This hurts. Frustrating would be much more manageable. 

And hubby doesn’t know how much it hurt when he asked if the job boards were full of the same sh*tty jobs as usual. Because I am applying for those crappy jobs…and not getting hired. Which means I’m even crappier.

Hubby also doesn’t know how difficult it is for me to contain my jealousy as he talks about work. I try to be supportive, but some days I don’t want to hear his hero, he saved the day at work stories. Because all I did was scrape cheese off the dishes here at home. I know I am working in my trauma recovery program, but it doesn’t feel the same. I don’t feel like a hero or a problem solver. I think I am guilty of applying the stigma to myself. Hmm. Because I don’t feel proud, or even share with my family what I do in counseling. I don’t come home and say “I finally had some movement on a tough stuck point today…” nope. My kids don’t even know I am in counseling.

So I’m tackling this  job hunting like exposure therapy. I’m doing what I don’t want to do, every day, and experiencing every negative emotion slowly, then bringing myself back to center, slowly, using my new tools. 

I’ll keep at it. Eventually someone will hire me, and eventually maybe my self worth as a human won’t be connected so completely to my ability to make money. I am not going to go numb or put on a fake smile. This hurts. So I will feel the hurt and recover. I don’t have to like it. But I do need it to stop destroying me.

8 thoughts on “Fighting job hunting worthlessness

  1. I’ve taken all those nasty words and rolled them into one: burden. I’m a burden. The one thing I never wanted to be. I won’t say I know exactly how you feel because we both know I don’t, but I do recognize those hunts. How hopeless it feels and humiliating. I’m telling you what I should tell myself but have trouble believing: You are not what you do. You are worthy simply because you are. I’ve mucked out stalls and felt 10 feet tall. It really isn’t what you do. It’s about what you believe of yourself. The negative voices are only echoes from the past. It’s time we both put them to rest.

    • You may not know exactly how I feel, but you have done a great job here at capturing the essence. I am trying to become worth the air I breathe, and knowing it is not the same as believing it. I’d say you have come further than I have on this one, I have never felt tall about a small job, ever. I feel like a whiny brat right now, I fear I must sound that way to anyone who does not understand these stuck points. I truly don’t judge others, it is only a competition for myself. Oh my yes! Those negative voices need to put a sock in it. But just because I want to be done with it, doesn’t remove them, not yet

      • I think the mucking stalls pride was more about horse ownership… I was behaving in a responsible manner, doing what needed to be done no matter how dirty, smelly, and sweaty. I did not learn that at home. I learned it owning my horse. He was my decision, beginning to end. I chose and accepted full responsibility. I don’t know how to recapture that sense of accomplishment. We’ll keep fighting.

  2. Just a thought from someone who once had to hire for those crappy jobs. When hiring for those, the main consideration is to get someone who won’t quit too soon because of the crap. So the fact that you are not getting them will mean for 9/10 that you appeared way too good. I’m serious, if your responses or resume are too good, you won’t be considered at all.

    • Thank you. I do appreciate your comment here especially from a hiring perspective. I have tried to tone down my resume, knowing I am over qualified, but truly interested in a lesser position at this time

  3. I cannot say that I exactly understand. I also have a history of trauma and hospitalizations. My problem is that I could not keep a job in the past and often did not give notice. Now that I want to work or at least try, No one will give me a chance. It does not help that when I do get an interview I have physical scars. I just said the other day that I need to get something else to interview in. I think it is great that you are keeping with the search. You will find the right job for you. There will be someone out there who wants you. Hope your search yields a happy ending.

    • My phone just sent an odd reply to you.. so sorry, mind of its own. Thank you for your side of this, different but similar feelings involved. I am sorry to hear of your difficulties, this is so hard to keep trying and getting judged. Thanks for the encouragement! I hope the same for you. Something will work out.

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