I'm in a very sticky situation--I am looking more diligently than I have ever looked for a job. And not just any job--a job that would utilize my writing and editing skills, or my PR experience. (Ugh, I've been writing so many cover letters, everything I type is starting to sound like one.) Something with a salary, and benefits, and paid time off. Something that would make me proud to answer the question, "And what do YOU do?"
I get it--I'm in the same boat as millions of other people. It's tough times, everyone's going back to school, etc, etc. But there's this issue I don't quite know how to deal with, and that's what to say when employers ask why I haven't worked in the past 10 (going on 11, going on a YEAR) months.
I remember writing so indignantly about how that head hunter reacted with disdain when I told her I revealed to a potential employer that I had just gotten over having cancer. I thought she was so wrong to make me feel like I exposed myself as a potential liability. Now, I realize she had a point--I think companies might be leery about making an investment in someone who was sick. I used to think that getting over a scary disease set me apart. I couldn't even fathom deliberately keeping it to myself, because it had so profoundly affected me and changed my life. Now, I get self-conscious that employers will see mentioning that I was sick as a way to get pity points, or that I can't be professional and keep my personal life to myself.
There's still that part of me that really wants to be true to my nature and be open and honest about myself. In almost every situation, I wear my heart on my sleeve because I think being open with people opens them up, too. It's just how I am. But lately I've been questioning whether that's a smart way to go about things. So I haven't written about this or how anything has really been going in so long. But I guess I'm going to be true to my nature and spew it out now:
When I got sick, staying positive was easy--I had my family and friends taking care of me, I had great doctors, a great prognosis. I never let myself question whether or not I'd get better. So I'm pretty disappointed in myself that I'm questioning whether or not I'll ever find a job I really love and am good at. But this period of getting back on track has in every way emotionally been harder than going through treatment. I just feel like I'm sending resumes and cover letters out into this giant cloud of unknowing, and with every application that goes out, the little bit of hope that went out with it depletes my natural store when I don't hear back.
It's not that I expect to snap my fingers and have the perfect life. I am just ready for the months of daily existential crisis to be over and to be doing something beneficial (and that pays my rent.)
I feel like I can't write how I feel without being "a liability." I worry that saying "I feel like I'll never find a job" will turn potential employers away if they find this entry. I question whether having this blog was worth it in the end, despite how beneficial it was for me emotionally and mentally, if it holds me back from getting a job somehow.
But here's the thing: you google me, and that Bust Magazine interview, the one I was so proud to do, comes right up. KT Kieltyka, Cancer Blogger is on the first page of results of Google. So there's that. And what's even more important is that I am attempting to get a job where my writing experience is paramount. Much of my recent writing--not all--but much of it, is connected to having cancer. I did start another blog (www.singularladies.com) that is in no way tied to the Hodge, so I've been having fun with that. But I can't erase this past summer any more than I can erase those Google results (because I am not a hacker.)
And when it comes down to it, I don't want to. Because there is that voice inside that keeps telling me to hang on and wait it out for the place that will be just as happy to have me as I am to be there. It's just taking a beating lately.