Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Job Hunt as an Adoptee

Job hunting is horrible. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are people out there who love the thrill of the chase, the interviews, the bragging about how good you are and why you belong at that particular company. And those things can be fun sometimes. And those things are going to be in my future very often as I picked a career that is full of switching jobs and always looking for the next big thing. Unfortunately for me as a female adoptee, job hunting is like getting a root canal with no Novocain.

For starters, I’m not the type of person who likes to brag about my accomplishments. I have a hard time selling myself. I grew up thinking that I was a throw away baby, so my self-esteem is admittedly in the toilet. When asked questions like “Why are you the right person for this company?” I go into a cold sweat thinking “Well, I’m not really sure why I’m the right person for my family so…” I have gotten good at faking a good answer, but sometimes it is hard to sell yourself when your first mother hasn’t returned yet another email and you’re feeling just a bit worthless. But I digress…

As much as I love the interview process, it’s the waiting afterward that’s the hardest part. It brings me right back to the early days of reunion. Did I say the right thing? Did I impress them enough to want to call back? Did they like me? Waiting around for a phone call or email that could change your life isn’t my idea of a fun afternoon. I don’t do waiting well. I don’t do staring at the phone well. I don’t do checking my email for any news well at all. It’s like I’m waiting for my first parents to get in touch with me all over again.

I’ve now been through this process about seven or eight times. This economy is not the best for trying to find a job right out of college. When I finally do get the news, more often than not it’s “We liked you a lot and think you’re a great person, but you just aren’t the right fit for our company.” And I am crushed each and every time. I’m back in the position of being rejected, back in the position of being told that it just wasn’t going to work out, and back to feeling like a loser all over again.

Now I know I’m not a loser. I know that eventually, I’m going to find a job. And I’m thrilled that I can actually apply to multiple jobs. Every day there are new job postings and I routinely get called to apply for one job or another. There are plenty of jobs out there and the economy is starting to get better in my field so it’s really just a matter of time. However, with each new job that I apply for, it reminds me that I only have one first family. I can’t log online to Monster.com and find another first mother. And her requirements are not going to change to something that I’m more suited for. And me getting more experienced or taking a test to prove my skill level is not going to change how she feels about me.

I can’t wait for the day when I get that first job. I can’t wait for the day when someone calls to tell me that they want ME and that they are thrilled that I’m going to be working for them.  I love lounging around my parents’ basement in my pajamas until two in the afternoon and eating ice cream out of the container because I can just as much as the next person. But it’s getting a bit old and my life is pretty boring at this point. And I can’t wait until I can fight back the sting of rejection with a normal acceptance. Until then, I’ll be here blogging and hoping that eventually someone decides that I’m worth taking a chance on. And maybe someday my first mother will change her mind. Miracles happen right?

4 comments:

  1. Job hunting totally does bring up that fear of rejection. Being turned down for a job has always made me feel horrrrrible.

    And I was just thinking the other day "why does it seem like adoptees have such a hard time bragging about themselves?" Not bragging in an annoying way, but sharing their credentials when it's appropriate. There are so many amazing women, like you, who should be proud to tell people what they've accomplished :-)

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  2. "Did I say the right thing? Did I impress them enough to want to call back? Did they like me?"

    I hate bragging about myself. Having to sell myself for a job when I don't have any *real* idea of what the job environment will be like is even tougher.

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  3. Jenn, this truly is a Lost Daughter thing - I feel this way too even though I have a 4-page cv that is quite impressive.
    Repeat after me: I am enough. I am enough.

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  4. I am so grateful to have found this post, as it makes me feel not quite so alone. I am also waiting to hear from my birth mother--anything, any kind of response at all--and it's wearing my down. My mind says to be patient while my heart bleeds.

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