The Passing of Another Year

It just occurred to me that today is March 6th. What’s the significance to me of March 6th? Today is my three-year anniversary at my current job. Yeah, I can’t believe it either. When I started this job three years ago today I didn’t think I’d be there three weeks let alone three years. I’ve never kept any job for three years before — not even any of the various jobs I had while I was in school. Three years. Hmm — I suppose it’s pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it seems rather significant to me given that those three years have spanned (or, rather, will have in just over a month) my final three years as a twenty-something. Here I am on the precipice of thirty and I’ve still never had a “real” full-time job.

How on earth did I get to this point? I guess one day turns into one week, which turns into one month, which turns into one year. And then another year. And then another. When I first started this job, I was still applying for other jobs on a regular basis, still optimistic and convinced that a better-paying job was just around the next corner. I got a handful of interviews, and I received more rejection letters to add to my growing collection, but no new job offers ever came along. And then two significant events happened at once — (a) the economy turned south, and (b) I wearied of my mounting pile of rejection letters. “What’s the point of even applying when I know I’m not going to get the job, right?” Well, that's the way I felt at the time anyway. Add to that the fact that nobody was hiring (and the few employers who were hiring weren’t taking on entry-level newbies since they had stacks of applications from floor to ceiling from unemployed folks with oodles of experience), and I actually went something like five months at one point last year without even bothering to look for a job. (It should be noted that those five months coincided with a stretch of time when I was working 50- and 60-hour weeks at work, so looking for a job on the rare day I had off wasn’t exactly high on my priority list.) I would hardly say we’re in the clear now, but I’ve definitely noticed an uptick in the number of job postings out there recently, and, as a result, I’ve finally started looking for work again. The hard part now is getting back into the routine I was in before. I mean, when you’re really on a roll and applying for jobs left and right customizing your CV and cover letter for each posting and sending them off is like second nature, but once you’re off the bicycle getting back on and into the rhythm again almost seems daunting. “How do I do this again?” “What are employers looking for here?” I would say that I’m back on the bicycle, but I’m wobbling a bit as I try to find my balance point again. It will come.

Now I don’t want to speak ill of my current job or employer. I might come home frustrated on occasion, but it’s still honest work for honest pay, and it has kept food in my belly, clothes on my back, and a roof over my head for the last three years. On the other hand, I can’t stick with it forever either. Not only would that be a major waste of my very-expensive graduate-school education, but my prospects of ever seeing an upgrade to full-time employment there aren’t any rosier now than they were the day I started. I pick up all the overtime and extra shifts I can, but that stuff isn’t guaranteed, and there are definite boom-and-bust cycles. Banks, utilities, and landladies don’t care about boom-and-bust cycles — just checks that don’t bounce.

On a positive note, another year in the books means another pay raise, and that’s never anything to thumb your nose at — unless we’re talking about the dreaded one-penny raise. (If you’ve never heard the one-penny-raise story I’ll have to fill you in some time. It was pretty pathetic.) It’s Saturday, the sun is out, and I’m headed out shortly to start collecting on that pay raise. Have a good weekend, everyone!


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kris published on March 6, 2010 2:50 PM.

Jelly of the Month Club was the previous entry in this blog.

In Which I Ramble on for Far too Long about the Oscars is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.