It happened. At twenty six years old, I was fired for the first time. I’m not going to go into detail as to why it happened, because to be honest I’m still processing it. To be even more honest, I’m processing a lot. It was bizarre how everything came about because I was “fired” but given an extra week to work so they could start training the new person to take my place. Truly though, I’d been wanting to find a new job for a while. I wasn’t happy where I was anymore. Going to work felt like a chore, but I still did my job. Being fired was unexpected but has become my push to find a new job that appreciates me.
I took that weekend to have my pity party and be upset that I was facing unemployment and be terrified that I was not going to be bringing in a pay check for an unknown amount of time – which is still a constant thought right now.
Monday came around and I felt a bit better (thank you to my fiance and my mom for boosting me up) but that fear was still in the back of my mind; what was I going to do with no job? I walked into work and the awkwardness flooded the room because of course everyone knew. I decided to go about my day, and my week, like I’d done for the last year and just did my job. Of course that’s not to say that every chance I could take was spent pumping out Indeed applications. A couple of times I didn’t really know what position I was applying for but at that point it felt like I needed to focus on quantity over quality. By the end of the week I had applied to 100 plus jobs, had a video interview that went nowhere, and only heard from a recruiter for a place I didn’t apply to, but I set up an interview anyway.
I finished my final week at work with the relief of not having to go back (other than to return my scrubs) but trepidation about the weeks to come. I was going into the new week with only one interview set up and an inbox full of “Thank you for your application” messages. Absolute frustration. Also very disheartening. Am I really not good enough or qualified enough for these jobs? Luckily Sam and I got away for the weekend and my mind got a bit of a break from the negative feelings.
This new week came too quickly but I put on my big girl pants and got to it. I went to the interview for the job I didn’t want, and found out that I for sure did not want it. Door to door sales, no thank you! I went home and got back to more job applications, pondered if my resume was good enough, and questioned why I didn’t do more in college to ready myself for what I actually wanted to do with my life.
And now here I am, finishing my first full week of unemployment. Hundreds of applications and resumes sent, two interviews under my belt, and a lot of soul searching done. I came to the conclusion that I do not want to be a veterinary receptionist for the rest of my life. As much as I love working in an environment that helps animals, I’d be stuck in the same role forever. I want somewhere with upward movement, a place where I could grow. My writing is also something I need to start focusing on, which is partially why I wrote this other than needing to get my feelings out in the way that I know.
This is also my way of asking others how they handled being unemployed. I want to know if there are others in my shoes who are looking for a career change and aren’t sure how to get there. Or maybe you made that change, how? What are your suggestions?
Until I find what fits, I’m glad to know that I have a wonderful support system that will not let me fail. Of course I still have the dread of no income but I can take that as it comes. And I believe that most mornings are going to begin with the thought of where to go from here but here’s to not knowing what’s next!