Job Search and Stress

self employed or unemployed

I have been working hard to find a job in the field that I got my degree. I have spent more than 50% of my life as a stay at home mom. Once I had hit the five kid mark, I decided to go back to school to get a degree. I had big dreams like everyone else, but was reminded quite frequently that I was middle aged and a mom so just go for something that will make a living to support said kids (because marriage is not something that I am successful in, or is just not meant to be). I settled on Nursing (which was being pushed) because my nature is nurturing (five kids will sharpen that trait). I enrolled when #5 was still in diapers and breastfeeding… that was fun; doing homework with one hand and breastfeeding with the other arm holding the baby.

I loved all the classes that I wanted to take. I loved writing. I loved learning about people, their methods, their madness, and the history of all things. Then I had to start taking classes related to Nursing. I loved the intricacies of how the human body worked and how bacteria, viruses, parasites, et al disrupted those functions. Then Nursing school happened. I felt I was getting away from human and into a business where patients were called “clients”. My heart was not in it, but I did it. I passed the NCLEX the first time (even after they had revised it making it more difficult) and within 45 minutes (we are given 6 hours). So, I have the knack for it. Maybe because I love people and how we work.

I started job hunting even before I finished school. I got one interview. The hiring manager loved me, but then there was the peer interview and they did not love me. They did not like me. I asked the hiring manager to ask them why so I can figure out what I was doing wrong. She said she would. She never responded and upon me asking more, I did not get any replies. Maybe, it was my hijab. In over a year, I have only gotten that one interview and it was unsuccessful. I cannot count how many applications I have put in to innumerable companies. I am overwhelmed by the time, effort, and rejection I have endured. Everyone from my class is now hired; even the ones who failed their NCLEX a couple of times are hired. I do not know what I am doing wrong. I did get a response in a rejection letter that might be a clue. I was told that I did not qualify for the job because I do not speak English. Obviously, I speak English. My last name though does not constitute an all American name. I would love to change it to my maiden name, but being unemployed does not afford me the means to change my name. And really, my name should not be an issue of whether or not I am qualified. I have, however, since included in my resume that I am American born and native English speaker.

I know that my weight could be a factor if I were actually getting interviews. No one can see me through an application on the net. It is all on the net; no one wants you to come in and apply. I did go to a job fair (without hijab). It was sponsored by a Congressman. It was nothing more than a photo op for him. They had plenty of minimum wage companies there and even they were not interviewing, nor looking to schedule interviews. All, every single one of them, were saying, “go online and apply.” None of our names, nor resumes, were taken. The Congressman sat there patting himself on the back and smiling for photos, but did nothing to really help us jobless. Hey, I even doubt that I am counted among the unemployed because I have been a stay at home mom.

I am frustrated and considering hanging my hat up on this whole Nurse thing. I am going to regroup and start a business plan for some ideas I have. Maybe this is God’s way of telling me that I was never meant to be a nurse (much like I was never meant to be married). I am going to try my hand at a business venture. I have nothing else to lose. I know rejection. I know failure. I can accept those as possibilities, but perhaps I will get to know success too. I tried to talk to some family about my circumstances and am given the usual… “you are not doing enough”, “starting your own business is a bad idea”, “the economy is bad”… basically “you cannot do it and you must be a Nurse, because that is what we told you you had to do and we are never wrong.” I really need a support system. It was recommended by someone in my family that I need a coach. Coach would be great… who is going to pay for it? He was not. Kinda like he suggested that I get a personal trainer and nutritionist to lose weight. Again, he was not offering to pay it. He even bought a documentary about juicing and made me watch it and then said, “You need to do that!” He did not offer to buy the couple of hundred dollar juicer nor the extra vegetables and fruit I would need. He just assumed that I was not really wanting to lose weight nor get a job because I did not hire a coach, personal trainer, nutritionist, nor buy the juicer and produce that I clearly could not afford. I am happy that he has always had the means to do those things, but I do not and it surely does not mean that I do not want to reach those goals because I cannot afford them. This “support” only adds to my self loathing.

I feel defeated and overwhelmed. I think that all I can do at this point is support my kids and encourage them to get college degrees while they are young and single… marriage and kids can wait… forever. Education cannot. It literally can make you or break you; if you spent a lifetime of being a responsible mother and wife, and education may not be enough. I am trying to burn tires to get out of this rut. I do not want to stay here for more than this moment. I have decided that starting Monday, the first day of the kids summer vacation, I will begin to wake at just before dawn and stay up.. making the best use of the quiet time before they begin to wake. I will begin a business plan, make trips to the SBA, and take action steps to get in a better place mentally, physically and spiritually so that I can conquer this unemployment beast. Wish me luck! Pray for me! Send good vibrations! Anything positive you got, I will graciously accept.

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