Will today be the day that I receive a call telling me that I am hired? Will I finally hear that I am the best candidate for the role? Will the Human Resources manager woo me with talks of a salary and employee benefits? Will I finally be able to update my LinkedIn profile and feel proud that I’m no longer that girl with no title? Can I update my Facebook status, letting all my friends know I’m finally back in the game? Can I call my husband, crying with excitement, and let him know that I’ve done it, I’ve landed a job and things are going to be okay for us now?
Or, will today be another day of silence? Will I spend hours checking my email, staring at the phone, begging it to ring, and scolding myself for getting my hopes up yet again? Will it be another day of lying to myself, saying they will definitely call with good news tomorrow? Will I apply for ten more jobs and get excited when I get invited for a couple more phone interviews? Will it be another day of getting ready and driving to an onsite interview, practicing my handshake and getting a little better at wearing high heels?
Will I shed a couple tears as I head online to certify for my unemployment insurance yet again because I’m still not able to bring home a paycheck? Will I spend another night wondering how we’re going to afford health insurance once they baby arrives? Will I take another look at our budget, and try to find another expense to cut? Maybe this time it will be the cable bill, I watch too much television anyway. Or what about the monthly car wash subscription? $6 a month will surely make a difference. I have to keep the phone and internet bills, it won’t be easy to get a job without those. Maybe I can start selling things; I don’t use that exercise bike nearly enough, we don’t need two laptops, and if we don’t have cable, we really have no use for a television. Might as well get rid of the Playstation too; my husband can’t play without a TV.
But wait. Don’t panic. I still have sixteen weeks left until my unemployment runs out. Sixteen more weeks to find a job. I can do this. Can’t I? Just because today wasn’t the day that ended this struggle doesn’t mean that tomorrow won’t be. No matter that I’m more pregnant today than I was yesterday. Forget the fact that I’m now available for one less week before needing maternity leave than I was at my interviews last week because I’m 31 weeks pregnant now instead of only 30. Stop – you’re panicking again.
You see, until you’ve been unemployed yourself, you can’t really understand. You can sit back and look at those people in the unemployment office or on your Facebook Newsfeed and scowl, “why don’t they just get a job already?” I’m ashamed, I’ve had those thoughts before. But I was wrong, and so are you. The unemployed don’t have it easy. We don’t have stress-free days. We share your sleepless nights. Our battles are different, but they are in no way less challenging. We would give anything to be back in your shoes.