When we were first pregnant, we decided that I would stay home with the children. Our checking and savings accounts took a hit, but we were lucky enough to be able to accomplish that goal for sixteen years. Sixteen fabulous, no regret years. I wouldn’t change a minute. I loved being home with my girls.
Now the girls are both teens and old enough to be self-sufficient for a couple of hours after school, and, with the loss of elementary school volunteerism a couple of years ago, I am bored silly at home all day. I need a job because we are looking down the barrel of college applications and I want to contribute financially to the household, but mostly I need a job because I need a reason to get up and dressed every morning. I need a job because it is time.
My English degree qualifies me for pretty much nothing except substitute teaching (which is great, but horribly inconsistent) or Poet in Residence here at Chez Smith. I didn’t want to do the retail/minimum wage route. I’ve done that, plenty of that, and I wanted to do something more career oriented. When asked at parties what I do, I wanted to be able to call myself something professional; I wanted letters after my name.
So, we made a plan. We decided that we would hold off my working for one more year while I went back to school to earn a certification in Medical Billing and Coding. Okay, it wasn’t exactly that well defined or that simple, but that was the ultimate goal: one year (one gigantic student loan) and a CPC certification.
My family made sacrifices and I worked hard in school. It was not nearly as easy in my late forties as it was in my early twenties, and there were times I felt unable to continue. There were plenty of days I have never felt more stupid in my entire life; there were lots of tears, but, always, every single time, my family rallied around me, boosted my spirits, and carried me through.
I finished school in December and I have had one job interview. One. One interview that actually went quite well, but I didn’t get the job, so how well could it really have gone? I have a brand new spiffy resume that I send out (almost) daily and the school sends my resume as well; I can’t even get an interview. This entire job search is so depressing, so demeaning, and I find myself taking every rejection, every ignored application, personally. I foolishly thought I would complete school, ace the CPC exam, and fall into a fabulous coding position immediately. I did my part. I got the initials after my name. Where is my payoff?
I’m not the only one having an issue finding a job, but that is of little comfort. There simply are not as many positions out there as we were lead to believe in school. Some days I try to be all Zen about it and tell myself that everything happens for a reason and I will find the perfect job when the timing is right. Other times I want to punch that zen part of me in her fat zen face. Today is a punching day.
Tomorrow is interview number two. Two is a good number, right?