In many ways this quest I’ve been thru to search for a job to avoid unemployment has been a process of dying. The first stage is denial, and there is the ensuing efforts to fight for your life. But as the disease progresses and you are hit with a succession of big defeats you get weary and start to see the benefits of just letting go. And so today I started to take steps to let go.
At the beginning of this week I had a substantial list of jobs that I was in contention for. Today I took efforts to clean out that list and even decide to NOT apply for certain jobs. I had been seeing a counselor to help me thru this hard time and he was encouraging me to apply for just about any job. He told me a story of his Uncle in WWII who raised his hand when someone asked if any of a group of soldiers could type. His Uncle never typed before, but he raised his hand and was told to report to duty as a desk clerk. His uncle managed to learn to type pecking away single fingers on a keyboard. His Uncle’s initiative to sort of lie and stretch himself probably saved his life. So my counselor was encouraging me to try.
But today I made a decision to stop trying anymore for anything that’s a stretch. If a job wants someone who’s an experienced sales and marketing person and I have no such experience I’m not going to bother trying with the hope that they will say “he knows nothing about sales and marketing, but what the heck I like him and he’s a quick learn so hire him!” While there’s a chance, albeit a slim one, that that would happen the bigger issue is the cost it will be for me emotionally. It would eat away at my self-esteem by forcing my ego to work hard to justify my worthiness by concocting the best snake-oil story by trying to squeeze sales and marketing success stories out of career that had no sales and marketing experience. Concocting snake-oil stories is very painful for me. And it would devastate me further to be met by the high probability rejection.
These days I’m so emotionally sensitive that I feel pain when I try to schedule a meeting with someone and they propose a different time. The software system I use to arrange meetings is called Lotus Notes, and whenever they decline the meeting or propose a change in time, I get an email in Lotus Notes with a “thumbs down” icon. I wish they choice a different icon, because that “thumbs down” icon is always painful when I see it. Whenever, they accept a meeting I get a “thumbs up” icon, which bouys up my self esteem. So I recognize it’s problem if the mere act of being willing or not to answer my phone call either brings me on a high or drags me to a low because of the icon I see in Lotus Notes.
Clearly, I’m just emotionally drained and burnt out with this job search. So anyway the end is near and I’ve now accepted that I will settle with just my final list of jobs– only about 5 jobs on my final list. I will try my best to get an offer from one of these five and will search for no more jobs. So even if a new job posted for “person named Wilson Cheung who needs lots of sympathy and has experience feeling bad” I will accept the fact that I forfeit my chance of being accepted for that job on the account that I give up.
Being able to start saying NO to an opportunity is now my only means of retaining my strength. Being willing to say OK, I guess my next step is to accept my death. On May 31st I will die. And that’s OK.
While it may only be the death of my life as a professional for 20 some years in a large corporation, it very much feels like a willingness to accept death of me on Earth. If my doctor told me I had Cancer and I had until May 31st before passing, I guess I’d smile and just rest. I’m moving into the final stage of grieving, acceptance. I’m starting to feel some signs of peace. The weather has been mostly nice. I’m tired of fighting and will just relax, lie down and let this disease take me over quickly. Fairwell. Tis been good.