Clue-by-Four: Ramblings of a Jock Dork

ClueXMIA: The Job Hunt and Emotional Exhaustion

Posted in Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on August 3, 2010

[Disclaimer: This post is helping me release some frustration. It will not be edited and probably contains tons of errors because, when it comes to freewriting, I often don’t pay attention to exactly what I’m typing]

I don’t understand how some people have been at this whole unemployed thing for prolonged periods of time without losing their mind [Actually, as I understand it, many people have].

When I went through this last year, I had a reasonable belief that I was going to still have a job at my current school in September. This year, I know that there is no job available. The emotions are very different and it has clouded many of my decisions over the past couple months on issues such as dating.

I know the current economy has created this situation for a lot of people, but there is something about the whole thing that just feels emasculating. I know there is less of a stigma today, but it sure doesn’t feel like it when you are actually saying, “I’m unemployed right now.”

Funny thing, a number of years ago, I wouldn’t have cared much about uttering that phrase. I was perfectly insulated in my self-impossed joblessness [largely due to depression]. This is different. I have worked very hard to become a dedicated/talented educator. I have done much to become the man I want to be. [This process contributed to the downfall of Ex-Fiance #1]

Last year, I was on the verge of buying a house [completing the sense of manhood…I understand that it doesn’t necessarily define being a man…it’s how it feels to me people!]. Now, I’m sliding backwards.

I am normally a positive person, but the repeated rejection has been difficult to swallow. After going on about a dozen  interviews and filling a total of 40+ applications, I am feeling drained.

Even when I nail the interview, I’ve been edged out by a slightly more viable candidate.  I sent a “Thank You” note to one principal who wrote back. She explained that I couldn’t have done any better in the interview, but got beat out by a slightly better candidate. She even recommended me to another principal in the district [with which I interviewed Friday] and asked that I consider applying in the future because she would be happy to have me as a staff member.

I don’t know whether I should feel uplifted by that e-mail, or depressed that even best hasn’t been good enough. What I do know, it is a swirl of emotions that I have not experienced in many years and would appreciate going away very soon. It is hard for me to completely articulate everything I feel.


  • For the moment, I have called a complete moratorium on dating. I suppose I can still have “fun”, but I have nothing to offer anyone emotionally right now.  I am focused on being the best dad I can be and a good friend, when I can be.
  • I have also had to pull away from viable opportunities because of geographic concerns. My geography is undetermined right now and I have been applying for almost every available position in a 150-mile radius. In my opinion, if I did not take this into account when dating someone, it would be dishonest [I don’t believe in the “worry about it later” approach because then people get hurt]. I’ve had to cut off opportunities before anyone got emotionally attached because it was the right thing to do and the fair thing. I cannot encourage someone to fall in love with me, only for me to move to a distance of 100 miles, especially when they are tethered to geography because of other responsibilities.

Blogging and Twitter:

  • With the exception of the current blog, I haven’t had a whole lot of emotional energy or focus for writing anything. I have a lot of ideas, things I want to talk about, series to finish. I just can’t get up the mental energy to sit down and write.
  • I am finding ways to keep my mind of my current situation, which includes playing a lot of golf, going to the gym, hanging out with my daughters, and playing some video games.
  • Mental time is dedicated to tweaking things about my job hunting process to further gain an edge. For example, I just dropped $50 on two e-books on education that were written about one of the districts I’ll be interviewing at this week. I’m going to read as much of the important parts as I can after my interview tomorrow. If I can figure out what my interviewers are looking for specifically, I can tailor my answers to meet their needs. Basically, I’m cramming [This is what it’s come to]

I am working on shaking this funk. For the moment readers, I ask for your patience with my blog and tweets. I will be periodically MIA for a bit longer while I try to shake this funk and get back to being me.

With any luck, I’ll be employed and back to writing on a regular basis.

But don’t worry, I’ll still be reading and will comment from time to time over the next couple weeks. I may post some poetry or may even go back and post some blogs from when I was a blogger-in-training. 😉

[To those I’ve discussed the collaborative project with, I’m still piecing together my angle. I’ll be in touch tomorrow]


7 Responses

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  1. meredith said, on August 3, 2010 at 12:57 pm

  2. missdisplaced said, on August 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    “I’ve been edged out by a slightly more viable candidate.”

    Well, that is better than getting edged-out by a LESS viable candidate, which is happening to me! I keep getting the whole “you’re overqualified for this position-you’ll leave when things get better” thing.

    You should feel good that you at least got the interview and they would’ve hired you if they had more openings. You got some positive feedback, even though you didn’t get the job. Follow up with them in a few months. Could you substitute there?

    What was it the other candidate had that was better? Anything you could do (classes, certification, etc.)? I know that is tough, and sometimes there really isn’t anything if it is a time/experience factor, you just have to keep trying.

    It’s been 19 months of unemployment for me. At first, it wasn’t so bad, but now most people act like there is something wrong with me, even though I have never been without work since I was 14 years old! I find it very disturbing that you as a teacher would be having such a tough time too. Something is seriously broken with our country I fear, and it is something that has been YEARS in the making.

    • Theteacher174 said, on August 4, 2010 at 12:35 am

      When we are making it this hard for people to find work, something went very wrong

  3. TurnJacson said, on August 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I can really identify with you when you say “I haven’t had a whole lot of emotional energy or focus for writing anything” I does take a lot of clarity and insight to write a post people can connect with, and that’s tough to do when you are being pulled in a different direction by life.

    I know I’ve been a little MIA because life has decided to make things interesting…

    I hope everything works out soon, we need more badteacher!!

  4. KLZ said, on August 3, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    If it helps, we recently hired someone due to nepotism. So, at least that’s not why you’re losing jobs…

    • Theteacher174 said, on August 4, 2010 at 12:32 am

      Ouch. I’ve lost jobs for that before. Nothing worse than the stacked deck

  5. stineybean said, on August 4, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Sometimes the best way to get out of the funk is to talk about the funk. Thanks for sharing.

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