Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Start of Something New

    I have been surrounded by working women my whole life. My mom has worked my whole life, both of my grandma's have worked their whole life, and so did I... That was until my husband had gotten a new job and we moved closer to the Chicago area. I was very pregnant with my third child at the time and my husband and I both decided that the cost of childcare for three children was more than we wanted to pay. So I stayed home with the kids.
    It's been three years since we moved and now my daughter will be starting kindergarten next year and my youngest son could start day care in the fall if we wanted him to. There is nothing holding me back from working again. My husband has been very successful at his job and if I decide to work, childcare for a half day for one child and only a couple of hours for the other two won't be too strenuous.What could possibly hold me back?
    I wish the answer was complicated, but it's not. I'm scared. I think that in order for you to understand, I need to tell you some of my back story.
    I got my B.S. in Business Administration back in 2009. I graduated believing that I was going to immediately receive job opportunities left and right, but that didn't happen. You see, when I graduated from college in 2009, the economy went into a recession. Suddenly, all of those jobs that they told me I could get if I just went to college was given to those who already had experience in that line of business. Entry level jobs were asking for 2-5 years experience, but no one wanted to give me the experience that everyone wanted me to have.
   My husband and I met the first week of college and got married the summer before our senior year. I found out that I was pregnant with my first child a month before graduation. I know that this sounds like an excuse, but it made me a risk for employment, so those interviews that I went to provided no jobs. My husband and I moved to my hometown and stayed with my grandparents. It was a step backwards.
   I don't remember the exact date, but I got an interview one morning with a picture studio. I won't say the name of it, but it was one that was located inside a store franchise. I put on my interview clothes and high heels and went to this interview. As soon as I got there, I introduced myself and immediately had pictures thrown into my hand. "Can you say this? 'Where can you get this kind of deal where you can get one 8x10, two 5x7s, four 4x5s, and 8 wallets all for $9.99? You can get it right here!'" I said yes and then fed the pictures back to the man. He immediately told me that I was hired and could start that day.
   That was great news, right? Wrong! Remember when I said that I was pregnant?The interview was at 11 and I was going to eat lunch afterward. However, since I was starting that job right there on the spot, even though I needed to eat and I had prior engagements, I felt that I had to start. The man started training me and four other people.... three of the five us were pregnant and did the same thing. We waited to eat after the interview.
    So here we were, all at the front of the store, starving. The man made us take turns literally stalking customers as they came into the store. I was pretty good at getting the sales, but I was incredibly uncomfortable stalking people who didn't want to be stalked. At one point, the man training us told the only man who had "Interviewed" with us that he was retarded. It was awful and I wish that I had the guts to stand up to him. At one point, an older woman had been walking outside and fell and hit her head. I wanted to go to her rescue, but the man told us to ignore her and keep getting customers. After telling him that we had things that we needed to do and were extremely hungry because we hadn't expected to be hired on the spot, the man ordered a pizza and sent us home.
   I remember seeing my husband for the first time since I left that morning. We were supposed to both be helping out at a 30 Hour Famine with our youth group, (I of course was going to hide and eat when I needed to) but I ended up being gone the whole day. I walked towards him and sobbed. I remember telling him that I couldn't work for that horrible place and didn't want to quit until I spoke with him. He gave me his full support and I felt the weight lift off of my shoulders.
   A little while after that, we were hired for temp work at the factory that I had done all of my summer jobs in and even had an internship there.The work was busy and tiring, but we made really good money for what we did. We didn't do work that pertained to our degrees, we did factory assembly line work. It was hard at times and I felt cheated because I was in a job where I didn't need my degree, but again, the money was good. I worked there until my water broke and I gave birth to my first child. The temp work ended a couple of days later so my husband and I were without a job again.
    After a couple of weeks, my husband was blessed by a job that was about a 45 minute commute. My parents had fixed up the childhood home that I grew up in enough that we could move in rent free. By the time my son was almost 6th months old and after several failed interviews, a connection from within a local Subway gave me a chance and I got a job there.
    I only worked there part time, usually at night. My husband was getting his MA for free from the college that he worked for. So when I did get to see him, it was only brief and we were both distracted- he was distracted by homework and I was distracted by the baby. We did this for a little over two years until I finally got hired by the same college that my husband worked for. I now had two children; my son who was almost three and now a 9 month old daughter.
   My husband and I were able to carpool together each morning and drop our healthy kids off at the nearby YWCA for day care at a pretty reasonable cost. I loved my job and I worked there for a year and a half until it as time to move.
    You see, out of all of the jobs that I had after graduating from college, I never had to use my degree. The degree wasn't a requirement. I've been out of work for three years and I hadn't had to use what I learned in school once. The time is coming up for me to job search again, that is if I want to. It took me so long to even find a good job that wasn't factory work or at a restaurant. I'm not saying that those aren't great jobs, because I enjoyed the hard work that I did every day, but what if I start to look for something part time or full time and no one wants me? What if too much time has gone by and my 4 years of expensive schooling that I'm still paying for has become irrelevant?
    I'm afraid of being unwanted in the work force. I'm afraid of being unemployable. I'm afraid of being rejected. Why should I start looking for jobs?
   The answer to that is because I want to work again. I want to be in an environment where I do my job well. I love my children, but sometimes, they are the only people I talk to all day and I miss adult interaction. I also want to be able to do things! With one income, we have to be careful on how we spend our money and save. It would be wonderful to have some extra spending money so we can have experiences. I just hope that I won't let my fear of being rejected hold me back.

   I'm sure that I'm not the only person who has had the fear of starting over again. What was your fear and how have you conquered it?
   

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