"I'm going to ask a question that will probably shock everyone in this room that I'm asking....you know, it all sounds great on the surface, but when you look a little closer at your resume, there's a year here, a year there, and it doesn't seem like you've stayed any place for very long...can I ask why?" --Interviewer (2 weeks ago)
I have answered this question, in all its various forms, time and time again.
I have concocted versions of the truth, and flat-out lies.
I have summoned confidence I don't really possess to emphasize all the right things, instead of all the things that make me look bad.
But the truth is, it doesn't matter.
The 7 years that I *was* with the same employer....they don't matter.
Straight A's and Summa Cum Laude? Doesn't matter.
The 3 extra years I spent earning a Master's? High school dropouts make more than I do right now.
Volunteering and going the extra mile? Don't make me laugh.
It is my fault. I am the one who left the job where I was making good money in return for being treated like shit. It was my decision to stand up for myself, my decision to quit, and my decision to drive to Nashville to kill myself.
The problem, ironically, is that I didn't kill myself.
The way this has fucked up my life...well, it just makes me wish I had. Choosing to live has ruined my life. Years of unemployment and suicidal depression...the ensuing downward spiral....
Through it all, I haven't given up. Through all the dismissal and rejection, I plodded through five hundred twenty-five thousand job applications until one day - yes! - one day, it all paid off....
There is so much more dignity in being underemployed, rather than just unemployed. Even though my degree is worth twice what I am making, at least I am in the field. I can always console myself with that when I think of trash collectors making double my income.
It's not that I wasn't bitter before this job interview two weeks ago; it's that I forgot how bitter I was, being fortunate enough to have a job to go to every day. I was dumb enough to go out on a limb and apply for the position my degree tells me I am qualified for....and end up rejected once again. The irony is, I was feeling more confident than ever because I finally have 9 months of steady employment in my field with great references! So much for that.
At least I gave it a shot. Yes, it made me feel like absolute shit afterwards, but what doesn't. The important thing is that I had the self-worth to believe I deserved it...for a moment, anyway.