I wake up these days and I’m consumed by anxiety. Whatifwhatifwhatif I never get a job; never make any money; never feel like I’m doing something productive for society that also makes me happy and pays my bills. What if we are always so strapped for cash that we can’t run the air-conditioner in the summertime? (It’s 85 in here, with the AC running.)
The What Ifs continue prancing through my head. What if I make the wrong choices? What if I’ve already made the wrong choices? What if I never ever get a phone call offering me a job? Like those people that never get married, but instead of never getting a proposal, I never get hired.
It is very difficult in this economy to remind yourself that you are a person worthy of success. That even in this economy, you are valuable. That even if nobody will pay you, you are valuable. That you are doing more today for your career by leaving the house and practicing law than other people who do not do that. That it’s only been a month (but then I get into omigodit’sbeenamonth!)
It’s hard, because it’s been a year since we graduated and I feel like I’m the only one whose still unemployed. Sure, some people are doing non-lawyer jobs – but I’ve applied to non-lawyer jobs! Yet still, nothing. And suddenly, this new crop of law clerks is about to be on the market, and they’ll have a year of great experience that will make them more desirable than I am. I get anxious sometimes because I’m convinced if I don’t find a job by August, I won’t find a job. I get anxious because I can’t imagine getting to December and not having a job, but I know that it is possible, because I did not think I would get to June and not have a job.
I apply further and further out, both out of my intended practice area and out of my geographical region or comfort zone. I check my phone compulsively to see if anyone has called. I can’t seem to get a grip and formulate a plan for my own success. I need to be sitting down and making a list of people I can contact to see if they know anyone who would hire me. I need to be putting myself out there. I need to be networking. I need to update my allies and references on my status change, to see if they have heard about anything, but for some of that I have been too proud, and for some of it, I have been too anxious. I feel like I can’t network properly, so why bother trying? I know that this is the wrong attitude to have, but at the same time, if my putting myself out there and acting awkward and loud and generally like myself is harming me, then maybe hiding at home is okay.
Hope seems to have fled the nest these days and that’s the really hard part. Because I do believe in having a positive outlook and knowing that if I work hard, good things will come to us. Some days though, it’s just easier to wallow.