And Then The Car Died

I've been careful to veil our current employment situation as a family on this blog because it's not specifically my story to tell, though under-employment is very difficult for a family dynamic and I am definitely affected by our current situation. As a normal person, I've largely filtered our "season" (God, I hope it ends soon) of part-time, multiple-job employment through my personal experience of it. As I was reviewing my husband's resume adjustments today per his request, I got another peek into what he's going through in this process. We're both going through a lot but it's largely different for a lot of reasons. Seeing through his lens of challenges today, I was reminded of just the level of confidence projection required during the process of job hunting. It's too much. And the longer you go without full-time work, the more exhausted and discouraged you are (the notion that poor people are lazy is laughable, unless they really just aren't willing to work. It's so much harder to work several crappy jobs without stability). 
No matter how suited you are for a specific job, just to get in the door, you're jumping through invisible hoops that leave you guessing. You don't know if the job posted is really available or if it's posted per some requirement though they already have someone in mind for the position and this posting is really just for looks. You don't know how many applicants they have. You often don't know even the salary being offered. You don't know what their hiring process is, how many interviews you will go through or if you will get called at all. All you know is, you need a job. Many of the jobs you are applying for are well within your wheelhouse of experience and capability and yet, no job. Sometimes no response, even. Some of these jobs are well below your capacity and still, no job. 
It's a very strange dance you do with personal potential, financial obligations, dreams, strangers unspoken expectations and time, so much time. We would all do well when eliminating people from their jobs to acknowledge that it can take the better part of a very difficult year to replace a job. It may be worse paying. We have consistently made less money per job he's taken since we got married. This is the world we're living in. I know people don't want to talk about politics, but I also think sometimes people aren't aware of what things are really like "out there" if they haven't been in this position for awhile. Once Tim started working, even part-time without receiving his first check, we lost our unemployment money. And that money is only half of your original income, so it's not even paying your bills at that point. 
I don't write these things to complain. We're ok for today and sometimes that has to be enough. We've made some deliberate choices about our lifestyle, what we're willing to give up and what we're not (unless truly forced). We desperately want to make a difference in our community through work and that leads us frequently to low-paying jobs. That is something we're comfortable with. So again, this isn't about "poor me" as much as it is about the low points of an extended job search and how hard it is to wait for something to change. Tim's car died this weekend. Ironic how I was all braggy about our old cars in my last post :) Unfortunately, a lot of our options for him to pick up cash once the school year is over involves having a vehicle. We're weighing our options and unfortunately, that long rope we started with is getting shorter. Sometimes you really need to see that light at the end of the tunnel. Believe me, I'm squinting. I'm looking for it. I really hope it's there.