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What Two Months At Home Taught Me About Job Hunting

Posted: September 20, 2015

Job hunting can be tough but it’s tougher if your partner is successful at it and if you are failing to land one immediately. Here’s how this writer staged a self-intervention and kept herself motivated!

Very recently, my husband and I moved lock stock and barrel to another country. It was such a happy time for us as we had been waiting for this phase in our lives for over a year. We had decided to try a new adventure and to explore places beyond known shores. The relocation, like any other great gift, came with its own twist – that both us were once again on the not-so-happy journey of job hunting. Although we had saved up enough to pull us through a certain amount of time, we knew that finding a job — not just any but a good job — was possibly our first milestone in our new home.

Although we had this big task ahead of us, the good thing was that we were enjoying our time overseas. The sightseeing, the adventures, exploring new cuisines and foods and the fact that we could behave like silly honeymooners again, it was just wonderful! Having settled in the new land we began the long-awaited task and after a few weeks my husband landed a good job. It was celebration for us, for such a huge burden was off our shoulders! We couldn’t be happier and being a techie he had a fair network going for himself. Unfortunately for me this was a bittersweet happiness because although I was so thrilled that we were getting off to a great start, I was now alone in the job hunting game. This meant that I would be reading all those rejection mails by myself and I would be up worrying about my career alone. My husband is a wonderful man and he was very understanding of my situation, however it wasn’t making me feel much better.

I was now alone in the job hunting game. This meant that I would be reading all those rejection mails by myself and I would be up worrying about my career alone.

The two months that I was at home job hunting were a revelation for me! I saw so many shades to myself that I wasn’t aware existed. Something you must know about me is that I am a feminist and one who believes in independence both financially and otherwise. The hardest thing for me to do was to spend money on myself, spend money on small things of joy and not necessity. I felt the need to justify my purchases all the time. I also caught myself asking for permission before buying things, such as “could I please go for that show?” or “I really need that pair of earrings. It’s just 10$ so it’s okay right?” I was so surprised to hear myself, and my husband who knew me for almost a decade, was even more surprised. It wasn’t that he expected or made me feel that way, but my subconscious was behaving most oddly.
Another side to myself that I saw was that I had begun to defend myself on every account, which was leading to many silly arguments. I was also on the lookout if someone was putting me down or if he was saying something referring to money and jobs and many a time it was me jumping the gun or reacting in an uncalled manner. I started avoiding phone calls from friends because I didn’t want to answer the question, “So what do you do all day?” I started despising house work and cooking as it made me feel like I was worth doing nothing else. I could see my confidence blowing away and I hated the person I was becoming.

The last straw was when I suddenly felt one day that since anyway I wasn’t getting a career I might as well plan a baby. I told myself that anyway you have reached a certain age and having a baby was on the cards so why not now? It was at that very moment that I stopped! I couldn’t believe where my mind was taking me and I then decided that it was time for a self-intervention! And this is the intervention I want to share with every women going through the phase that I was because I’ve known many friends of mine who faced the same crossroads that I did.

The last straw was when I suddenly felt one day that since anyway I wasn’t getting a career I might as well plan a baby. It was at that very moment that I stopped! I couldn’t believe where my mind was taking me and I then decided that it was time for a self-intervention!

What I needed to know was that my self-respect and my independence was going no where because I was at home. Job hunting is a tough phase and it can never be easy. I also realised that during these times its okay to share resources with your life partner and what is more important is not to push him away as everyone needs a voice and a shoulder. I also realised that a break away from a regular job was my opportunity to spend time on doing things that I loved, like writing or watching documentaries. It was also a time to learn new skills or take a free online course. I told myself to stay away from friends and family who did the negative talk or who put me down but not to shun close friends and family who only meant well. I told myself that I believed in equity of gender but by doubting myself I was selling myself short.
My independence was not being taken away because of my circumstance, my independence was being taken away because of my thoughts and my beliefs and that, I realised, is something like an inner lighthouse. It can help ships to safety or can misguide and take them to unsafe waters!

A learning and development professional with a passion for writing. Publishing my writing is my

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Comments

7 Comments


  1. Oh I hear you alright! Loud and clear. I can relate to every sentence you’ve penned down,except for the fact that, I already have a 3 year old son too. Due to personal circumstances I took a break during my pregnancy & now 3 years down the line, find myself trying to get back on my feet in a new country.
    I have always been independent & driven, I love what I used to do through my work in HR ,but now I feel like that was a zillion years ago,another lifetime maybe,I’m now waiting,yearning to get back to it again & see the light of day!
    But the truth is the only way to get through this phase is to not let it crumble your inner spirit & keep your chin up. 🙂

  2. Same thoughts run through my head ..good someone penned it down …awareness about what you think n believe in matters a lot …

  3. Thanks for this article. I am currently in this stage and the worse thing being, my kids are back in India. We thought we would get them once we are both settled down here which I am not sure when. I feel useless being jobless. How much ever I try to engage myself in hobbies,I still feel awful 🙁

  4. Nice article.. and very similar too.. 2 body problem does not become simpler while changing countries or cities. Have gone through all these feelings myself. Comments from friends, family and ex colleagues adds to the situation. For me that has worked is reading, watching movies, playing the role of whole-time home maker and keep searching, after some failures and missed chances you do finally get a job and go back to your routine – 2 body problem prevails 🙂

  5. Hi Poornima…. Been there done that! I had a similar experience when I moved to another country to join my husband after marriage. Having been an independent girl always, I felt the need to defend myself and my purchases all the time and I also found myself asking for permission to buy things that were not necessities. Sometimes I even asked for permission to buy some food items that I knew my husband did not like but I did. My husband was also surprised that I asked such things since he knew me as an independent woman but he was extremely supportive and understanding. Now that I am working again, I laugh at my past behaviour! The difference was, I used cooking as my stress buster that time. 🙂

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