The Jaded New-Normal

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WHAT YOU EXPERIENCE

Well, it can’t get any worse than this so that’s reassuring I guess. I feel like I’ve earned my battle-scars in this process and I’m becoming, begrudgingly, a wily vet in The Jaded New-Normal.

I might even have started engaging with a support group of some kind (after a lot of searching to find one nearby with people like me). I realized I needed some way to channel all the frustration and angst. I find myself occasionally giving support and advice to some of the newcomers. It’s mostly telling them what dead-ends to avoid (online job boards!) and trying my best to warn them about what they are in for. I think I’ve arrived at a new normal of sorts—a new steady state. I know what’s ahead each day, and while I don’t feel great, my emotions no longer catch me by surprise.

I find myself contemplating new paths forward. My expectations for my lifestyle were just wrong before—the hard reality that I live with now is that things will probably have to change. Maybe we can move someplace cheaper? Did I really need that timeshare? Was retirement at 65 really a possibility? Probably not.

A few new leads trickle in. One or two might lead to interviews and those conversations seem to go a little better than before. I think there is less nervousness in my voice—less desperation—though I can’t seem to muster the optimism that employers are always looking for. I have a well-worn skepticism about anything ultimately coming through, but hopefully it’ll happen. I can’t be out of work forever. Can I?

What you may be feeling

  • Skeptical

  • Cautiously In-Control

MISTAKES YOU MAY BE MAKING

  • Stopping the active search for a new job

  • Failing to embody the enthusiasm and excitement that potential employers value

  • Assuming you know everything

Chris Rudnicki