After six months of being unemployed (although searching actively for a job) and a nervous breakdown last Friday, I think I have finally found the best image (above) that can almost describe how I feel when people are constantly asking me how my job hunt is going. I know people sometimes mean no harm when they ask me what's next or if I've gotten a job, but constantly asking about it just puts me on edge. The questions are more or less a constant reminder of how I’m currently failing at securing employment.
When strangers ask similar questions, I’m usually patient and try to explain to them or simply deflect the questions the best way I can, but it becomes infuriating when my friends and family constantly ask the same questions over and over again. It is infuriating because I believe I’m someone who isn't passive about getting a job, expecting one to fall onto my lap. I’m constantly in front of a computer searching for companies with vacancies to apply to and I recently started cold-calling companies to volunteer. I try my best to let the people close to me have a general idea of what I am up to, still the questions persist.
I guess they feel asking me about it shows how much they are concerned but for me, the job seeker, if you are not getting me an evaluation or interview to attend, answering your questions can be traumatizing. You spend the entire day trying to feel positive even though you have bills to pay, a rapidly decreasing bank balance and older people who keep asking you when you're getting married to contend with. Then you receive a message from a friend asking how your job hunt is going, too insensitive to recall that she asked the same question the day before. That's when you finally snap.
Instead of making job seekers even more miserable by asking them the same annoying questions over and over again, do these things:
1. Provide a listening ear for their rants (without pushing them to talk). This is very important. There is only so much rejection a person can take before she get depressed, and the best way to cure depression is to provide an avenue for the depressed to talk freely. This is Psychology 101.
2. Make healthy food and alcohol available as best as you can. Job hunting in Nigeria is a very arduous process so food is needed (as well as alcohol to induce sleep).
3. If you come across any vacancies that you’re sure they might be interested in, please pass the information on to them! If you are not sure what kind of job they would be interested in, you probably have no business asking them how their job hunting is going on a daily basis.
There are probably others that I can’t remember right now but those are the most important things to me. Honestly, I hope I get a job soon so I can sit on the 'middle class fence' comfortably and stop having to deal with all these questions.