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Chizurum Egwunwankwo: How I Cope With the Emotional Toll of Job Hunting

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You hear that job-hunting is a full-time job, but you don’t realize how tasking it is until you start job hunting. Applying isn’t the hard part, the rejection is. You tell yourself not to have expectations just in case you do not get a positive response or even some sort of feedback from the company. Yet, when the rejection mail comes, you feel like you’ve been hit physically, devoid of strength and gasping for breath.

Then the questions come, and you wonder why you weren’t chosen. Maybe you aren’t as smart as you think you are. Maybe your skills are not enough. Maybe there’s just something wrong with you generally. You ask your friends to rate your skills, try to remember the successes you’ve had over time but all you see are failures, a long line of emails and ‘kindly find attached’ unattended to.

There’s also the urge to settle for just any job. You who have always wanted to work for a consulting firm start applying to be a front desk manager. Yes, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a front desk manager, the only challenge is that you’re settling for what you do not want. This role isn’t just you. It isn’t what you want. Everyone tells you to take what you see. They say that your first job and salary will always be shitty. They remind you that there are no jobs in Nigeria and the statistics on unemployment keep you up at night.

You try to distract yourself by going through posts on social media, then boom! there’s a post on Twitter announcing that someone has finally gotten his/her dream job. Your chest tightens not out of jealousy, but from a reminder that you’re still without a job and that you’re turning 26 next month. You remember that most firms have a certain age limit with a certain level of experience needed and all you have is your 6-month experience from undergraduate IT.

When you attempt to talk about it, everyone either tells you ‘it’s well’ or reminds you that laslas, a job will come. Yes, they mean well but they just don’t understand that you’re tired of hearing all those lines that are supposed to be encouraging but are not. You’re tired of asking the ‘God when’ question. Tired of sending out CVs every day with little or no success. You’ve read every article you can on job hunting, revamped your CV a million times and a half. Written cover letters until your ink runs dry.

They tell you not to look at your mates but to run your race. Sometimes it’s hard to; Amaka is working for AIICO, Sidi is working for Zenith bank and you – alternating between being sad, depressed, and hanging on to the last thread of hope you have. You wonder if your day will come or if you will end up selling one or two things on IG while you wait. Every day, you watch your dream of working for BCG slip farther away from you.

I’m supposed to end this on an encouraging note but you see, I don’t want to say the same words everyone has been singing to you. I am job hunting. I see your pain. I see the long wait. The frustrations. The confusion on which career path to take. Yet, I feel this need to share my coping mantra with you, especially on the days when it’s hard to get out of bed: “The sun has risen, I’ll try again.” When things get tough and it feels like you have no strength left in you, tell yourself that the sun has risen and you’ll try again.

 

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Featured image: Dreamstime

14 Comments

  1. Dami

    March 1, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    The song has risen, I’ll try again. This is so beautiful Chi.

  2. Adaugo Nwankpa

    March 1, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    This is so true
    I see you sis💕

    3
  3. Joshua Nnamani

    March 1, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    Don’t give up dear, you will get that dream job at the right time.
    👍🏻👍🏻

  4. Anyim Victor Jnr

    March 1, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    Zurum, I feel like you had me in mind writing this beautiful piece.
    The sun will keep rising everyday and we’ll keep trying. Beautiful piece dear

  5. Deborah Obasi

    March 1, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    No truer words than this. Job hunting is venturesome and daring job on its own.
    Thanks for this piece

    2
  6. Minma

    March 1, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Nice one Zurum. I love this

  7. Nwoku Emma

    March 1, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    So true and Apt…. The sun will keep rising for us…
    Bravo Girlie.

  8. UGORJI MOSHEH ENYINNA

    March 1, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    An Amazing piece. It can only get better(the word we often hear but not see). The Sun has risen, we will rise! An anthem for reselient and victorious soldiers. Thanks Chizurum.

  9. Princess Nadia

    March 1, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    Accurate

  10. Elly

    March 1, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    Nice write up . Very relatable

  11. Tion

    March 1, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    This couldn’t be more honest, simple and clear. Thank you for sharing.
    The sun will not only rise and set and repeat its motions, this time, it rises for you.

  12. Emenike daniel

    March 2, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    “The sun has risen, I’ll try again”.

  13. Kabari Sambaris

    March 3, 2021 at 1:14 am

    I can literally relate with everything you said😔 “The Sun have risen and I will try again” Thank you Zurum for this

  14. Azubine Uzondu Promise

    March 8, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    The sun has risen I’ll try again…thanks zurum

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