Tuesday, April 28, 2009

So things are moving right along, and getting better here. I don't have crippling homesickness like I was having back in March, which is a huge relief. The weather is improved, but man if it isn't still raining a LOT. It puts a damper on things, like oh, being OUTSIDE, but at least it's not massively cold and rainy like it was when I got here.

The job thing though...I just don't think it's going to happen for me any time soon. I know of two Americans that have come here since I've been here and they've both gotten jobs. The first is a girl who is here on a student visa. She coincidentally got a job in the Hostel she is living in. The other guy is a dude who came here with his wife who got relocated for her job (she's American too). He applied to like hundreds of jobs before he started to get any nibbles, but the thing about this dude is that he has tons and tons of restaurant manager experience. He has opened restaurants and managed big places like Legal Seafoods. He has tons of wait staff experience (of course), hospitality, all that jazz. So he's really marketable in terms of work because when it comes to food service, the one with the most experience usually gets the job. He ended up taking a job that was way beneath him, but it seems to pay decently and he says it's easy enough. Still, even in the relatively cut and dry world of hospitality and food service, he spent literally hours every single day applying for jobs for over three months to get that one offer.

But for me - my experience is so specific to certain environments. I have a hard enough time finding jobs that aren't teaching jobs when I'm in the US and the economy is good, let alone in a foreign country whose economy is shitting the bed (no economic stimulus package here, that's for sure!) And the anti-immigrant attitude here is very very strong right now. I honestly feel that I have a disadvantage because I am an immigrant, or non-national, if you will. So each week I look at the job listings and apply for jobs I know I could do. But I don't treat applying for jobs as my job. Last week the convenience store, Londis (sort of like 7-11 or Store 24 back home), held open interviews for positions in their stores. Over 500 people were lined up around the block. This is emblematic of our times here.

I know I have a strong CV and a strong cover letter. I have great work experience and a Master's degree. But I never hear anything back. And I don't think I will for some time. Instead of spending hours and hours every day combing sites for more listings only to apply to more jobs and get the same rejection, I've decided to actually cut back on my job hunting time and instead invest my time into creating my new career, so that when the economic shade does lift, I can more easily enter the workforce in the Industry of my choice. I'm using part of my dole money to invest in fabric and notions with which I am making clothes for my etsy shop. I don't know if I'll sell anything on it, but that's not the point. I am doing something worthwhile with my time instead of walking a maze that leads nowhere.

And what's more, instead of walking around with the feelings of despair and hopelessness that spending hours applying for jobs I know I won't get brings, I walk around with hope that what I'm doing will lead to the fulfillment of my dreams. Maybe it's not the American dream, but an American's dream in Ireland.

1 comment:

  1. I am happy you are not totally discouraged but things so seem to be moving slow for you to get your "American Dream in Ireland". However, you do seem to making new friends all the time: hearing their stories, good and bad, might get useful in the near future. Sounds like you may have to expand your friends' base. You are actually doing that! You certainly have been putting yourself "out there" and soon, I have fervent belief in this, that you will collect the proper combination of friends, people, etc. and the networking phenomenon will work, sooner or later.

    The part I like is that you really are meeting some nice people and availing yourself of the intelligence and culture that can only be good in the long (Shorter than longer?) term.

    Hang in there and say "Hi" to your extended Irish family.

    Love you