In Which I Somehow Segue from Chinese to Job-Hunting

In writing, I have to wait until I know what I want to say. The words have to exist for me to write them down. No matter how much I try, I can’t be like the Almighty and speak nothing into existence. Feeling out-of-words doesn’t do much for writing.

It’s the same way with Chinese. I can’t speak Chinese words that I don’t know–because for me, they don’t exist. Obviously, that makes communicating in Chinese a bit difficult at times. Thankfully, we’ve been doing a conversational Chinese class every day for the past couple of weeks, and it’s been very helpful. But what you don’t think about when starting a more intensive course of language study is how it robs your brain of words. The mental focus required to sit through an hour and a half of Chinese practice every single day makes me feel drained, languaged-out, on silly phrases like “Where are you from” and “How are you” and “Where do you teach”.

I know every language has to start with basic phrases, but I’m impatient. I want to get to the good stuff, the stuff you actually ask people after you know them (you ever tried asking someone you’ve known for years what their name is? It’s not so great) and not just to practice introductions and specifying basic needs.

It doesn’t help my language problems that directly after Chinese class I’ve been tutoring a student in English. 2 more hours of focusing on language, except this time, I’m the teacher.Then I come home and apply for jobs.

Can I just say, right now–job hunting is not fun. It brings out everything that’s bad in me and makes me feel like a loser, because I’m definitely not qualified for about 99/100ths of the jobs out there (and they’d make me super miserable). After a day of spending time on all the job hunting websites, I start to become the Grinch that stole happiness, and poor Jared has to trot out his “Everyone has to do hard things all the time, so since you’re so terrible at this, maybe I’ll get you that book for Valentine’s day. You know, written by Alex and Brett Harris, called Do Hard Things?

It’s probably pretty silly to view everything you’re not suited for as a personal insult, because I’m sure they’re not thinking of it that way. It’s probably just a female thing–feeling under-qualified and less-than–but it’s still depressing. Going to the UK is even scarier because I’m sure they have plenty of their own qualified people, so why would they choose me? Maybe at some point we’ll actually stay in one place longer than a year so I don’t have to do this whole resume/cover letter/search-Google-and-Craigslist-and-a-gazillion-job-posting-websites Every Single Year.

Anyways, I’m trying to be more masculine and approach job hunting solely as an intellectual exercise: X position + Y salary= great job for Annika to apply for. Perhaps it will work, but I’m doubtful.

Anyways, I’ll leave you with that wonderful equation. I have the mathematical mind for sure, don’t I?

And here’s a nice picture I took a while back and thought I’d share with you. You’re welcome.

Aren’t the arches interesting? They reminded me of the Hobbit.

Anyone else out there feel my pain? Or am I alone in my gratuitous self-inflicted dungeon of job-hunting insecurities?

3 thoughts on “In Which I Somehow Segue from Chinese to Job-Hunting

  1. It’s been a truly long time since I had to job-hunt, but I still count it as one of the most unpleasant times of my life, up against the reality of not-being-wanted. Of course, according to your formula that I understood also, it was nothing personal against me, but it was rejection nonetheless.

  2. Caleb Nelson

    I feel your pain! I know you’re not the self-promoter type, and while you’re a very good worker and happy to do whatever is asked of you (so long as it’s not dishes), you simply aren’t built to talk people into hiring you.

    When I got to Greenville, I applied for almost thirty jobs, and was rejected by every one of them. It took me a whole month to get Walmart to take me. You want to talk low self-worth! But that’s okay, because you aren’t defined by your career. You’re a sweet child of God, and if you never get a job again and have to come move in with me, I will still love you and be glad you’re my sister. (I have three spare bedrooms, too, in case you’re interested in the offer!)

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