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I have been waiting all summer (after being laid off at the end of April) for news about being rehired as an academic advisor with the college. Last week, 2.5 weeks after my position was finally reposted, I got the news.
I didn’t get the job.
I didn’t even get an interview.
I didn’t even have a chance.
Because of union rules and the category the job was created under, the college hired someone internally instead. (So why did they even open the position up to external candidates?) It doesn’t matter that I’m more qualified and would require no training to jump back into the role. Whoever it is that will be replacing me is already a college employee, they meet the minimum qualifications needed, and they have the union on their side – therefore they get the job. I was laid off and am no longer considered a college employee, I exceed the minimum qualifications needed, but I don’t have the union on my side – therefore I get nothing.
I was devastated when I received the automated email telling me the competition had closed. At first, I didn’t want to believe it. I convinced myself that the email simply meant that that the recruitment portion had closed and that I’d be getting a call to book an interview any day now. But I knew deep down that wasn’t true. I reluctantly emailed the HR department asking for clarification, and was told that they had hired internally.
Needless to say, I’m extremely frustrated…
From the beginning, I was led to believe that this was my foot in the door – that I was “in”. I was told that “everyone stays” by an HR rep my first week on the job. Other staff members reinforced this, telling me not to worry about “only being on a contract” as most people started off in that same situation and have been there for years.
… but I’m also not all that surprised.
From the beginning, I was misled about the level of job security. In September I was told that my contract renewal was dependent on a grant, but that we should hear by January. In January we were told we’d hear by February. In February we were told we might not hear until July. In March, my supervisor stopped using the phrase “contract renewal” and reluctantly told us that we’d have to reapply for our jobs and hope that no one more qualified or with more seniority applies. In April I was laid off. Finally, in August, my position was reposted. But in September, some one with more seniority did apply and was hired over me.
I was so confident that I’d get my old job back I wasn’t really phased at all over being laid off. I foolishly kept all of my files and continued to casually identify myself as an academic advisor with the college. I left the building in April fully expecting to return in the fall.
There were circumstantial things about the job that I didn’t like, but I loved working with the students and teachers. After going through the cycle once, I had a million new ideas and was willing to take on a lot more responsibility. I was so focused on what I was going to differently this time that I feel completely blindsided that I’m being replaced and not rehired. It finally hit me that I’m not just off for the summer, or waiting for my contract to be renewed. I am – in fact – unemployed.
I can still collect E.I. until the beginning of November (thanks to the screw-up/delay at the beginning of the summer!) which leaves me with a bit of time to figure things out, but I’m at a bit of a loss as to where to go from here.
My career opportunities are very few and far between in this small city. I have been checking multiple online job boards several times a day all summer and have only been interested in, qualified for, and applied to 3 jobs: this one, another one at the college (that they also hired internally for), and another academic advisor role at the University – which is sort of my last hope at the moment.
(I sent a follow-up email the university last week after being rejected from the college and was told that they have yet to conduct interviews due to “unforeseen circumstances”. While I’m grateful that the position is still available and that I still have a chance, I am concerned as to what these unforeseen circumstances are…?)
I’m extremely grateful for R and that our upcoming nuptials means that I’m not doing this alone. If I were, I would be facing a pretty desperate and terrifying situation.
He finally started his great new job 3 days ago and is able to support us both – so even in the absolute worst case scenario, I don’t have to worry about becoming homeless or starving.
But with said nuptials, a dream getting out of this rental hell and into our own home by next summer, and my massive student loan debt, a second income would do wonders for us. His new job does, however, take some of the pressure off. I can “settle” for a job that pays less and/or has less hours without ruining our finances. But I really hope it doesn’t come to that. I am at my best when I’m busy. Being at home all summer, not working has not been good for me mentally or emotionally. (And there’s a very good chance that we’ll be starting a family within the next couple of years, so if I want to go on maternity leave, I’m going to need a job to leave!)
Regardless of the buffer that E.I. provides, or knowing that will R will support me for better, for worse, for richer, or for poorer, I’m feeling pretty anxious about my future. I thought that I had already overcome any hurdles I was going to face when I changed my career path last summer (from working in the arts/theatre to working in academic support). But it looks like there are more hurdles to come.
Have you ever been turned down from something you thought was a “sure thing”? How did you cope?
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