Sunday, June 26, 2011

the job search

I am applying for jobs. My current contract ends at the beginning of November, and instead of going off on mat leave as I hoped, I am scrambling to find gainful employment. I wrote cover letters today. Here is one that I won't be sending. (Warning: it is quite pathetic, but I just had to get it out of my system)

Dear future employer,
I am responding to the notice placed on your website for the job of Psychologist with XYZ Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team at your Prestigious hospital. I am certain that you will find my experiences and qualification would be a great asset to the team.

I have been working my ass off at my current job, being bogged down with doing all that was necessary to finally graduate from my PhD program. My research advisor, god love him, has narcissistic personality disorder and it took a lot of my energy to deal with him in a way that would permit me to get to my defense. But I did it, all the while working this crazy ass job that is so far from where I live that I can't reside with my husband 5 days out of 7. Oh, did I also mention that while I was trying to defend and work at this job, I was also going through IVF with donor eggs. I defended during my 2ww and then found out I was pregnant. And then I started feeling very nauseous and very tired all the time. But I was happy because I was finally pregnant.

You may be curious as to why I haven't yet published my dissertation research or why I haven't completed the application for my registration with my professional college. I think the easiest answer would be to say that I am lazy. I defended at the end of March and we are now at the end of June. Sure, I had a miscarriage at the end of May and have felt broken beyond repair ever since, but I could have used all that time much more wisely than staring at the walls or feeling sorry for myself.

You will excuse my lack of enthusiasm for the job advertised. As amazing as it sounds, it hardly compares to experiencing the birth of my own child and spending the first year of my child's life caring for him or her.

My laziness and lack of enthusiasm aside, I desperately need a good job such as the one advertised on your website. My husband is a farmer and makes very little money. We are anticipating further very expensive fertility treatments and/or expensive private adoption and I need to shoulder a good deal of that financial responsibility. You should note that fertility treatments involve incessant appointments and lots of missing work at the most inopportune times. Just one more reason why you would want to have me on your team.

Finally, I am emotionally ravaged by my husband and I's failure to become parents. I am not sure I have anything left to give emotionally, but I may not need that much if all I'm going to do is manualized CBT. For anything more than that in terms of providing therapy, my emotional fragility may prevent patients from feeling a sense of hope that their lives will change with entering treatment.

My supervisors have always noted that I am an excellent team player. I also have oral and written competency in both of Canada's official languages. Perhaps these are redemptive factors in my candidacy and will convince you to offer me an interview.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss in person my specific qualifications pertaining to this role. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Augusta, Ph.D.
Yet another depressed and anxious infertile


  1. Good luck on the job, I was in your exact same place last year and getting my resume out there was at the bottom of priority list (sulking. Grieving, being angry all at the top). But, I did manage to put myself out there and had an amazing year professionally. I wish this for you as well.

  2. My heart breaks reading this...sending you immense love, dear friend. Strength, healing, and big hugs, -A

  3. I would give the job. And a hug. And loads of alcohol should you like to swing by CA any point. I think that our rivers of tears might be forging a nice shipping canal between us.

    My heart and thoughts are with you as you start this search. I will say all kinds of prayers to let you land firmly in a place that will keep your mind engaged and will want you in whatever state of fertility treatments you are in. Because you are worth it.

  4. I would totally give you a job based on that letter! :)

    You've been in my thoughts my dear friend. This all just SUCKS but we are survivors- you are a survivor. You are strong, and you are amazing. I am so sorry that you have to add in the stress of finding a job while grieving. My heart goes out to you. Please know I am here if you ever need to vent or yell at someone who has been there.

  5. Oh, Augusta, the irony in this letter is so heartbreaking! I'm sure you feel like you're having to put up a huge, fake front in applying for jobs. Applying for jobs is always about putting up a false front anyway, isn't it? And when you're falling apart inside, it's even more so. I'm so sorry. I do hope you find a wonderful, fulfilling job quickly and easily--that will allow you to be with your husband every night!

  6. Augusta my heart goes out to you. I hope your job hunt is short and that you get thejob you need to get to where you want to be.

  7. You're hired! And as part of your contract, we insist on you taking a six month paid leave, because we understand that you should not have to work at a time like this.

    Job hunts make the skin crawl even when one is feeling hopeful and full of pep. It's wretched to have to market yourself when you're feeling broken. As for whether or not you could have just willed yourself to be productive and get your research published...well, it took me a year to submit my dissertation research, and I had no crushing tragedy to contend with. And the year and a half I spent wondering if I'd ever be a mother were not the most intellectually fruitful times of my life, no matter how hard I urged myself to just get on with it. And what you are going through is a whole other level of devastating. SO--please be kind to yourself on this point, if you're not already.

    I hope something wonderful materializes--you deserve it.

  8. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time while reading your letter. Job hunting sucks especially when you can't get the one job (motherhood) that you are really seeking. I completely relate to this letter. I hope you are able to find something that will keep you closer to home and able to miss all sorts of inopportune days of work while you are out and about doing fertility treatments.

    thinking of you

  9. You were brave to put what you are feeling out there in such a frank way, especially because I know it's hard for you not to put a happy face on things. You are also brave to be living through this, while writing the damn job applications (and working every day, and being your usual loving, kind, friendly self) in the first place. Many a person in your situation would not be up for that -- so give yourself some credit. And I say that if it gets you through and gives you some relief, write as many not-to-be-sent letters as you need to. I'm proud of you for writing this one and for putting your reality out there -- may doing so make that reality a bit more bearable, and may reasons for hope come soon. I love you so much and send you comfort and peace. XOXO, H.

  10. I love this letter. I wish we could really say what we were thinking in cover letters: "I hate that I'm even applying for this job, but I'm qualified for it, you need somebody, so giddyup. Let's go."

    You are so strong and I hope you're not really feeling bad about taking a few short months to publish your dissertation research. If I had to pick a word to describe you... it would NOT be "lazy." You have accomplished several huge things over the past few months, and suffered a terrible loss. The dissertation research will be there waiting for you when you're ready to engage with it.

    And like bunny said -- you're totally hired. :-)

  11. Attempt #2. Blogger ate my last post.

    Oh, I can relate to your letter. Not in the exact same way. Because I have a job, but I did switch jobs in the middle. And the original plan had been for me to stay at my old job and KU'd up. Yeah right. And then I had a new job and I was waiting to be laid off and paid when I got KU'd up. Yeah right. It's hard. When loss begets loss begets loss and this is just one more loss for you and it sucks. I can say though, that having this job has helped me occupy my thoughts with non baby things, which is good.

    On a more funny note, I laughed hard at the manualized CBT reference. (Being a counselor-y person.) One of the saving graces of this job has been structured interview I do, on the crappiest days, I don't have to put much thought into it. (And you figure the patients are clueless.)

    Thinking of you and sending you hugs...

  12. Sorry I've been so behind on blogging but you have definitely been on my mind. My dear Augusta I don't think you know how much your messages mean to me, every comment you leave speaks so directly to my heart and brings me comfort, thank you for that! I can't imagine what an incredible clinician you are in real life if you can touch someone so profoundly just through blogging. Sending so many positive thoughts, vibes, and love your way for the perfect job opportunity.

  13. Like Jana, I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time while reading this post. I wish that you really could send this resume out, behind the pain of it, I hear such determination. Such a real, ripping, raw letter.

    Sending love to you.....

  14. Ah, it breaks my heart. It is so very ugly to see it all in print. I bet I only understand the half, if that, of what is required with the education. Living in a suitcase is crushing. I hated it when I did it, but I didnt have a saddle of IVF and loss all tied into it.

    May I challenge you?

    Could you write an equally funny letter pointing out all the things you learned along the way that the normal Fertile Fuck would never be able to articulate? You might not publish it, but I bet it would feel better to see it all in print as well.

    Lots of love to you.

  15. Only us infertiles get it: While undergoing treatment, jobs are a means to an end. I look forward to the day when thats not the case. I hope you get a kick ass job that provides you all the things you need to ease your way along the pot-holed, bridge-is-out road of infertility. Best of luck.

  16. Hey Augusta...just hope that your job search will come to fruition very soon. Hugs to you.

  17. This letter is AWESOME! I love it, even if employers might not :) Good luck with the job hunt!

    I've been enjoying reading your blog and wanted to share a blog award: :)

  18. You. Are. Not. Lazy. Not remotely, Augusta. And as far as that time spent staring at the walls, I actually don't think it could have been better spent. (Well, I would have liked for you not to have had to spend that time at ALL...but in the face of loss I consider it time very well spent).

    The most unfair and egregious thing about loss for me has always been the fact that we must push on with the rest of life. When we are least able to deal with doing so, when all we would like to do is to curl up into a tight ball and to tell the world to screw off. It's not fair. And I'm sorry that you find yourself having to write these letters/job search when you SHOULD be preparing for maternity leave.

    (You will be there, A. Life has so many twists and turns that it makes you entirely sick to your stomach, but I do not believe for one moment that you won't get there in the end...tough and depressing as it is now to go through the motions for the rest of life. Hugs to you. Belated ones. But big fierce ones nonetheless.)

  19. Oh Augusta, it's all so raw isn't it. I'm in the process of applying for jobs too and it all seems so pointless. Its not where i want to be focusing my attention so my heart is no where in it.
    Adele is right, its the having to carry on with life part that is so hard. I wish I could pause everyone and everything for you so you could have time for your head to stop spinning and take a few breaths before having to face the realities of life as normal again.
    Sitting here, sending you strength. xx

  20. love it!! i would hire you.
    thanks so much for stopping by my blog. and thank you so much for your kind words...
    i will be following your story. and hoping for good things for you in the future

  21. Bare naked. What an accurate depiction of the hopeless moments of infertility. You captured your despair and sadness so eloquently, yet with such a sense of humor. Augusta is still in there and she will shine again. But for now, while you are just plain old, heart-wrenchingly, nausea-inducing SAD, please accept my virtual ((((hug))))). Like egghunt said, I've often wished there was a pause button; it just seemed so impossibly cruel that I was expected to walk through like and carry on like nothing had happened after my MC's. But begin forced to live our lives as per usual is probably what helps us heal the fastest in the end. Love to youxxxxx