“This rejection is worse than in relationships,” says Dave Ritz, 45. With unemployment holding strong at 9.1%, Ritz is one of many Americans struggling to cope with the insecurity of unemployment. He goes on interviews but doesn’t get hired.
He went on to explain that at least with a relationship, you can always think of there being some reason it doesn’t work, that person just isn’t the one. Jobs are different, though, in a way that he says makes it “more personal.” “Jobs are like clothes,” says Ritz. What he means is, they’re adjustable. You can make changes to fit them or make them fit you. So when it doesn’t work out with a job, it hurts all the more.
As someone who is 45 years old, Ritz goes up against younger people for the same jobs and worries that the rejection will happen before he even has a chance to truly represent himself. “I’m a little bit older,” he says, adding that he feels potential employers “don’t value all the skills” that he has accumulated.
And he does have skills. Ritz had an extensive resume in the hotel industry before moving to New York. Once here he made a very good living as a waiter in a hotel restaurant. Being a waiter was a step down for him, since he had hotel management experience, but the pay was good and the benefits were great. Until one day when he and 30 other people were called in and told they were being laid off. Ritz claims that 10% of the hotel staff lost their jobs that day.
Ritz has interviewed for and tried jobs he wouldn’t normally want because of his long-term unemployment. One job involving ferrying children to tourist attractions had him out from around 4am until after midnight and paid less than $100 for the entire day. That does hurt.
So I pose the question to you: Can the rejection of unemployment hurt more than the rejection of a relationship?
[image courtesy of Sean MacEntee via Flickr]