Yeah, I know. “Times are being hard” or so they say. This mastodontic financial crisis is hitting really hard and leaving lots of people without jobs and so and so and… But we’re not here to talk about this. This IS a serious problem which requires further details and specific information (and probably a different tone), and I’m not gonna go for that.
I used to be a successful worker back in Gran Canaria. I had my duties, my responsibilities, my meetings, my business-meals, my business-trips, my business-phone. I had a business-life which I –most of the times- used to love. When I decided to leave the job and come to Italy following my husband -and then abandon my husband for months to fulfil my Fashion dreams in Stockholm- I didn’t really know how the working scenario would be in Milan. But in a way I was expecting to follow the previous business-lines that I had been going through for a loooooooong time and find a job right away. And that didn’t happen.
Me, working on a Press Trip
I have sent my CV everywhere with not a single reply. Not a phone call. Nothing. I have done and re-done my CV several times, translated it from Italian to English back to Italian and then back to English. And nothing happened.
So I obviously started thinking that this had something to do with me. Is Milan people super qualified and therefore getting the Jobs that I could probably do? Is my CV a real S%$&? Am I not good enough in Italian? Doesn’t my picture look good? Am I too under/overqualified for the Jobs that I am applying to? Are they scared about the fact that I did an internship in a Fashion magazine?
Há. Whatever it was, it made me think that this had nothing to do with me. It had to do with the financial situation. Ok. So accepting this point, I have decided to move on and leave Italy. And this is what I am doing since yesterday, unless I –of course- find a job here, in which case I will stay.
Yesterday I applied for some jobs in Scandinavia and guess what happened. TWO OF THE COMPANIES I APPLIED FOR ACTUALLY REPLIED. They told me that my background was very strong and that my profile was very interesting, but at the moment they didn’t have any available openings, thus saving my profile for the future.
Guess what they did then. THEY SUGGESTED ME TO CONTACT OTHER PEOPLE FROM OTHER COMPANIES, AND THEY NAMED THEM WITH PHONES AND EMAIL ADDRESSES. Há. That was something really impressive and, above all, unexpected.
So after trying to explain this whole situation for –possibly- the 180th time to my best friend, she told me that I became contaminated by the whole job-seeking process. That I am obsessed with it. And Gosh of the cheesus crackers, it’s true!
But this made me think how I have got to this point, and a word came to my mind:
a. a person obsessively addicted to work
b. (as modifier) workaholic behaviour
[from work + -holic, coined in 1971 by Wayne Oates, US author]
Workaholic. That’s what I have been since I turned 18 years old. Always looking for the perfect job which would allow me to grow and build up a career in order to feed my children in the future and have the dog, the house, the husband and the money we all dream about.
This workaholic way-of-living got strongly reinforced from 2008 to 2012, in my previous job experience as Responsible of Marketing and Communications. The minute I started working there as an intern I got my first business phone and since then I didn’t live a minute of my life without it. It was literally an extension of my body. I was even partying with the phone in my hand cause, you know, some journalists may need to contact you at unexpected times and you have to be available to reply PR questions at any time.
Unconsciously, I became addicted to work. I was married to it before I got married to my husband. But I still can’t understand if I was addicted to the company or to the project itself. I couldn’t organize personal plans –not even Birthday dinners on a Sunday- without checking if, according to the company agenda, it was actually possible or I was having a business meeting instead. And this was perfectly OK.
Well truth is that job made me feel alive, important and useful for a long time and my ambitious attitude just made things go better and better. Obsession was OK for the company. Obsession was extra OK for me.
So I decided to have this one-month break in Italy from February to March, settle down and then get serious with the job seeking –which you already know didn’t go well-. But hey, if you have done the same stuff for 1460 days on a row and then you stop without a proper excuse… well. S%$& happens and you get depressed and drown in a dark sea of madness. You get sort of a hangover. But not a light hangover. A Malibu+Vodka+Rhum+Tequila+random chupitos+Jagermeister hangover.
And this is serious if you’re only 26.
So let me tell you 20+1 ways to survive a workaholic’s hangover if you, like me, do not have the job of your life right now but you did once (and you miss it).