Hello Paranoia and Shame

Since leaving my job in June I have been focusing on applying for web producing, new media, content management, online type jobs. That is my passion. My gift.  The using of words, pictures, technology to convey information, to compel people to take action, to form community.  I am very committed to finding a job in that domain even if it means a cut in pay.

When you apply for work in this field, it is generally required that one supply URL’s of sites and projects you have worked on. I have. I put my personal sites, my ehbabes.com, my blogs, and other sites I have done contract/freelance work on. I have a fair portfolio. I would expect them to be sufficient proof that I can do what I say I do and even do it reasonably well.

And yet, the bites, the interviews, have been slow to come.  There were two interviews with a company that has a logo of red umbrella. Those two took many, many hours of my time and even studying/refreshing myself on how to do a case study interview. After investing significant time, on two separate occasions, both positions were canceled.  I have interviewed at former employers and gotten my hopes up and then had them dashed when I learned I was the #2 candidate. I have had conversations with consulting/contract agencies and yet nothing has popped.

This is partly due to where I live.   I am not in NY, Boston or any other major city that would have many of the positions I seek. Positions like the ones I am after are few in my area and they are coveted and generally held on to once they are obtained. I don’t have the luxury of increasing my commuting distance due to my sons (and frankly wouldn’t want to).

So, the hunt continues.

And while it does, there is a thought, a fear, an outright paranoia running around my head and causing me to think about running and hiding or even looking into one of those services that erase/change you online reputation for you.

My possible employers are checking my URLs, checking me out online and finding my adoption persona and THAT is working against me.  I have no proof of this mind you. I haven’t seen any of stat reports show any hits from local sources and yet, that old fear, that old branding, rises to the surface. And when it does I fight it back, I reason, I use logic, and I get angry.  I am not going to go back into the barfmother closet, I can assure you, but fighting these old demons does make me ponder it once and a while.

I am genuinely fearful that my birthmother status will prevent me from getting a job. I am afraid someone will check my URL’s in advance (perfectly reasonable) and during an interview ask me about my reunion, ask me what is wrong with me that my daughter doesn’t want to know me (not so reasonable). Any personal questions will surely derail me in an interview. Cry much during job interviews?

I realize its a stretch and I am likely seriously overthinking the possible reasons for the state of my job search (I am big on overthinking) but the mere thought of it makes me feel a little ill.

Go ahead and laugh (or perhaps you understand).

It makes me angry that with all my self work, all my own personal acceptance there is still a shred of shame inside me that pokes at even my career.

It makes me realize I still have a great deal of work to do on myself.

6 Thoughts.

  1. Been there.

    Done that.

    It is a legit fear/concern. I’ve faced it – my job search took well over a year and I had a lot of interest, only to find that interest would sometimes ‘cool’ after viewing my blog/website.

    As hard as it is to ‘reconcile’ – I didn’t want to work some place that would have a hard time accepting me for all I am.

    I’m not ‘ashamed’ of being a birth mom I don’t think – but I do think that there is a certain amount of education that has to be done…and sometimes, I do feel like I need to sugarcoat it to get past it – then I can always come back and do more in-depth education, where appropriate.

    • Thanks Brandy. I suspected you would be able to relate. I thought of you as I was writing that post. Good luck to you today!

  2. Suz–wishing you the very best on this journey. Anyone who checks youout online, whether they agree with what you have to say or not, cannot deny that your words and images, and how you arrange them are POWERFUL. There is no denying the skill and passion you have for the subject, and the way you push the reader even further with the media part. There is courage in everything that you put out there and someone, somewhere needs that from you to push their agenda. They’ll find you, I promise. hang in there!

  3. I’m nodding, understanding. When I apply to jobs that have a flavor of adoption to it (I just applied to a home that helps young women who were in foster care to keep their children) I still haven’t figured out how to respond. I have no personal experience. I’m just overly passionate. I am still in the closet in my professional life. I can’t help it. I know I wouldn’t be able to think straight otherwise. I think ultimately what I would like, and probably everyone out there… is to just be accepted as we are. Yes, I am a mother who lost my child to adoption. You are hired (and accepted).

  4. I’ve quoted this before on my blog. President Obama said that “the internet is the great resume killer.” Anyone can find out anything about you, especially if you blog or facebook, etc. On the other hand, I agree with Mama2Roo — no one can deny your writing and graphic communications skills. That’s what they should be looking for, and I trust they are, not the topic. If you are being “discriminated against” for what you have written, I can only think the hiring person is an adoptive parent… just kiddin’, sorta.

    The job market is bad now, at any level, in any field. It’s going to take time. Trust that the right thing will come along.

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