Finding out you’re going to be relocating across the country to be reunited with all your favorite people in the world is on one hand amazing and thrilling, and on another is terrifying and nausea producing. As much as I know this move is the right thing for our family and will be one of the most wonderful changes we make to our lives, the laundry list of things that one must do before accomplishing a successful relocation can paralyze a person.
My current level of dread stems from the reality that moving across the country also means that I have to leave my wonderful job here in Chicagoland and find a new job in Seattle. Of course there are many amazing, large, powerful companies in Seattle that one would be excited to work for, it’s just I have quite a few things working against me.
- I currently do not live in Seattle. I still live in Illinois which means my current address could give an employer warning flags because to hire me might look like I would need to be relocated. No matter that I say in my application materials that I am currently in the process of relocating on my own, I am sure the fact I can’t start in two weeks, and the fact I can’t pop in for an interview isn’t doing me any favors. Adam swears that the fact that I live in another state isn’t an issue, but he’s worked for the same fortune 500 company since he was 19 which regularly relocates employees all over the world, so lets not take his word for it.
- The job market is blowing up as more and more new tech companies sprout up in Seattle which is awesome on one hand because YEAH LOOK AT ALL THE JOBS, but also difficult to standout on another since people are flocking to Seattle like crazy. I was pretty sure Seattle was supposed to make sure no outsiders realized how nice it was there, that’s why we tell people it rains so much! What the hell Seattle!
- Most importantly, I still have EPTJHD – or Extreme Post Traumatic Job Hunting Disorder from being laid off in December of 2008 and then watching the economy come crashing down around me for the next 6 months while I attempted to find anyone, anywhere who would hire me. Applying for jobs and getting replies back that 600 other people had applied to be a receptionist were absolutely demoralizing. Even though today is not the economic crash of 2009 I can’t seem to shake the feeling I had back then that I would never find work and I’d be unemployed forever. Trust me, I know this is irrational, and yet I can’t help it.
When it became official that we would be moving and I told my work that I would have to say goodbye and start over in Seattle it was bittersweet, but I felt positive. My coworkers and my boss had glowing things to say about me, helped me refresh my resume, and early networking seemed to be fruitful. I remember that first weekend that I submitted two applications. I felt so smart, powerful, capable even! I’d be rolling in job offers! Maybe Adam was right and I’d have landed a job before we even made it to Seattle. We’d unpack in our new home and then I’d just start a new wonderful and exciting job, no stressing about suddenly having only a single income.Then I got my first “no thanks” from a role I really wanted, and then another, and another, and another. It’s only been a little over two weeks of job searching, but already the first batch of jobs that I applied for have politely declined. So, I continue to march on. I have landed a phone interview for a role, which of course is promising, but it’s only the first round phone interview, so I’m not exactly picking out my new cube decorations. I keep getting my Glassdoor and LinkedIn job alerts, and just like my Zillow rental alerts, each day I look through the options, save the promising ones and return nightly to research, rewrite, and apply.
I’m trying to keep my spirits up, remember that we likely aren’t moving till April 1st, so it’s ok if this process takes time, but that fear from 2009 that has always lingered deep down in my gut is still there. That I’ll never find another job. That I’m unhireable. That my inability to find work will be a drag on my families finances. Or if I do find a job it will be me finally settling, wishing for times before.
I try to push it away, but it’s my constant companion.
In the meantime while I fret and wring my hands there’s no shortage of other things to stress about that have nothing to do with my employment status! After two weeks straight of Adam working like a madman finishing house projects we have spent the remainder of this week rushing home from work, feeding Nellie, putting her to bed, eating ourselves, and then getting right to work going room-by-room decluttering and pre-packing. On Friday our realtor will arrive at our house to photograph it for sale, and next Monday this lovely house I have grown to cherish will officially go on the market. Meanwhile we are currently also trying to sell our house in Olympia, WA (because if you’re going to have the stress of selling one house, why not sell two!), navigate Adam starting his new job which requires some travel in the next two months, and then begin planning our drive from Chicago to Seattle with two dogs and a one year old baby in tow. Oh, and we’ll need to find somewhere to live in Seattle too.
So it’s a lot. Adam and I are each trying to focus on different tasks and put farther out items out of our mind (cant’ look for somewhere to live if my house in IL hasn’t sold and I don’t know when we’re leaving!) but it’s hard not to let the vastness of it all envelop you at times. Packing, finding new jobs, selling two homes, finding somewhere new to live and driving across the country is no small feat. We’ll survive, we have two other cross country moves before, but if you’re not careful and you let too much of it in at once it can smother you.
So send us your anti stress vibes, we need them. Or just give me a job. Either will do.