I Miss Job-Searching – November 29, 2005

Tonight I thought about writing a paean to my love of tea.

That’s right. My love of tea.

Then I decided I could make my love of tea interesting. You know I could. There is no doubt.

But I decided not to do that. Perhaps another time.

Instead, I chose to write about something I miss, desperately and unexpectedly.

I miss looking for a job.

I know it sounds weird. The job-search process is almost universally reviled, it seems, and my love of it may seem inexplicable. But to me, it’s clear as day.

I love searching for a job because it means I have choices.

It’s not that I’m intending to take a job at all. I may be perfectly happy in my current circumstances, my current location, my current everything. I may have a zero percent chance of moving to Boston to take a job at a small alt-weekly or trekking Canada as a tour guide. But that doesn’t dilute my joy in reading the job posting, or in momentarily considering the leap.

It’s like a game for my mind. In the span of a couple of minutes, I create an alternate reality, complete with apartment, job, and nightlife. I weigh it briefly, assess its merits, then let it go. I almost never take action based on my flight of job fancy, unless I’m seriously dissatisfied with my real life in some way. If anything, this exercise serves to illustrate to my easily bored brain that I am, in fact, content with my present situation.

But now, I am not a job applicant. I am a student. I’m applying for internships, but I already know I’ll be accepting one of those, so it’s not a flirtation. It’s not an idle way to pass the time, nor an exercise in possibilities. It’s a high-pressure search, and it’s not fun. It’s work. It’s business.

That’s okay, and I know that’s how the job-search process is for most folks all the time. I’m still content with my present situation, and I don’t really need to consider applying for a job at Google to prove it. But I just wanted to say that I miss the freedom of knowing that I could. I think I’ll value it more when I regain it.

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