Dear Hiring Manager:

Looking for a job has been overflowing with both inspiration and defeat. It turns out that I actually do know what I want to do with my professional life, and all I really needed to do was buckle down and start reading the descriptions on job listings to figure that out. There’s a good reason why I was drawn to marketing communications throughout my career: I’m good at it. I also enjoy it. I just didn’t enjoy my previous work environment.

When I started this job search three(+) weeks ago, I was a bit picky about where I sent my resume. I focused on non-profits with missions I believed in or private firms who offered something important to better the world. There were national political organizations, health advocacy groups and clinics, environmental groups, schools, and even a large food bank. I felt uplifted by the sheer volume of opportunities available in my field that seemed like they might be fulfilling.

I’ve reached the point now where the rejection letters have overtaken my inbox and the vague sense of imposter syndrome I’d been fighting has become significantly less vague and harder to battle. I can’t tell you exactly how many carefully crafted cover letters I’ve distributed (4-5 a day for several weeks-ish), but I can tell you that my enthusiasm for writing them is waning along with my enthusiasm for the remaining pool of employers.

Today, I am taking a step back to try to re-frame my approach a bit. I don’t have to work for a non-profit to find fulfillment in my work. I simply have to find work and then make it fulfilling.

If you need me, I’ll be sitting here drafting cover letters in my pajamas, occasionally grimacing from a sip of cold coffee because I failed to realize that it’s been sitting there untouched for over an hour.

Communications Professional Seeking… Something? I guess?

I’m working on my resume because it’s officially time to find a job. Sitting here attempting to sift through two decades of work experience has been a bit like an awkward stroll down memory lane. When you work for a single company for 18 years, various positions and accomplishments are less easily definable. Things just sort of run together. I can barely remember what I did yesterday, so I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to remember whether I accomplished something in 2008 or 2012, but I’m trying.

More than anything, sifting through my resume has filled me with dread. It’s not that I’m not ready/willing to go back to work—it’s the idea of going back to work in Corporate America that I dread. I have spent enough years of my life shoving my feet into uncomfortable shoes. I’ve spent too many years sitting around sterile conference tables staring back at self-important white men in suits while they mansplain my own expertise to me. I’m done. I can’t.

For a number of years, I walked into an office that felt like a family. There was warmth and meaningful conversation. Employees had a voice and contributed to the decision-making processes that moved the company forward. We were invested not just in the successes or failures of the company, but also in those of each other. It was a place where people came before profit. Am I crazy to think that I can find a place like that again?

Does that mentality even exist in today’s business world anymore?

I guess I’m about to find out. Cross your fingers for me.