Struggling with being unemployed

It’s been a year since I was made redundant and apart from two short periods of temporary work I am still searching.  Every interview becomes harder it feels like a part of me is being sucked out and left behind.  It is very frustrating I’ve never had a lot of confidence in myself, I read the job descriptions and my heart sinks with phrases such as dealing with high pressure situations and demonstrates proactivity and takes the initiative, etc.  The feedback I receive is “we like her but …” normally related to feeling that I am quiet and they worry I won’t be able to deal with the partners/fee earners but I want to scream at them I worked for 27 years as a secretary I can’t have been that hopeless.  But I suppose they have to whittle down the candidates and this is the way they do it.  I find it hard to sell myself in interviews to find the right phrases to say I don’t have enough STAR stories.  STAR = Situation, Task, Action, Result.  I’m no good at making things up I can only be myself.

Every time the phone rings my stomach does somersaults usually I deal with agencies when they initially contact you they are all confident – oh your CV is excellent we’re get you a job in no time and you know it’s a lie.  I decided to switch my focus more towards local jobs it would be nice not to have to travel so far but I’ve have had a couple again they went with someone more suited to the role.  For one of the positions I applied for and did an interview, and was told they went with someone else about a week later I got a call from a different agency asking if I wanted to apply for the same role!  That was a real boost to my confidence.  A lot of the problem is my field of legal work is mainly employment and pensions and for a lot of local secretarial jobs it’s more conveyancing or family based legal work and companies want experience in those areas before they will consider you for interview.  I’m willing to travel to other areas of Kent, Canterbury, Tunbridge Wells, Margate, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, I don’t mind, I’m willing to try a different area of law if someone would be prepared to give me a chance.

I really don’t know where to go to from here I keep thinking what else I could do change of career, go back to college, but you need a talent that you can work on and I’ve never been very academic.  And my anxiety is playing havoc with my emotions, even when I’m watching TV in the evenings every few minutes I can feel the ache of anxiety in my stomach and the despair just hits you, when am I ever going to get a job again.

I suppose I just have to keep plodding along hoping that I’ll get lucky.
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