Actually, I believe that once you reach a certain age it is referred to as "alternative career exploration."
Seriously. It's worse than dating.
At least when you're on the market in that way you can blame a bad date on the other person and pretty much convince yourself it's true.
"He just wanted someone younger. Well, his loss. Nothing I can do about that."
"She obviously was a gold-digger / had daddy issues / fill-in-the-man-blank. Not my problem."
Be honest, most people get married - aside from all the love stuff - expressly so that they do not HAVE to date anymore.
But then comes a career change. Oooh-ho, Buddy. Now THAT sucks.
I truly believe that job hunting and interviewing are the most soul-sucking exercises a person can endure. It is hearbreaking enough to watch your current company go down the crapper, but to then be thrown - buck nekked - into the shark-infested waters of the job market is Just. Too. Much.
There you are with your resume (cv) containing every relevant professional thing there is to know about you. Based on a couple of hundred words printed on a piece of paper - or uploaded to a website - complete strangers decide whether you are total crap or worthy of a closer look.
This must be how mail order brides feel.
"I cook, I clean , I pull plow, I love you long time. You call me please?"
So then you go in for a closer inspection - an interview - and you think you did great! You like these people! What a great office! I could SO totally see myself here. Aaaannnnd nothing. "Thanks, but you aren't what we're looking for."
Worse, you go to an interview for a position you pretty much know you don't want, but you don't want to upset the unemployment gods - or create bad job-search karma - so you go and they love you, but you don't love them and you have to reject them even though you don't know if you're EVER going to get another chance with someone else....
Mail Order Bride. That's got to be it. This is exactly how they must feel.
Bless their hearts. At least you don't have to put your photo on a resume and then wonder if you were rejected because your nose is too big or your chin is to chinny.
They save THAT determination for the interview. Yeesh.