Yeah. Times are really hard for the trades. I do sympathize with how frustrating the job situation is. It also sounds like your house is becoming an emotional pressure-cooker. You’re angry. Your wife is stressed. Your son is having some troubles of his own. As tempting as it is to want to sink into a depression, it certainly won’t help. In fact, you’ll end up feeling even worse because then you’ll be depressed as well as jobless.
I have to tell you: 2 dozen resumes and 6 interviews is barely scratching the surface when it comes to serious job hunting. The rule of thumb is that unless you are making 2 contacts a day, you aren’t really looking. Finding a job is your job right now. That means dedicating at least 40 hours a week to the project by searching the job market, making personal contacts, arranging for informational interviews, and perhaps searching farther afield than you have been.
Or — maybe it’s time to retool. At only 45 years old, you have a whole career span (20+ years) available to you. If you go back to school to learn an additional skill set, you may make yourself more employable. If we were talking in my office, we would also start to brainstorm other job possibilities for you. Some jobs might be related to what you already do but I’d also encourage you to think about other options that you maybe never allowed yourself to think about before. If you’re on unemployment, there might be funding available for you to retool. As a vet, you may also have educational benefits coming to you. Do check with your local VA to see if they have career counseling or job placement counselors available.
We’re not done yet: I also hear you when you say that your “burnout” plus the home situation is resulting in a short fuse. It might be that you have more of a chip on your shoulder than you realize. People are surprisingly sensitive to when there is a powder keg in the room. It doesn’t make for good relationships with co-workers and bosses. An anger management group or a course in conflict resolution might give you some better tools for handling your frustration so you can be effective, not just angry. This would be helpful on the home front as well as on any job. Again, check with your local VA. They might be able to tell you where to get that kind of help.
I’m impressed that you wrote to us for suggestions. You are doing your best to take responsibility and to take charge of yourself. That takes some of the burden off your wife and it is a positive role model for your son.
I wish you well.