Being Unemployed Stinks!

19Mar09

Being unemployed stinks!  I was let go from my job about 6 weeks ago.  Like most everyone who gets the boot from a job (especially one they’ve worked at for over 8 years) I think it was unfair.  Obviously my old employer thinks it’s perfectly fair—at least I would assume so since they actually did the deed.  When I got my walking papers I’m not sure if there was actual shock.  I wasn’t particularly angry.  Even though I do think it was unfair—and I said as much—it mostly just came into my head “OK, time to move on.”

I had already been conducting a “soft” job search.  I had gotten to the point where I would wake up every morning and think “Oh, I have to go to work today,” or “Great! I’m off today.”  It had been a signal to me that it was time to start looking.  My grandfather many years ago had given me the advice to find a job you enjoy and not worry as much about how much it pays.  It has always made sense to me.  If you wake up with the “have to work” thought and don’t enjoy your work you simply don’t do as good of a job.  You are more likely to get there at the last minute (barely on time feels just like late to your boss).  Your mind is so much more likely to wander during the day (“What’s on TV tonight?” “What am I going to do this weekend?” “Just how many tiles are in the ceiling?”) and not stay on the task at hand.  You don’t do as well.  Then when it’s time for your performance evaluation you get lower ratings which leads to a lower raise which leads to being even more unhappy.

At this point I’ve sent out over 70 resumes.  It feels like a lot.  I’m up to eight interviews.  I’ve heard that you should expect to send out at 20 resumes before you get an interview and go on 20 interviews before you get an offer.  Well at least that means I’m ahead of the curve on interviews but barely a quarter of the way on my interview-to-offer segment.  Unfortunately that’s the part that matters more.

The worst part is how you feel when you see an ad for a job you really like and send off a resume and then hear nothing back.  When you get too many in a row like that you start to feel a little unloved.  Every time the phone rings your heart skips a beat because this might be someone calling to set up an interview or even better offering a job.

I understand why I don’t hear back from every single place I send a resume to.  Especially in this job market one job posting can easily result in hundreds of resumes.  It could easily take an entire week just to respond to everyone.  And then you have two jobs not being done for an extra week—the one they are looking to fill because the hiring process is delayed along with the job that the person responding to all the resumes should have been doing.

On the bright side, I just got a raise!  Part of the recent stimulus package included an additional $25 per week for everyone receiving state unemployment benefits.  I find it even more ironic in that my previous employer had announced they were not giving out any raises this year.  Granted, I’m not making anywhere near what I was before I got on the public dole, but it is still good for a little chuckle.

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