Tag Archives: jobless

10 Friends and No Jobs. Yeah, I’m Serious.

I currently have 10 friends on the unemployment line. Can you believe that? On 10 fingers, I can count 10 people I know and hang out with who currently don’t have jobs. It’s really rather sickening.

What’s surprising about all of this is that each of us come from different industries. We’re publicists, graphic designers, customer service agents, teachers, marketers, sales professionals, bartenders, the list continues.

A handful of us have been without work for nearly a year or more. Others have just recently joined the ranks. It was never supposed to be this bad. No matter what we read, no matter how bad the economy got, it wasn’t supposed to be this many for this long.

Some of us are lucky enough to have spouses or significant others help us bear the burden of unemployment, but our family income has taken a severe hit. Others are being forced to move in with friends, downsize to smaller apartments, or borrow money from friends and family. What we all seem to have in common: we’re no longer getting ahead like we used to.

When you think about it, it’s amazing what unemployment can do to you. It takes away your money, your success, and your spirit. It beats you when you’re down and doesn’t give a shit that you’re already having a bad day. It doesn’t discriminate: it doesn’t care where you live, what color you are, or what your religious beliefs are. Bottom line, it sucks.

When 10 of your friends are in the same boat, sometimes it’s not so bad. You have each other and can understand what you’re all going through. But when 10 of your friends don’t have jobs and they need them, they want them, and they have tried so goddamn hard to get them for months on end, you start to wonder what the f*ck is going on?

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How’d You Get THAT From My Resume?

Information Security Analyst. Licensed Practical Nurse. Project Engineer. Screen Printer. Speech-Language Pathologist. Intern.

Do any of these scream Public Relations / Communications professional to you? Yeah, me neither. But for some reason, they always seem to pop up in my daily job alerts.

I subscribe to a lot of job boards that automatically send you searches each day in an effort to “weed out” the jobs that don’t match your skill set or preferred job type. I have tailored these alerts time and again to meet my specific criteria.  After a year of job hunting, I have come to the conclusion that these saved job searches are a piece of crap.

I don’t know how anything in my resume would qualify me to be an Information Security Analyst. My specialties are internal and external communications, writing, and media strategies; not cyber threats and computer technology.  C’mon CareerBuilder, get your act together!

While there might be some similarities in the words in my resume and the professions listed above (can anyone say COMMUNICATIONS?), doesn’t nearly everyone have communications in their resume these days? Don’t we all possess communications skills in one way or another? Interpersonal, oral, visual, written, etc.? In this day of technological advancement, isn’t there some tool that can separate these jobs from one another? I mean, are the nurse, screen printer and project engineer getting my PR listings?

The job hunt is a daily struggle in and of itself.  The last thing any jobless person needs is a worthless job alert.  So to all the career sites out there that send automated job alerts, please do your due diligence to the unemployed and send the right jobs to your subscribers or don’t send any at all!

The Real Unemployed Housewives of Hoboken

I’m a fan of Bravo’s Housewives franchise, but I have to say, Atlanta, New Jersey, New York and Orange County, you got nothing on me and my girls – The Real Unemployed Housewives of Hoboken.

Life as an unemployed housewife in one of Hudson County’s most prominent areas is not all fun and games. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to enjoy lunch and cocktails during these beautiful summer-like days while others are stuck in their cubicles, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Let me give you a glimpse into a day in the life of a Real Unemployed Housewife of Hoboken.

Wake up with the husband’s alarm clock around 7 a.m. and get the day started. Yes! Another jam-packed day of searching job boards, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and every other website out there in an effort to land a goddamn job. After hours of connecting, following up on previous job leads which only lead to dead ends, and indulging in some hot topics with Wendy Williams and the ladies of The View, it’s time to get in shape girl! Off to the gym or out for a run to keep the figure in tact because if we don’t, lord only knows what could happen to that ass!

After a solid, or at least half decent workout, it’s back to checking email, hoping that someone got back to you about a job, but all you’ve got is friend requests and more (entry-level) postings. Bitter, you decide if you’re going to bother getting ready or just hang out in your pjs all day. If you’re just sitting on the couch catching up on DVR’ed episodes of Tori & Dean, is it really worth it to get dressed for nothing? But then you get the call from your unemployed pals who are also feeling the frustration of no job and even less money, so you decide how you can kick this funk.

The first and most obvious choice is to hit the bar. A gorgeous day and a city that had more bars per square mile than any other city in the nation, why not? Then you realize you have to claim your unemployment benefits and the check won’t go through until tomorrow. That means no cash flow until the following day. To charge or not to charge? You’re already feeling lower than lower, you want to be with your girls, and if you hung at someone’s house you’d have to spend money to buy wine and food anyway, so you say what the hell.

Ok, now things are picking up. People watching at a bar near the PATH with your unemployed entourage. Your friends are such regulars at the local watering hole that you get hooked up, which is always a bonus. Then your husband calls and asks how your day is going. Shit!

You’re thinking, “I should have been home making dinner, looking for more jobs, connecting more, doing laundry, blah blah blah.” But your man told you to do what makes you happy because you can’t let unemployment get you down. We’ll, you certainly took his advice.

You’re probably thinking back to my statement, how none of those C-list celebrity Housewives have anything on me and my unemployed gals, right? Well, here’s what you’ve been waiting for: We do all those things I mentioned: relentlessly job hunt, feel bad about not bringing in the income we used to, connect with everyone’s brother’s mother’s sister to secure an interview, get lonely and depressed with the same boring routines of laundry, emptying the dishwasher, making the bed and vacuuming. And we also make the most of a somewhat undesirable situation: we find ways to bring each other up when we’re down, we help each other in the job search, we don’t sit around and bicker when a success happens for one and not the other, we figure out how to have fun on a teeny tiny budget, we’re one another’s biggest supporters and most importantly, we laugh… A LOT.

We may not have the bling, we may not have the mansions, we may not have the loot, but we’ve got each other. Top that Bravo Housewives!

Why Career Fairs are a Waste of Time

On Friday, my husband and I attended a career fair in New York City, sponsored by Careerbuilder.com. We thought it would be a great way to network ourselves and get in front of employers versus sending resume after resume via email for yet another day. 

The night before, we printed out about three dozen resumes at Staples. That in and of itself was a struggle, as the machine printed our resumes crooked and stapled everything incorrectly. At the time, it was utterly frustrating; looking back, we have to laugh, but nonetheless, it certainly was not worth the $9 we spent.

I have been to career fairs before and left thoroughly disappointed, so I don’t know why I expected this one to be any different, but I did. I guess I thought because there are so many people out of work, employers would be eager to help out (or at least look like they wanted to help out) the 5 million of us who have lost jobs. Basically, I had some hope. Unfortunately, I was wrong. 

We waited on a line that was around the block. It wasn’t too bad, but maybe that was because I had someone to wait with. 

My husband and I knew the list of employers weren’t directly in our industries, but we took a shot anyway because the event was sponsored by companies like AOL and PIX, and we were open to exploring new opportunities. Boy, did we misjudge this one. 

There must have been about 10 employers at this thing and at least 500 people in attendance by the 10 o’clock hour. Every job seemed to be in sales. And if that wasn’t bad enough, all these employers, who we all were getting the chance to meet face-to-face and make that lasting impression with, told us to apply for the open positions available at their companies online.
What?!?

So we stood online, as did hundreds of other people only to be told that we should go to the company’s website and apply in their career center portal? Why the hell was I here? Additionally, there were so few jobs that offered anything but sales. I felt like I was back at college at their career fairs. I’m not knocking sales jobs, don’t get me wrong, but every career fair I have ever been to, since I was an undergrad, everyone is always looking for salespeople, never any broader, niche occupations, like public relations, marketing or communications.

While we did make the effort to talk to some employers and shake a few hands, there was nothing there for us. And anything that seemed relatively worthwhile, we were told to head to the website and apply for the open position there. Oh, and let me tell you about that one: the website they gave us didn’t even work (Prudential)

Even though the career fair wasn’t for us, I really hope that the hundreds of other people that attended the event found it worthwhile because people need jobs. It’s amazing, yet daunting, how many people are looking for work right now. I saw a million types of people standing on that line or walking around the less than full room of employers. 

Unemployment does not choose. It’s like a disease. You can’t control who its bestows itself upon, it just happens, by no fault of your own. No matter how hard you may have worked, no matter how long you may have worked; regardless of race, gender, age, or religion, unemployment can happen to you. We are just one of millions of people looking for a cure.