Unemployment – Reversing the Emotional Impact

Being unemployed is unpleasant for most people. It is hard in this economy to build a solid savings to keep you afloat if you have the misfortune of losing your job. This can exacerbate the stress of finding another job as quickly as possible. In today’s changing world, people do not seem to be sticking with one job for decades on end as they did a few decades ago. Instead, many seem to “job hop” until they find the right job and company for them. This can be great; it can be a means to learn a great deal in a short time as you experience different situations with different companies and jobs. It can also be bad. A lot of employers may still think negatively when they review a job applicant who has multiple, short term jobs on their resume. This can be another point of stress for the person trying to find a new job. Will the person doing the hiring consider my resume positive for learning and trying new things? Or will they think that I simply cannot hold down a job? In my experience, as much as companies claim it is not so, many companies still rely on intuition and inconsistent hiring methods. In other words, how you come across on your resume is determined by the state of mind of the person viewing it. You could have the perfect job history and still not get hired, because the person just “didn’t feel” you were the right fit. With such an inconsistent hiring practice, it’s a wonder anyone gets hired. However, this can be yet another negative stressor for the person seeking a new job.

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Keep your chin up! This is hard to do when bills are mounting, spouses are claiming you’re not trying hard enough to find another job, and your self-esteem is plummeting. Just keep at it. Keep filling out those applications, even the same ones over and over again. Keep pumping out those resumes! Take advantage of free services offered by your local job seeking service. I like to use mine to print free resumes and business cards. A great idea is to take this time and find alternative methods for employment. Are you good at yard work? Can you crochet or knit? Do you love cleaning house or organizing things? All of these things can be turned into an alternative form of employment until you get back on your feet again. It is possible that one of your hobbies or strong points could turn into a full time career, but let’s not get wrapped up in that. It’s great to hope for the stars, but you have bills to pay.

I have had several bouts of unemployment over the past two years. I find it difficult to work in a negatively-oriented setting with other people who have truly bad attitudes. Seeing as how I do not have a degree, I tend to find work in general labor or entry level positions. It seems there is a higher ratio, according to my own personal experiences, of people who have poor attitudes towards others in these positions. I can’t completely blame them – they are doing the hard, dirty work that no one else wants to and are often not getting the credit for it. Still, the best way to work, I’ve always felt, was as an uplifting team. When this type of attitude becomes prevalent in the work force in your area, you may find it more difficult to get the motivation to seek another job. Why spend your time around people who are disrespectful for such low pay?

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Start your dream job. I know, I said earlier not to get wrapped up in this, but hear me out. You need to pay your bills, that’s a fact of life. No matter how much we wish money was not the object, it still is. Just find a job that you can stand and get those bills paid. If you are able, try to find a job that does not do a lot of overtime: you’re going to need all the extra time you can get working on your project. Yourself. That’s right, spend your extra time doing what makes you happy and what leads to that dream job. Take night classes one course at a time, refine your skills, practice marketing and sales of your skills by exploring online social media. All of these things will help you take those small steps towards your dream job that lead to larger steps and, ultimately, your goal. This is not something that is going to happen overnight; it will take time, effort, and commitment. Create some basic goals to base your motivation on. This way, when you feel your efforts are lessening, you can remind yourself of your goals and pick up some extra steam. To do this, you need to ask yourself some questions. Why do I want this particular dream job? What am I going to get out of it that will make me happy? How is my time, effort, and money worth this compared to a 9 to 5 job? By answering these questions, you will create a positively-oriented foundation to keep you continually motivated in seeking that dream job!

Remember, keep looking for that 9 to 5 job because better things are on the horizon.

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Out of a Job

..and out of sanity.

I lost my job around Christmas time due to inconsistent Human Resource practices.  I had walking pneumonia and Hubby had been experiencing health woes as well.  Whenever I’d bring my Doctor’s notes in from either my visits or Hubby’s, I was told that “they didn’t accept consecutive days” or that “the weren’t going to accept them” at all.  This eventually mounted and I ended up pointing out of their already somewhat screwy point system.  It is a wonder to me that company’s such as this are not fixing the painfully obvious problems that are causing such low employee retention rates, but that’s their perogerative, I suppose.  It’s now mine to find a different job and, hopefully, a better place to work.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, there are a few things I’ve learned about myself in the past few weeks of being without a permanent source of income.  The first and most overpowering lesson has been that society equates how much money you make with how successful or even how important you are as a human being.  I am not currently bringing any money in so I have lost value to some people.  It has been eye opening and has taught me that these people were not worth holding on to, but it has been painful.  My brother has struggled with unemployment as well and I fear that I treated him in this manner, even though my intentions were to try to encourage him to find a job.  The problem?  He was doing everything he could to find work, as I am doing now.  It’s simply not out there.

I believe the problem is a culmination of poor education in our country combined with poor Human Resources and management practices.  People are changing their expectations of their future employees and, at the same time, our standards of education are dropping.  This conflict is causing a frustrating situation in which one must possess a Bachelor’s Degree to be considered for even the most basic of work.

Not only has our country’s educational standards dropped, but I feel the expectations of employers has become somewhat unrealistic.  Instead of creating an environment where people can learn and grow into the ideal employee, every employer wants their newly hired employees to already be that person: polished, consisting of the company’s specific (but vaguely stated) values, and professional in every mannerism.  Instead, why not offer the employees things such as mentoring programs where “veteran” employees can take them under their wing to teach them things like customer service, how to treat your coworkers with respect, and how to maintain professionalism even in the face of outright disrespect.

Instead, employers expect you to know all of this.  I am always blown away by the fact that it is now a given to have every job description followed by the statement “experience required”.  This tells me that the company is unwilling to take an interest in its employees to the point of providing and nurturing an atmosphere where experience can be obtained and skills honed.  When I see this statement, I cringe and detest every stroke of ink I have to put on the resume (out of sheer desperation).  If I had the choice, I would not be applying for a job posting with a company such as this.

On top of these frustrations, I live in an area that is highly nepotistic.  I would have a better chance at getting a job if I knew the CEO’s daughter than if I had all the qualifications.  Sad, but very true in Ye Olde Timey Towne of the MidWest.  Factories are abundant here, but because we live in a Right-To-Work (for less) state, they treat their employees worse than the product they are trying to make.  And don’t get me started on how they could save so much money and overtime if they hired people with enough common sense to actually care about the product they were making.

All in all, work sucks.  Because of this, I want to go back into Healthcare.  I want to make a difference in someone else’s life.  If no matter where I go to work I am going to run across nepotism, favortism, unfair work practices, and poor Human Resource practices.. at least let me make a difference in the life of someone else while I am there.  That alone will give me the sanity I need to continue working.  In the meantime, I need to find sanity while I’m not working.

Forget the Pot Holes..

..watch out for the mental breakdown.

That was my goal yesterday.  I have always been told that life is full of “ups” and “downs”.  It seems that as of late, however, all of the ups just lead to downs.  It’s kind of like a rollercoaster being run by a sadist.  Get me off this thing!  Wait..

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I don’t want life to stop, trust me.  I don’t have it so badly when I stop to think about it.  I am able to pay my basic bills: groceries, rent, utilities, car insurance.  I can even afford some luxuries like the Internet and Netflix.   I am also able to keep my sanity by indulging my stitch craftery with some yarn every now and again.  What’s the problem, then?  The problem is this: it’s getting harder.

Oh dear lord!  Someone else complaining about how “hard” life is.  Stop the presses!  “Oh please, dear..”, you may say, “life is hard on us all.  You better get used to it now.”

Oh trust me, I am more than used to a tough life.  I’ve noticed that lately, however, it’s getting harder to be poor.  It seems like that dollar just doesn’t stretch as far as it used to.  The place I work at is taking more out of my check  for increases in insurance rates and taxes, but we’re not getting a cost of living increase.  We’re lucky if we get any type of bonus, as a matter of fact.  It’s getting harder to live.

“Money isn’t everything.”  No, it isn’t.  But it is necessary to pay the basics such as rent and utilities.  Which, by the way, are also going up.  Utilities have increased dramatically and the food at the store is going up as well.  I’m not even going to start talking about the whole gasoline issue.  I may as well start using a horse and buggy again.

What I want to know is this: How does this Government expect it’s population to support itself under these circumstances?  When the cost of living is increasing in everyway (food, fuel, etc) and no raises are being given, it only makes sense to NOT tax the people that are struggling even more.  I forgot.. this place doesn’t make sense.

I did not intend for this post to be a vent post when I first started.  I wasn’t even going to talk about the financial issues I am personally experiencing along with every other lower class Citizen of America.  I was going to vent about my work situation in a different way.  Strange how things unfold.

What really gets me is the attitude that some people have about how us poor people choose to be this way.  Come again? Let’s see.. Yeah, I definitely choose to have my husband and I so sick all the time that we have to see the doctors almost every week, thus eating up what little money we have.  I also choose to get paid a low amount of money for a job that, if I did it across the state line, would pay a good dollar more an hour.  My husband also chooses to have to work six days a week in order to get 40 hours in.  Give me a break.

Jobs just aren’t available like they used to be.  When they area available, people want unnecessary experience or education qualifications that they don’t expect of the people they currently have working for them.  This confuses me but there’s nothing I can do to change it.  I don’t know why I need a Bachelor’s in Business in order to be a part-time secretary.. but it’s not my business.

The jobs that are available are things like production, housekeeping, etc.  They require no education but lately, companies are using staffing agencies to fill these positions.  I will NOT go through a staffing agency.  It basically means that for 90 days, you will be scrutinized beyond what “direct hires” are to the point of possibly losing your job with no notice.  This happened to me in the past and I will not do it again.  I guess I only have one option.

It is time to go back to school.  My plan is to stay at my current job (if I don’t point out first being sick all the time) and finish my Associates Degree in Medical Assisting.  It’s a start and it’s a good one because I already have over half of the classes needed.  Why am I not relieved?

I don’t really like going to school.  I love doing the actual work but I dread dealing with the “professors”.  Especially in this small town.  Many of them get their jollies off on some kind of power trip because they’re teaching other adults.  It always seemed weird to me to be so arrogantly proud of this that you would actually do a poor job of teaching, but whatever floats your boat.

Also, I’m praying I can handle the extra load.  I did OK when I was going to school full time online.  I am going to shoot for going to an in person classroom this time so that I can do less work.  That’s right, online classes are a lot more work because you have to prove to the teacher that you’re doing the work and reading the books.  This means answering more, in-depth questions and fulfilling more assignments.  At an in person classroom, the teacher counts your attendance as part of your grade.. so that should help.

Problem?  I may have to go to third shift in order to allow my schedule to meet that of the class room’s.  I’m OK with this, as long as I get out of the factory for good after I graduate.  My brother suggested becoming a CNA now so that I could more easily transition into a Medical Assistant.  It would make me more “hire-able” because I’ve been working in a medical setting.  I have been a Housekeeper at a hospital, but most places don’t count that.

Most places do not realize that as a Housekeeper, you have to respond to not only the patients and visitors in a cordial and helpful manner, but all the staff as well.  Afterall, all the other staff are your customers too.  It sucks to actually have to do it sometimes (though there are some great people that didn’t treat like a “maid”), and it sucks even worse when hiring personnel do not give you credit for it.  C’est la vie, I suppose.

The issue with becoming a CNA for a while is that it pays significantly less.. like two dollars less an hour.  I don’t think that’s a good idea right now.

So the plan is as follows: Stay where I’m at but go to school to get the hell out of there.  I may have to wait until next Fall to register (as classes aren’t available until then), but I’m going to do it!  Wish me luck because there is limited space in the classrooms!

 

It is Abyssmyal

I have a horrible job.  I know, I know.. everyone thinks their job is awful.  At least, most everyone does.  I often see these weird creatures about now and again that actually like their jobs.  How does that happen?

Here’s the low-down:  I don’t think I should have to sacrifice my time with family to have a stable career.  I don’t think I should have to be constantly emotionally stressed out in order to have job security.  I believe in working hard and getting the job done right the first time.  I just don’t believe in sacrificing the things that are more important to me (family, peace of mind) in order to do that.  Add to the list that I also do not think I should put my physical health on the line for my job.  What sense does it make that while I’m trying to bring an income in, I’m dealing with physical harm that can damage my ability to bring in an income?  Sounds about right in this place.

I know there are jobs that are stressful, both physically and/or mentally.  People sign up for those jobs.  They know what they are getting into.  I guess I just want to know where have all the good jobs gone?  What happened to practicing good Human Resources so that you treat your employees like people instead of policies?  I would love to know the answer.  So far, all I get is that I am one of many, replaceable peons. The work I do is monotonous, the people I work with are apathetic idiots, and the company I work for is clueless and would like to remain that way.  This place is turning into a third world country.  Let’s milk the workers for all they’re worth without regard to their physical safety or mental well being!

Sounds about right.

I am trying to get out of factory work, but that is proving difficult.  Everyone wants you to have experience and I have none.   That’s not entirely true because I do have experience.  I know how to use the various Microsoft Office programs – I used them everyday for almost two years to complete my online coursework.  For some reason, that doesn’t count.  Hiring officials want to have someone else to talk to that confirms that you did, in fact use the software for that given amount of time.  We’ve replaced taking someone’s opinion for it with common sense.

The problem isn’t that I have a hard time working.  I like to work.  I like to sweat and feel exhausted.  This makes me feel like I did something productive.  What I don’t like is the lack of common sense, consideration, maturity, and flexibility in the work environment and the people that work there.  I am constantly hearing people tell me, “That’s how it goes.  You get used to it.”  Really?  When?  I haven’t yet and it’s getting worse.  Anymore, going to work feels like it’s sucking my soul.  It’s as if I can feel my energy being physically drained out of my veins through my skin.  Ugh.

It would be easier if: the people were smarter and more mature, the management actually gave a damn, and the nepotism got nipped in the bud.  None of this is going to change, however, so I have to. change  It is time to find a new job but I have bills to pay until then so back to the dark hole I go.  I would just like to know when work became synonymous with boring, monotonous, tedious, and “AAAHHH!  I can’t take it anymore!”

To me, work used to be something to be proud of.  I did a good job, people mentioned that I did a good job.. I was exhausted from the work but in a good way, not to the point of falling over.  I felt productive and as if I was contributing to something.  Now, I feel like a peon.  My presence does not matter.  The work I am doing does not matter.  I don’t matter.  Talk about depressing.  It’s like I’m the main character in “1984” (or 1946 as my husband calls it).

Bring on the mind control!  My brain has been turned to mush from working at a deadend, redundant and useless job.  I should be ripe for the picking.  On a bright note, if the Earth is ever invaded by mind-ingesting aliens.. I’ll survive!  Damn, so will all the people I work with. Oh the Humanity!