Happy Friday! I am going to share another story with all of you today. Dari sent me her an account of her experiences with unemployment/underemployment and she also blogs about this issue over at Still Confused After 25 Years.
Dari does a better job at staying positive than I do so I figured this post wasn’t too depressing for a Friday.
“A little over a year ago I walked away from a safe but unfulfilling position with a local nonprofit. Even though I loved the idea of the work that I was doing in my community, I knew that there was no room for advancement and the stress of the disharmony in the office was weighing me down. I decided to leave my comfortable position for respect and the career I really wanted – public relations and advertising. It was all very romantic. I was ready to take the world by storm, armed with only my pride and a small savings.
Although everyone tried to ensure me that I would find a job quickly, I knew that the odds were stacked against me. I vowed to do whatever it took to gain experience and to not accept a full time position with any responsibility. I have a job that barely pays the bills, but I go, make money and go home. There’s no extra energy exerted, which allows me to throw my energy into the career search while remaining a mostly independent adult. Thank God for giving and understanding parents who can sometimes handle a few of my responsibilities should a surprise occur or who can send me home with a bag of frozen chicken because they know I have cut meat out of my budget.
Unfortunately, in Mobile, Alabama, there aren’t a lot of public relation jobs. I’ve been on dozens of interviews, some of which went really well. There was just someone who fit the position better. Some of my experiences have been really terrible. I’ve interviewed with a woman wearing house shoes and half a head of weave (she continued to take it out during the interview). I even had a woman hire me and then steal a bunch of work from me. I’ve learned a lot!
The best thing about my unemployment experience is that I have learned more than I ever could from my old job. I have been blessed to do the work that excites me, even if it’s for little or no pay or barter. I have worked with a brilliant local business owner from whom I’ve learned an immeasurable amount of knowledge. My waistline has benefited from working with a friend who is opening a yoga studio. I’m also lucky to get to dabble in interesting things like art and sports.
I will never regret betting on myself and taking the chance to see what else is out there. Each rejection letter is heartbreaking, and I tend to grieve like most do a lost lover. My career has become like a boyfriend to whom I am very loyal. It’s hard walking by my degree as I leave for my J-O-B where I have been supervised by people who aren’t old enough to buy a beer. However, I am unable to accept defeat because I know that with hard work, the position that I eventually get will be the position that is meant for me. I’m excited to see the domino effect of my choice.”