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October, 2013

  1. So, So Cold Like an Ice Cream Cone [The Ode to the Unemployment Department]

    October 31, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    My mom recently got a letter from the unemployment department explaining that she wouldn’t be receiving any benefits. She can qualify for an extension, but the thing is…the unemployment department doesn’t soften that blow in the slightest.

    They say if you need food or shelter, call such-and-such a number. Nothing cheery or supportive about that at all.

    I think the Unemployment Department needs a lesson in humanity and even in inspiring other people.

    So for that, I invite you to watch this link to the Rolling Stone’s song, “She’s So Cold” in honor of the Unemployment Department.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo34VhfcetU&feature=youtube_gdata_player


  2. The Effect of Unemployment: Remembering Who We Are [An Anonymous Guest Post]

    October 28, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    I love when people take a leap of faith and write me about their thoughts of unemployment. If you would like to write a post for my blog, please send me an email at lady_unemployed@ladyunemployed.com. It can remain anonymous. The rest of this post is written by an anonymous submitter.

     

    Unemployment can affect individuals in a way that is much more profound than many people may realise. Of course, not having a job means not earning money, and consequently there are many practical and economic problems which are not to be under-estimated.

    However, it is the way it can affect you mentally that I feel needs to be highlighted. This is the hidden part of the unemployment=unhappiness equation that is not helped with a £71 government cheque. It is a insidious black cloud that can hang over people who are looking for work, and it often goes unnoticed. It affects each person differently but can be both subtle and debilitating.

    Personally, for someone whose self-image was linked strongly to my job and career, it was easy to start to lose sight of my identity. I thought ‘If I am not working as a designer, then am I still a designer? Or creative? What am I now?’ If you are in this position then you have to re-structure your way of looking at yourself and the world. You have to re-program the way you perceive not only yourself, but others, in a world where society puts people into boxes – ‘Professional’, ‘Blue Collar’, ‘Creative’. You have to remind yourself that you are an individual made up of an un-definable number of unique traits and characteristics, and are not just a label. You have so many talents and idiosyncrasies; you are not just defined by your job. However it can be hard to move the focus away from your career when you live in a world where the second question people tend to ask is ‘What do you do?’. We all know they don’t mean ‘what do you do for fun?’ but really ‘what do you do for WORK?’. This leads you to ask yourself –

    What DO I do?

    If I was a designer before but haven’t done it in a year, is that still what I am?

    Or can I be something different?

    Or, am I nothing because nobody seems to want to employ me?

    The answer to the last question is obviously no, you are not nothing, but I am demonstrating how easy it can be to think that way when you are confronted with that question for the 100th time. After many months of job hunting, it can get harder and harder to tough it out. It is quite easy at first, but each time the question ‘What do you do?’ is asked it becomes more meaningful, each time you doubt yourself a little more.

    Most people would find it easy to understand how someone who has been out of work can lose some self-esteem when it comes to their career. But I think that what a lot of people don’t realise is that it can also affect your self-esteem throughout the other areas of your life as well. The self-doubt goes beyond the workplace, and seeps into how you feel about yourself in general.

    If you can break through the darkness however, I think that there is some healthy self-exploration that can be made in this time. You can take advantage of the negatives and actually get a step ahead of everyone else. Being in this position can help you to break free from the boxes that people love to put you in. It stops you asking the same question of ‘what do you do?’ when you meet someone new, and pushes you to be more inventive with your small talk – maybe you will learn something about who the person really is and not just how they earn money. I don’t want to discount people who really do live for their jobs, these people are defined by what they do for a living, and want it this way. Though equally, the same argument can still be made – a musician might have a lot more too them than their music. They might have a passion for silent movies, love skiing, and volunteer with old people every week….

    When I talked to someone about the things I had been struggling with, he asked me what I thought my intrinsic qualities were. I was at a loss. All I could think of was the list of key skills on my CV, but this wasn’t what he meant. He meant the unique and special qualities that I have as a person, and which speak about who I really am, and make me, well….me. It scared me that I wasn’t really sure. I had become so caught up in trying to sell myself to employers, that I had lost sight of the truth of who I was. It made me realise how easy it is to forget the qualities that you don’t put on your resume – ‘Always writes something nice in birthday cards’, ‘Dances the robot really badly’, ‘Shows what she is thinking through the expressions on her face’. These are some of the silly little things that make me who I am. And just because I won’t be publicising them to potential employers, doesn’t mean I should forget them, or be any less proud of them, or think that they are any less part of me than having ‘a good attention to detail’. Hell, I’d rather be known for an hilariously bad robot than for meeting deadlines anyway….

    Employers – don’t employ people because you feel sorry for them, but do open your mind and give people a chance. If someone has the appropriate transferable skills but hasn’t worked in that industry before, think ‘do they have they passion?’ ‘Do they really want it?’, maybe they could actually bring something new to the table and provide fresh insights.

    Friends and family, your role here isn’t so much about helping with the job hunt, or paying the rent (although no doubt this help will be needed!). You are there to support the person – the real person that is inside of this situation. They may be lost, or just at a loss. They might have forgotten who they are, or what they are trying to achieve. You need to remind them of the things that make them unique, and I am not just referring to the traits that make them attractive to potential employers. I am talking about the reasons why you love them, why they are in your life, and why they couldn’t be replaced. Because sometimes it can be as simple as that to help us remember who we


  3. What, No Bagels? (And Cutting Back on Costs)

    October 27, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Bagels &

    My company holds weekly meetings to go over account reviews and other updates. It’s usually boring and I daydream throughout the entire hour.

    And yet, this past week I noticed something missing in the meeting room.

    Bagels.

    Bagels were a regular part of the meetings and something that probably sweetened the pot a little bit for many of my coworkers. I never indulged too much so their absence didn’t affect me so bad.

    I asked and someone said, “Oh they’re cutting them out. Trying to cut back on costs.”

    Hmm. Really? No meeting bagels really makes that much of a difference?

    This leaves me wondering – what will be next? No coffee?


  4. Ending the Day (and Week) Without a Call

    October 16, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Wednesday has come to a swift close and my two family members who are looking for work haven’t received calls. I also worry the rest of this week will be like this – for me, and for my mom and brother.

    All of this leaves me with the question –

    What the hell can get that phone to ring? If you happen to come across this and you are a job hunting or cover letter writing expert, I would love your take on how job seekers can get that call for an interview.


  5. Unemployment – The Thing You Can’t Just Get Rid Of

    October 14, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    My mom said, “Unemployment is the only thing you can’t just get rid of – if this was a man, I would have broken up him already.”

    And my mom is right! She’s been out of work six moths now and if this was a relationship, it would have been a rotten one.

    If you think of it, when you are unemployed, you are basically begging someone to like you, getting very little in return, having plans and hopes dashed and taken away, and constantly having to look and be your best without any promise of a good outcome.

    Unemployment makes for a bad relationship and it’s time that we all had “the talk” with unemployment.


  6. You Don’t Always Experience the Same Work Environment

    October 8, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    When I first started the job I had now, I sat next to someone who wore headphones while she worked and made no effort to speak to me. Not to mention, the people in my department made no effort to speak to me or make conversation when I first started and they were situated on the other side of the room. I didn’t feel welcome and not too long after I started was I criticized and hammered about my mistakes. I can tell you I’m not the only one who felt this way because a guy who started a couple of months after me experienced the very same welcoming – ignoring and awful mean criticism about his mistakes.

    One year later, I’m still at this job and I’ve been able to make it work. And the funny thing is, we have a new person starting and I can see already she is experiencing a very different work environment. Already it’s her second day and she’s comfortable going up to people and showing off photos on her phone and waltzing into offices of managers and having a conversation around them. People are coming to her desk and have taken her out to lunch.

    I know a lot of how I was welcomed is partially diferences in personality. I wouldn’t have felt all that comfortable just going up to people’s desks and chatting, especially if I was new. But I can’t help but be bothered a little bit, because I wish I had experienced this type of atmosphere and welcoming.

    It makes me realize that we tend to experience different work environments. But just like an itch that won’t go away, I wonder if this new person will eventually experience what I have experienced.

    Maybe not. I do wonder how two people can experience so very different work atmospheres.


  7. Desk Moving and New People

    October 7, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Moving day

    So, a couple of things going on lately – first of all, I’m under constant battle to keep the desk I’m sitting in. First, I love the location. I’m at a corner and I don’t have to worry about a lot of foot traffic behind me. I also have a big desk too, so I have more places to put my stuff.

    Lately, they’ve been desk moving and bumping people from desk to desk, and I am happy to announce I survived the desk moving! Yay!

    Anyone else not getting this government shutdown by the way?