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November, 2013

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Dear Readers

    November 28, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers. I hope you are enjoying time with family and friends and pleasant company.


    I know so many are dealing with unemployment today. It does make for a rough holiday, but hopefully you can reflect on blessings today. And keep fighting the good fight

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  2. 3 Years Unemployed – How Did I Get Here? [An Anonymous Guest Post]

    November 13, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    I have been unemployed for almost three years. I am 50 years old, college educated and professionally certified (HR). I have applied for positions with hundreds of employers in the past three years. In that span of time I have been contacted for four interviews, and had no offers of employment. This is the longest I have been unemployed in my life (for a little perspective when I started my 1st job at age 16, Jimmy Carter was president). How did I get to this place?

    My husband accepted a new position with his employer in 2009 and relocated to Georgia. When I say “accepted” I am being kind, this was not an offer he could refuse, if you know what I mean. At the time I was working as a Human Resource Analyst and my daughter was a junior in high school. My son, the oldest, was a senior in college. Our family had relocated a few times in the past 20 years or so, and I had always been able to “land on my feet”. By landing on my feet I mean, find a job! I stayed behind and focused on preparing our home for sale, taking care of my sick boxer and enjoying a little “me” time.

    When I arrived in Georgia in December 2010, searching for a new job became my full-time job. I scoured the internet for opportunities, attended careers fairs and applied for jobs ranging from “dishwasher” to “CEO”. That’s a bit of an exaggeration but I think you get the point. About one year ago I returned to school, thanks to a Workforce Investment Act grant (WIA), and completed my Society of Human Resources Professionals certification in an effort to make myself a more attractive candidate. This has not improved my job search results, yet?

    Aside from the obvious challenges of unemployment (lack of income), there are more insidious ones that are not discussed publicly nearly enough. The impact on your self-confidence and self-perception is devastating. The best way I can describe it would be to compare it to the time I was a 13 year old girl attending my first school dance, and seeing all my friends being asked to dance while I watched from an uncomfortable position leaning against the gymnasium wall. If not being called for interviews was not reason enough to be pessimistic, the longer I remain unemployed makes the prospect of a future job even less likely. Some employers have gone as far as to recommend that you not apply if you are not currently employed. And you thought you cleared a hurdle if you were not a convicted felon. Think again?

    Following a particularly difficult day recently I decided to start blogging about my unemployment experience. account4gaps.com is a play on that phrase that sends chills up the spine of anyone who belongs to the community of the long-term unemployed, “account for all gaps in employment”. Easier said than done. It’s been extremely helpful because it has given me a reason to get out of bed some days. Through the blogging process I have been able to reach out to others with similar experiences, follow news and policy makers and last but not least VENT!

    I encourage all of my readers to share their experiences with unemployment, job searching and anything else that you feel may be a match for this blog. Please email me at lady_unemployed@ladyunemployed.com.  A special thank you to Antoinette for writing this post.


  3. Do You Enjoy Seeing Coworkers Get In Trouble?

    November 11, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Should trouble be fun for anyone?

    So, last week I witnessed a coworker get in trouble who subsequently saw me get in trouble later on in the week.

    Neither one of us had much sympathy for the other and I witnessed him smirking at me while I got in trouble. And I’d be lying if I said I felt bad he was in trouble.

    Is this a sign of a toxic work environment? Bad coworker relations?

    I haven’t been in a lot of situations where people took pleasure in each other’s difficulties at work (usually if you have a friend in the trenches, it helps make the day go by). But this is the first job I’ve had, really, where coworkers actively back bite, throw each other under the bus, and take pleasure when the other is on the shit end of the stick with their boss.

    I decided to look up signs your workplace is toxic and a good many of the signs I found on this AOL article matched my company.

    How do you survive the toxic workplace?


  4. Would You ­ Could You ­ Work From Home?

    November 1, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    I am in the state of decision making. You know, that thing you have to do as a grown up that can change the course of things for you. The little decisions that can become big decisions. The big decisions that can turn into even bigger decisions.

    Okay, I’m rambling.

    I am considering a job that allows me to work from home. In fact, everyone who works for this particular company, works from home. It is a permanent, full time job with benefits. The pay is about the same (a little more, in fact) than what I’m making now, too.

    The big thing is ­ do I want to work from home?

    To be honest, I’m not sure.

    I wrote out the positives and negatives. The negative is the isolation and the potential for stir crazy. Not to mention, I’d get sick of my apartment.

    The positives? Well, no commute. I commute right now about an hour and forty five minutes to work all total each day. I’d be giving myself….nearly 9 to 10 hours more of my life back.

    Also, no office politics. I deal with the regular back­biting, snarky, misunderstandings that go on
    in the office day in and day out. Some days it makes me want to tear my hair out, other days I enjoy the comaradarie. This, by the way, inspires a lot of this blog’s content.

    Other benefits? Creative energy. Working from home will alow me to relax a little bit and not feel the pressure of not doing enough for my job (right now I get a lot of pressure to work overtime and a lot of my coworkers work up to 45 to 50 hours a week). I can’t say I will ever be willing to devote that many hours to a company, because my real dream and goal is to write and be published. In terms of my career, that will come first. If I can get some of my creative energy back that I lost after taking my current job, I will be much happier.

    Another downside that I forgot to mention ­ less exposure to potential guys to date. But here’s the thing, I’ve never dated someone from work. I got close once, but it sort of fell apart, and I really wanted to leave the company soon after. My lack of a dating life though may or may not be extremely affected by working from home because aside from going to work, I’m not really a social butterfly type of girl.

    Oh, and another downside is lack of a reason to go shopping. The thing is though I don’t go shopping now because my credit sucks and I’m in debt. So, no real love lost there. The thing is though I may feel silly getting dressy to go sit in my bedroom.

    Another downside is that the person I’m assisting right now at work has finally gotten comfortable with me and happy with my work for the first time since I started. She has struggled getting an assistant (went through four before me) and knows she can work with me. If I take this new job, I’ll be disappointing her. I know I shouldn’t make a decision based on whether or not I will make someone feel bad, but that is a factor I’m weighing here.

    Another positive? Moveability. I’m a restless spirit and I hate the idea of staying in one place for any lengthy period. If I do have a work at home job, this will allow me to consider moving out of the state or city I’m in, without the worry of needing a job first.

    To throw in one final positive, I think I’d like what I’d be doing there more than what I’m doing now. I’d be doing a job involving talking with customers throughout the day and I like that type of work. No, it isn’t the flashy title I have now, but I do love customer service related jobs and I’m good at it too.

    With all of that swirling around in my head, I want to get feedback from you guys. Do you work from home or know someone who does? I’d love feedback and insight into this decision.