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‘Big Picture’ Category

  1. Can You Always Trust Glassdoor Reviews?

    April 13, 2015 by Lady Unemployed

    I tend to monitor my company’s glassdoor page. Mostly because it shows the evolving personality of the company and how happy my coworkers really are. From my point of view, I can spot right away the people who were fired and left a negative review. I can also spot the people who are management’s favorites and would never say a bad thing about the company. Some people do see things honestly, but for the most part, I feel like the reviews are split between people who left on bad terms and people who were asked by management to leave a good review.

    So this left me with the question, can you trust Glassdoor?

    I do think you can sometimes. Just because a company has one five star review, it doesn’t mean they are perfect. It does give you a good idea of what to expect, though. You can pretty much bank on the fact that it isn’t a horrid place to work. I think when a company begins to accumulate reviews is when the honesty levels start to skew.

    I dug around and found this post about Glassdoor. The honesty behind these anonymous Glassdoor reviews are questioned by this blogger, Ask the Headhunter.  He says, “Any disgruntled employee or job applicant can trash a company publicly. An HR department can spam Glassdoor, singing its own praises..” He continues by questioning the anonymous reviews and wonders the truth to them.

    I don’t question the need for anonymity on Glassdoor (hey, I’m anonymous, so I won’t judge). But my questioning comes from the fact that just because someone had an awful experience somewhere, doesn’t mean you will too. But like somew people who commented on the above mentioned article said, if you see a common thread, that’s where the truth is.

    But like this other article says, “When you fix the underlying problems, your Glassdoor reviews will change all on their own.” A sudden turn around in reviews, though, probably isn’t a sign that the company has changed. I noticed a surge in positive reviews once I spotted that my employer’s rating started to drop. It’s plunged again thanks to the latest one star review.

    All of this still leaves me wondering though how much you can trust Glassdoor and what it says about companies. I don’t think you can really trust the all-good-nothing-bad reviews. But is it just me, or do you trust the mostly-negative review? If a company has 75 reviews and teeters towards a one star, I’ll stay away from it like the plague. If it has 5, 5-star reviews, I’ll also stay away from it. Me, I like a good healthy 3 star, 3 and a half star review. It’s reasonable and you can usually weed out the really honest ones.

    Have you ever written a Glassdoor review? Has Glassdoor ever influenced you to take a job or reject a job offer? I want to know your thoughts.


  2. Is This Thing On? *Tap* *Tap*

    February 11, 2015 by Lady Unemployed

    Yikes, I haven’t been around for a while have I?

    Well, I’ll update things. First, I’m still at the same job I have always been at. I’m not getting work from the creative department although I have finally felt comfortable again asking for projects (ever since layoffs and being overworked in my own department, I just haven’t had time). Oddly enough, I had my goals meeting with supervisor yesterday and I might be getting more responsibility from her, which is good and bad. Good, because I can do something different. Bad, because I feel like I’m getting further away from transferring departments.

    With that, my focus lately has been elsewhere. I’ve been working on revising short and longer short stories. My end goal this year has been to improve my revising skills. Fiction is much more important to me than copywriting.

    Gasp, did I actually say it?

    To be honest, my inner turmoil is happening lately because I’m not sure copywriting will fit in with my fiction writing. It’s easier for me to come home and write now that I am mostly uncreative all day. If I was copywriting and writing ads and other stuff, would it be the same? I’m not sure.

    Not to mention, another large reason that I’ve neglected this blog, is the unemployment struggle going on at home. My mom and brother are still looking for work and at this point we’ve started looking into more interesting solution (volunteering in the Appalachian mountains, anyone?). Actually, I’m totally on board for something new. I would much rather volunteer a year somewhere than have an office job. I know that kind of experience would be much more soothing and inspiring to my writing.

    As you can see, things are up in the air for me and that kind of feeling leaves me stuck and stumped.

    How are you guys doing?

  3. My Five Work and Career Goals for 2015

    December 30, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    2015 is around the corner and that means all of us are lining up our resolutions and goals to inspire us into the new year. For me, for the first time since I’ve had this blog (I think), I want to put together a list of career related goals for myself. I’m hoping this will keep me on track and help build better habits too.

    1) Stop eating out of my boss’ candy jar.

    Okay there are only so many mini-snickers you can eat before you realize how crappy they are for your body. So my number one goal is to completely eliminate this habit. And no more left-over-sprinkle-kitchen-hunting either. If I have yogurt for breakfast, I just have yogurt. I don’t need to toss in crap to an otherwise healthy start of my day.

    2) Transfer Departments.

    I’ve been in the same department for over two years now, and due to my big mouth, I’ve stayed STUCK in this entry-level position for this whole year. One year longer than I wanted. I expressed to my boss I wanted projects from the creative department and she honored that by giving me time in my day for it. She also honored that by not giving me additional responsibility in the department I AM in right now. As a result, my job duties haven’t changed too much and the amount of work I get from the creative department doesn’t come by as often as I would like.

    I have taken a step in the right direction, though, because I spotted an opening in the creative department and I told my boss I wanted to try for it. She approved. I told the manager of the creative department, but I really don’t think anything will happen anytime soon, because of their recent layoffs. Overall, I’m very proud I spoke up.

    3) Take more time off.

    I found out recently I have approximately 80 hours of paid time off accumulated. This is a result of feeling guilty for taking days off and my boss making the whole requesting process a total pain. But my goal for this year is to take a lot more time off and actually USE my PTO rather than letting it sit there.

    4) If I don’t get a transfer, find a new job.

    I officially got the okay to get projects from the creative department back in May. It’s been over 6 months since then and I’ve been patient. My promise to myself if I don’t get transfered into that department is to find a new job. I want to be careful about where I go, though, and I won’t start looking around until about March. I’ve been at this job two years and, as you can tell by my blog, it has been tough. I have made it work though and for that I am proud.

    5) Learn new software.

    I recently won a new tablet that allowed me to download Office Suite (that includes acccess and publisher) to the tablet AS WELL AS a separate computer. I plan on downloading those two programs to my laptop and getting a book from the library (or maybe just tutorials online) to learn those programs. If I can put those on my resume (and really mean it when I say I know it), I will feel so proud of myself. It will also help me if I decide to look around for a new job.

    So that’s my list for 2015! Do you have any career goals for the new year?

  4. How This Grinch Got Back Christmas (And My Goals for 2015)

    December 21, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    8139519263_b4db9cfd18_zThe last time my family and I celebrated Christmas was back in 2006, my second December after high school. This year I didn’t expect to celebrate Christmas at all actually. In fact, most years I would sneer at Christmas movies and snark at all the junk that happens around this time of year. Not that I was bitter, but in reality, I couldn’t stand the idea that this one time of year everyone SUDDENLY got really nice and generous.

    Well, this year something changed. First it changed with my family in terms of birthdays. For the lack of a better way to say this, we were too broke to do all that much for birthdays. This year none of us had the money for gifts. In prior years, though, even when we did have money, we felt miserable about the day. We were usually the most miserable on our own birthday. That huge expectation to be happy on our birthday collides into the fact that we’ve been through a lot and it’s hard to meet that expectation of happy.

    This year since we were too broke to expect much, we were pleased with the modest celebration we did have. Cards, a nice homemade dinner, and a sweet treat. It was probably the nicest feeling birthday year that I’ve experienced in a very long time.

    As Christmas drew closer, I knew we did want to get a tree (our most festive urge in a while) but the whole purchasing of that tree was a problem. By some sheer luck I found a small little giveaway online to win a tree. I entered, put it out of my mind, and didn’t think much else of the holiday. Really, I’m not Tiny Tim here and none of us feel sorry for ourselves. We didn’t celebrate Christmas before for many personal and shared reasons, and I don’t think any of us expected this year to be any different.

    And guess what? I won. The tree came last week and it’s now nearly decorated (we unraveled Christmas lights that’s been in a box for about 8 years).

    I would say that somehow my inner Grinch is gone, and the bitterness that may have stewed in the past isn’t there at all. I still don’t enjoy most Christmas movies and we really can’t afford much for this year either. But somehow, I’m happy about the upcoming holiday. Like we experienced with birthdays, I am pleased with and enjoy the modest amount we do have.

    In some weird way, my family has gotten back holidays on the most financially struggling period of time we’ve had in a very long time. If there was anything gained from this period of time, I think getting back holidays was a huge win.

    As for 2015, I want to personalize my blog more. Along the way this year, I got focused on building traffic, pumping up social media, and reaching others in a way that felt more like marketing than true sharing. I started this blog as a way to share my thoughts on unemployment, on working, and other life experiences. I want to go back to that. So I may be less on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. I’ll just be here more.

  5. The Definition of Corporate Insanity (And High Turnover Troubles)

    November 6, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    I work in a company where there is a vicious cycle of turnover. This year I think I can count about six people who have left my department alone. This is just a department of about 12 to 15 people too. So each time someone leaves, you really feel the loss and now it’s getting ridiculous. I can FEEL the low morale after this latest loss (two people – one turned out to be the charismatic con I wrote about several months ago and another is a woman who had been with the company a long time).

    There comes a point when I think, as a company, you need to find out and really face why people leave. To their credit, the company I work at does try. They’ve done personal interviews in my department to find out how we feel, regular anonymous company-wide surveys, and even a third party consultant to examine work processes.

    But what went wrong? The problem is still there.

    The thing is nothing is being done. They attempt all of these things and I never know what comes of it or what they do to address these problems. Now two more people are gone and the hiring will begin again. We’ll repeat the cycle of training and the discontent will grow.

    At what point will they change anything?

  6. Submit Your Unemployment Story

    September 20, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    Inspired by the idea of sharing more unemployment stories, I decided to make it easier for everyone to submit them to me.

    Simply use the form below (and it’s also available in the ‘share your unemployment story’ tab) and it will notify me that the post is available. This allows you a bit more control on what you submit.

    So I encourage everyone out there dealing with unemployment or know someone who does to share their story with me –


  7. An Update to Lady Unemployed

    September 20, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    An update has been a long time coming! Most of my absence has been a mix of being busy (which always sounds like an excuse), stress, and not sure where I want this blog to go (more truth than any other reason).

    First, how is work coming? Work is going surprisingly well.  I am actually getting attention from the creative department (which I know deserves more of a post than this). I am working with a senior writer on a newsletter this next week. I finally am enjoying my job – which took me two years to get to.

    Next, my family. My mom and brother are still looking for work, but I remain hopeful and they continue to keep sending out resumes. It remains to be an ongoing stress in my life.

    As for my blog, I’ve reached a roadblock. I can’t help but notice the terrible bounce rate when I examine Google Analytics and I also can’t help but notice my dwindling number of faithful readers (which has always been part of my struggle for this blog).

    Somewhere along the way I started to worry about my purpose in blogging here and whether or not I should bother talking about office politics while also talking about unemployment, as if it’s a cruel combination to put together. Should I choose one or the other?

    Also, I’m wondering if I should make it easier for people to submit their stories rather than emailing me.  I do know that I rank higher when you look for “unemployment blogs.”



  8. Have you ever felt stuck in life?

    July 28, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    stuck, getting unstuck, career, stuck in life

    photo credit: Felipe Morin via photopin cc

    This may be a brief post, but I am not blogging as much as I would like these days. Although I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like that, as a blogger.

    Anyways, the main reason for this post is that I feel stuck.

    Just stuck. Like I’m on pause, in my own life.

    I’m not moving forward at work. I’m not able to find a new job. My mom and brother aren’t finding jobs. I’m not having a sudden influx of cash from an unknown resource.

    Have you ever felt stuck in your own life? Just this feeling that are you aren’t moving forward? I often feel as if it is for a reason. Like something bigger is waiting for me and I just need to get in the right place for it. That all I need to do is to keep knocking on doors and pursuing opportunities and the right choice will finally reveal itself to me.

    Tell me about a time you have felt stuck in life. How did you get un-stuck?

  9. Healthy Dose of Reality for College Grads

    May 19, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    For anyone struggling with finding a job after college, this photo is for you. It’s a healthy reality for college grads and one I struggle with (there should be another lane for “unable to find a well-paying, lucrative job”).

    healthy dose of reality for college grads

    Happy “pour-yourself-another-cup-of-coffee” Monday everyone.

  10. The Underemployed by Taryn Cooper

    February 26, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    I am so glad to share this story because it offers such a unique, eye opening perspective on the current state of affairs. I encourage you to email me your story so I can share it with my readers.

    “A measure of employment and labor utilization in the economy that looks at how well the labor force is being utilized in terms of skills, experience and availability to work. Labor that falls under the underemployment classification includes those workers that are highly skilled but working in low paying jobs, workers that are highly skilled but work in low skill jobs and part-time workers that would prefer to be full-time. This is different from unemployment in that the individual is working but isn’t working at their full capability.” — Definition of Underemployment by Investopedia.

    I am a student of finance and economics. I find the science and the art equally as fascinating. Yet, I was not a traditional student, as I do not own a degree in those fields, but I was a student on the fly. Mostly because I went to college a hundred years ago (in technology years), and I was an English literature major.

    You see when I graduated, I had to do things like look up job listings in the classifieds. I had to physically print out and mail my resumes out to human resources departments in response. (I did not, however, have to walk a mile in the snow to school, barefoot.) It used to be that you got a job based on the soft skills one possessed, and a company would invest in educating their human capital.

    The landscape of the job market has changed dramatically since I graduated, craptacular economy notwithstanding.

    Though I may describe an era that seems long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, I’m only in my 30s. I don’t just have a bachelor of arts degree, I also earned a masters degree about seven years ago. When the real estate market was booming, and everyone was buying houses, I was gainfully employed. Then the market went into the crapper. I went from being unemployed to a contract worker to now one of the ranks what we call the “underemployed.”

    Let me repeat. I am a 30-something year old woman. I have two degrees, including one advanced degree that I earned not too long ago. I worked at a top tier investment bank on the merger and acquisition desk for eight years, and I have a total ten years of experience in financial services. Yet I’m certain that because of this pedigree, my name is mud for jobs (especially since the types of jobs I had, mostly in back office, support and marketing), and now I feel as though I am being age-discriminated too. I am told I am “overqualified” for jobs which begs the question, would they rather have someone “underqualified” for the role? Or is “overqualified” as nice way of saying I’m too old, and they can hire new graduates for a fraction and they won’t complain? (I think the latter).

    I had to not only start a home-based business (don’t knock it till you try it), but I also had to take a part-time job on a retail floor doing some brand marketing. So now I’m in a position that I am overqualified for a job that I work for a lot less money than jobs for which I am qualified.

    In short — I have joined the ranks of the underemployed. Investopedia describes a person as having an engineering degree working as a pizza delivery guy. I feel as though there are many like me out there, we are being silenced for many different reasons, or perhaps being silent for reasons like shame.

    Though is there shame in taking a job that doesn’t pay as much or give you “full time hours”? Or is it because you work, and everyone feels like they’re making a meaningful contribution to society?

    I know many people like me. At the store, I work with many of them. In the home based business networks, I know many walks of life trying to earn extra money because the economy has hit them in many other ways.

    The common thread is that we’ve either left, been laid off or jobs no longer exist in our home industries.

    I work with a woman who worked in law for 20 years and is now a floor rep at a retail store about 30 hours a week.

    My cousin worked in the same industry as I did basically, and he too is working in a completely different industry, selling cars.

    Another woman at the store ran a chain of gyms and lost her job several years ago. Now she teaches classes for a higher dollar amount per hour at the store.

    Someone I used to work with in finance moved west, but is now working in a job that is entirely commission based. If you like those types of jobs, that’s one thing. But it’s more than just survival now. The landscape is changing.

    But the common thread you see here is that most of these jobs have no growth opportunities. I won’t be a manager or a supervisor because there are no real roles for me to grow into. But mostly I’ve put my eggs in the basket of growing my side business into a full time career.

    The last guest post on Lady (Un)Employed talked about how there are many hard-working individuals out there who deserve a little more respect than having people judge us by thinking we just want hand outs. And I agree with that. I’m sure that underemployed people fear that judgment every day. In fact, I took a job that pays essentially 10% of the last highest salary I had working on Wall Street just so I could tell people that I have a job (but also let’s be fair: it’s so I can pay some bills that got high too). In New York City, that aint paying the rent. I’m one of the lucky ones: I have a husband who adores me, and is able to support the both of us while I carve out this path of doing several things, like eBay selling, part time in retail, blogging and doing my wellness business. We call these “slash careers,” and I’m seeing a lot of that too. Mostly because of the changing landscape of business and employment.

    Yet, I feel as though if I qualified for unemployment and collected (my benefits ran out after my last job), I’d be judged. Yet, I made more collecting unemployment than I do at the store.

    What you’ll see from the underemployed though is we’re willing to adapt. That’s something your resume won’t say. The Catch-22 is there, concurrently. The underemployed typically take these part-time or low-paying or low-skill jobs to buy time, put that “empty space” on your resume to rest, but at the same time, taking a job that’s part-time/low-paying/low-skill is the Catch-22.

    There’s that saying that once you’ve settled for less than you expected, you get less than you settled for.
    Forgive me for being a little cynical. While I like the way the unemployment numbers are going, let’s face facts: the world the way it used to be isn’t coming back. However, we’ve proven time and again that the next great industry is right around the corner, and hiring will be back and everyone will have jobs, and there will be a car in every garage (if you should have one) and a chicken in every pot (as long as you are not a vegetarian).

    I feel as though the underemployed are in a different boat. That there is that fear of pigeonholing ourselves into these part-time jobs that we won’t get out of them.

    I’m no spring chicken, but I am way too young to have to worry about this stuff, like wondering if I’ll ever work again. Then I snap out of it and look at the opportunities around me and think, that I used to believe that when one door closes, another one opens. I still do, to some extent.

    Yet, for a culture that ties so much of ones individual personality and worth to what they do, it’s easy to see why the underemployed are so underrepresented. If you are underemployed, you’re certainly not talking about it. It’s almost more taboo than not having a job at all.

    By Taryn Cooper
    Cofounder of Coop Dee Ville and Founder of Gal For All Seasons
    Twitter @TarynitupNY