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Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment Stories’

  1. Unemployed but don’t qualify for unemployment

    November 25, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    I made a choice to quit my career a year and a half ago to move with my partner of 4 years, who is in the military, because the military moved us. Because we are not married I don’t qualify for unemployment. In the new place we moved to I have basically hit a brick wall with jobs. I have a master’s degree, over 10 years experience in my field, excellent references, and can’t even get hired for retail. I can’t pay my bills and my partner can’t afford to pay everything for both of us. I want to work and I need to work. I apply for so many jobs I loose track. In the past year and a half I have had exactly 2 interviews, both over the phone. Both seemed to go well but nothing happened. I am not even getting a chance to sell myself in person.

    I have signed up for 5 different temp agencies and had no jobs offered to me. I did volunteer work hoping to get hired and it never panned out because they always end up hiring entry level people over me. I have been told I am overqualified. I have received so many “we appreciate your interest but are going with a different candidate” emails that I feel like I should just give up. All I want to do is cry.

  2. The Continuing Saga of a Frustrated (Passive) Job Seeker-Ed Tsyitee, Jr. @GreenChileAdict

    November 22, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    I am so pleased to have this writer return to continue talking about his unemployment journey. Follow him on Twitter for more!

    In the last entry, I mentioned how difficult it was to find a great paying job in this area that was not a service sector job.

    The fact is this area-from Las Cruces to El Paso-has added just over 3,000 jobs in the past year (2013-14). Awesome. If I want a job here they are available. I just have to be willing to start at $9.00 per hour. Does it matter that I have a Master’s degree? Nope. Not at all. Does it matter if it’s in Human Resource Management? Nope. Not at all.

    What to do? I’m pretty much exhausted from job searching. I have submitted at least 20 different applications to 20 different companies that use the same ATS platform-Taleo. You know what would be great? If Taleo was a single use platform. Build my profile, upload the resume, and BAM! done. Then I could apply using that profile.
    But, that’s not the case. I wouldn’t be frustrated and annoyed if that happened.
    I’ve eased up on the gas job searching. I’ve decided to reach out to my network more instead of spending 5-6 hours job researching. Those public administration applications I submitted? Never heard back. Should I have reached out? Yes. That’s on me. Mea culpa.

    I did find out though that I need just 6 courses and I’ll have a graduate certificate in Project Management. 9 classes and I’ll have a Masters in Project Management. Guess what I signed up for? Yup, grad student round two.

    I’m still job searching. Just passively now. I’ll follow up on what I have out there. But, I’m done chasing the job rabbit around the track. I’ll just focus on networking and school now.
    And, if I see something that I can qualify for-you bet I’m gonna reach out first before subjecting my resume to the ATS Darkness.

  3. It’s Monday Again… An Anonymous Unemployment Story

    August 16, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    unemployment story


    I think so many of you who are unemployed can relate to this unemployment story. The rest of this post will be anonymous and I thank the contributor for sharing their story.

    It’s Monday again, only this one is different because it is 11 months to the day that I found myself unemployed. As I say goodbye to my boyfriend before he leaves for work, it dawns on me that I’m now alone for the day, trapped with my thoughts and weather I want to get up and face the day or stay in bed and hide away.

    When I’m finally ready to face the day, I begin by checking through the ‘job alerts’ on my phone, lots of great jobs out there and more so now we are over the recession. What they fail to tell you in the small print is that although you are applying for roles suited to your experience and qualifications, the likelihood of an actual person responding to you is 1 in a million. Everyday it’s the same, waiting and hoping that you will get some form of response, to what you think is an actual job advert and not a fictitious one.

    I have experienced and fought with so many emotions on this journey and the thought of giving up has entered my mind many times. Reality soon sets in and I remember that I have a mortgage and bills to pay. So I carry on and keep hoping and praying that one of the roles I have applied for is the ‘one’, that finally someone wants to give me an opportunity and get the ball rolling again, giving me some self worth and respect back. There has to be a way out and I have to believe that there is, otherwise what’s left to believe in?

    Monday draws to an end my boyfriend is home distracting me from my thoughts, telling me about his day. When asked about my day I simply reply “it was okay”.

    If you want to share your unemployment story or have advice you would like to contribute to this blog, please email me at

  4. The Reality of Being Unemployed at 58 – An Anonymous Unemployment Story

    June 4, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

     I was so glad for the opportunity to publish this article about being unemployed at 58 years old. This is not only a post about the struggles, but an inspiring post about not letting the situation get you down for too long.

    Unemployed at 58

    In 2011 I changed jobs. I left a very stressful, low paying job to better myself and reduce stress. Even though the new job was stressful during the training period, I knew in time the stress would subside. After the first year the stress level did subside and I was enjoying the new challenges. I was doing a good job and my boss was very pleased with my performance. I was given several raises and had worked up to $21.25 an hour within a short time.

    In December of 2012 we were told the company had been sold. My boss who owned the company just turned 78 and it was time for him to sell. No one could blame him for this move. He did his best to ensure everyone would retain their jobs.

    I have since learned that many times in an acquisition employees are told they will not lose their jobs, only for the opposite to happen several months later. This scenario is one that causes emotional turmoil once the employee truly is let go. That is exactly what happened to me.

    It was in the company’s best interest to keep me long enough to make the transition. Instead of being upfront and honest, they were deceitful. The right thing to do would have been to offer a stay on bonus to help with the transition, and a severance package if your position became redundant.

    There was no severance package. I was only given the two weeks pay that was withheld when I started, and the two weeks vacation I had accrued.

    Thus started my experience of being unemployed at age 58. This is not the first time I have been unemployed, but it is much different than being unemployed in my 20’s, 30’s, or even my 40’s.

    First off, at 58 I am tired. I started working when I was 18 years old, and there were many years while raising 3 children by myself that I worked 2 and 3 jobs to keep afloat. I never lacked for a job, with most job changes coming from someone seeking my employment. I live in a small community and know many people.

    Once I was let go, I applied for unemployment and was fortunate enough to get the maximum for 21 weeks. However, I was unfortunate that the Federal Unemployment Extension is no longer available.

    Checking all options I also sought legal advice regarding pains in my neck, arms, and hands that I suspected were caused by 40 years of keyboard work. I have a pending worker’s compensation claim that the company’s insurance is trying to deny. At my own expense I have had an EMG test done that shows I have a pinched nerve and carpal tunnel syndrome. The claim was started in September of 2012 and as of June 2014 I still have no compensation coming in, nor have I been allowed any medical treatment.

    The next issue that presented itself in my new found unemployed state is I no longer have the means to take care of other health issues. Without insurance I cannot afford the cataract surgery I need. Without the surgery my vision is impaired and makes it difficult for me to work in office environments with many fluorescent lights and reports with small fonts.

    The first few months without a job I was in shock. Some days all I could do was sit and cry. I was angry, hurt, scared, and tired. I knew that in a few short months I could find myself without any income and what little savings I had would be gone.

    As I proceeded to search for a new job, I could tell my heart was just not into it. Being in such a small community, the good paying jobs are few and far between. I knew that my past salary was going to be hard to find. When I started seeing jobs I knew I was qualified for, I become distressed when I would see the pay being offered. Are they serious?

    Don’t get me wrong. Most of my working life I barely made enough to get by. That is why I worked 2 and 3 jobs. But at age 58, with 40 years of experience, it is hard to make myself want to work for minimum wage, or barely above.

    So, each day that I faced the reality of being unemployed, my mind was churning and I was becoming depressed. Then I was given a unique gift that changed my whole perspective.

    I was given the gift of 6 sessions with a Life Coach. I didn’t even know what a life coach was, much less what she was suppose to do for me.

    The Life Coach sessions were done by phone, as my Coach lives in Georgia, and I live in Oklahoma. From the very first session I knew this was something that was going to help me through a difficult time.

    With the help of my Life Coach I was able to understand what change, and most certainly chaotic change, does to our bodies and our emotional state. During times of turmoil there is a 4 stage cycle that takes place. She explained to me that we can be like a caterpillar that turns into a butterfly. During the in-between stage it is neither a caterpillar, nor a butterfly. It is just goo. Goo inside a cocoon. The cocoon is a safe place. For us mere humans a cocoon can give us a place to be safe, and to just let go. The place where we can take time to rest, to heal, to re-group.

    The next 3 stages are about dreaming and scheming. This process is one in which we take a good hard look at ourselves, where we have been, what we have experienced, and most importantly, where we want to go.

    During the sessions with my Life Coach I was led through meditation and grounding exercises and was able to actually feel my body relax and start releasing the stress. The aches and pains I had were becoming more bearable. I found myself worrying less and allowing myself to be in my cocoon for a spell. I was giving myself permission to just be.

    One of the most influential sessions I had with my Life Coach was the one that helped me learn about my Social Self versus my Essential Self. With this lesson I became aware of the times in the past that I was excited about my job, and the times that my job caused me to be totally out of sorts.

    I was able to examine my social life in the context of social self versus essential self. This allowed me to accept that through the years I have become less social, and this is OK. I am not the same person at 58 that I was at 38, or even 48.

    In the process of thinking all this through I realized I do not want to go back to work for someone else. Once this realization hit, I had to start thinking about how I am going to eat. For the time being my wonderful son has agreed to live with me and pay the bills. Without his help I would have no choice but to bite the bullet and take a job that may cause me to go against my Essential Self.

    With my son’s help I have been given the opportunity to scheme and dream. In doing so I have moved myself forward toward an answer. I have taken the steps to become a Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor and am working toward creating my own business.

    Having taken the time to be in my cocoon I am now ready to become the butterfly.

    If you would like to share your unemployment story, please contact me at

  5. Job Hunting is Expensive by Ed Tsyitee Jr. (Twitter @GreenChileAdict)

    May 21, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    I couldn’t wait to post this, because this expresses a tragic truth of the job search. It’s expensive and you are dug into a hole very difficult to get out of. Thank you to guest writer and fellow Twitter peep, Ed Tsyitee Jr. @GreenChileAdict.

    job hunting is expensive
    Here is the cold hard truth that career advisers and coaches will never tell you-job hunting is expensive.

    I’m tired of hearing of all the free services that’s available to you when you job hunt. Non-profits that offer resume writing, or free career counseling services at the local Workforce Solutions Center (the unemployment office). I know that.

    But, job hunting is expensive.

    While I sit here-unemployed-looking for a job, scouring the internet, reading my e-mail alerts, doing research on companies, my bills are piling up.

    Rent is past due. Hello eviction notice.

    Utilities are past due.

    Cable/internet is off. Not that big of a deal-there is the library with their open unsecured internet service.

    What about professional clothes for interviews? Have you ever shopped thrift stores for interview clothes that didn’t scream “Boogie Nights”?

    Here’s the worst of it. The phone is off. There is no way to contact me other than e-mail.

    Sure, I can apply for a survival job. Bring in money. But guess what? That takes at least 30 days from date of hire to first paycheck. Should I suspend the job search for 30 days? What if there is THE job I’ve been looking for?

    Yeah, job hunting is expensive.

    And when things get expensive, you stop doing them.

    No wonder so many people give up looking and take whatever is available.

  6. Frustrations of a Job Seeker by Ed Tsyitee Jr (Twitter @GreenChileAdict)

    May 17, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    Thank you to Ed Tsyitee Jr. who shared his story today about frustrations of a job seeker. Make sure you follow him on Twitter @GreenChileAdict

    frustrations of a job seeker

    Via Flickr User Pipstar


    After living in Virginia for 12 years, I moved back to Las Cruces, New Mexico in 2006.

    I ended up working for Wal-Mart that year. With a Bachelor’s Degree. How much above minimum wage did I get for that? 10 cents. Yup.

    You see, I live in a city where job opportunity means “Hey-at least McDonald’s offered you a job, so why are you complaining?”

    The service sector dominates this job market.

    You want to work in a call center? No problem! We have at least 6 to choose from!

    You want to work in retail? Hey! We got you covered! We have 3 Wal-Marts now! Ooo! And a Sam’s Club!

    Strange enough, New Mexico State University is here. You would think there would be a more diverse job market here for a city with a population of over 100k. But, there really isn’t.

    Just a lot of promise, like the Spaceport will bring jobs here. Or the Army base will bring in jobs (read: service sector jobs). Or the industrial park 45 minutes from here will bring in jobs.


    I just completed my Masters in Human Resource Management program this year. When people ask where I’m looking for work they seem surprised when I answer, “Oh, you know, Arizona Nevada, the Pacific Northwest.” You mean you aren’t looking here in New Mexico?

    Do I really have too?

    I just sent an application to the State of New Mexico for an HR job. It’s a longshot, but at least I’m trying to stay positive.

    I’ll let you know how it goes.


  7. Getting Laid Off (And A Podcast You Should Check Out)

    May 15, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    My most favorite part of this blog is hearing unemployment stories from people and today I got a mention from a very cool podcast called, “20 Something Roast.” It focuses a lot on careers and how to make it in the real world (or what I fondly like to call – the long semester we’ve been preparing for).

    The host, Swim, not only mentions me, but also talks about his experiences with getting laid off from his sales job and exactly how it felt.

    I highly recommend it because you get to actually hear him describe the feelings of losing his job and talk about the aftermath.

    My favorite line is: “You are much more than what the company you work for labels you as.”


    This podcast will inspire you and I am so thankful he mentioned my blog.

    Check out the podcast that mentioned me here and make sure to listen to the others!

  8. Why can’t companies treat candidates with respect? [An Anonymous Interview Story]

    April 17, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    I love hearing about the experiences people have with unemployment and job searching. I couldn’t wait to share this with you and I especially love what happens in the end. How often can I say that? The rest of this post was written by an anonymous submitter.

    I’ve been job hunting for a few months. (I stepped away from a job that just wasn’t a fit – not normally the best idea, I know, but my husband was supportive and it was the right thing in this case.)

    I’ve been selectively applying to senior administrative jobs & while I’ve had a few nibbles (phone screens, a couple of interviews) nothing has been a real fit. Then I got a call from a fairly large company. The recruiter said they’d had trouble finding the right fit as the candidates so far just didn’t seem to ‘get it’ in terms of the importance of the EA position. (I’m an EA who had other careers previously – teaching, recruiting – and I really enjoy supporting senior executives. I know the EA role is crucial.)

    He said on paper I was a fit and liked my phone input, so he set me up to phone screen with 3 of the EAs at their HQ in San Jose. He said only if these 3 wanted to move me forward would I meet my actual supervisor (VP, Federal Sales and head of the office in the town where I live).

    The phone screens went well. I learned a lot from each EA – they are all long term employees and all 3 seemed to have a similar outlook on the EA position…it’s a partnership. With that, I was asked to visit the local office and since the VP was traveling, I would first meet with 2 of his direct reports. (I would be supporting them, too, so it made sense and I was glad to do it.)

    Both men took the entire hour allotted and each made comments regarding how my esteem for the EA position fit with what they needed. They cited the challenges they had with the previous admin – specifically an issue with being unreliable. (I was able to assure them reliability is one of my strengths and my references will agree.)

    I felt thoroughly grilled after these meetings, but also excited since it seemed like a great fit – they wanted what I was bringing and offering me what I’m looking for.

    I was scheduled to meet with the VP on his first day back in town.
    He also took the entire hour and we talked in detail about what the job requires, as well as possible start dates and projects he would want me to manage. I felt good about the meeting and we wrapped with him saying he would circle back to those I’d already spoken with and they would make a decision shortly. (I followed up with an e-mail to the recruiter – with whom I’d been chatting all along – to give my input on the meeting and to say that I would wait to hear from him regarding next steps.)

    Then, nothing.

    Not a reply from the recruiter acknowledging my last note; not a phone call for closure after they took the time to put me through seven interviews (4 phone screens and 3 meetings); not even a computer generated e-mail to say ‘thanks, but no thanks…’

    Clearly the VP felt it wasn’t a fit. (The others wouldn’t have taken up his time if they didn’t think it was.) I’m reminding myself I wouldn’t want to work for a company that handles things this way, but I’m angry that they put me through the ringer with nothing to show for it. (Guess I can say they gave me lots of interview practice.)

    Since then I’ve had an interview with another local company. It would be a steady, productive job – just not the challenging, fast paced position the other would have been. I’ll take it if I get the offer since the pay is similar and I enjoy the work.

    Update, About One Month Later:

    There’s a twist to the end…

    When they finally called they said the VP had liked me, but insisted they find one more candidate to interview before making a decision. The recruiter said they had been unable to come up with another candidate that matched my skills on paper, so until they could, he still would not make an offer. They asked if I could wait. I happily said, “No, thanks.”
    I just received an offer from a great local company – this all worked out for the best. They strung me along, but really did me a favor.

  9. Sick and Tired of Job Searching [An Unemployment Story]

    April 15, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    This story was submitted to me by a lady named Gina. I know many will be able to relate to her frustration. Please feel free to send me your unemployment story.

    I quit my crappy job two weeks ago and have never been happier.

    The place was ran by two greedy slumlords who constantly bragged about their mansions and their cars. They were doing so many illegal business practices, it was ridiculous! And one of them used to keep naked pictures of past girls who worked there on his computer!

    I have been sending out resumes left and right but nothing solid has come back. I work in IT and have been getting calls from recruiters everyday, but most jobs are two hours away or not in my field. Anyone else tired of getting sales calls when sales is not on your resume???

    It has never taken this long getting a new job before and I have not filed for unemployment in 12 years. I’m not even sure I’m going to get it.

    It looks like candidates that have Bachelor degrees are in demand and I don’t have one. Recruiters have been telling me that my resume is impressive, I am a perfect fit for the job, and I am in the right salary range, but then I never get a call back! This is driving me nuts!

    I hate staying home. I’m starting to feel like we should try to get pregnant just so I have a purpose.

    Anyone else dealing with this?

  10. “I no longer want to simply work in a job because the pay is good or because it impresses people” [An Unemployment Story]

    March 5, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    I am so happy to share this story written by an anonymous submitter with the initials JW. This story sounds do familiar to me as I am on my own journey to seek a career that suits me best.

    I wish I could remember what I wanted to be growing up when I was five. I have no recollection. I know that I’ve wanted to be about a million different things including but not limited to a doctor, an FBI agent, an opera singer, and a forensic pathologist. Mind you, I contemplated each of these before I was 12. I was kind of a weird kid.

    ​Doctor was the profession that stuck however, and eventually morphed into veterinarian once I got to high school and spent some time shadowing a local vet. But veterinary medicine is a really challenging area of study that requires a level of dedication that I just didn’t have at age 18. In my college years, I was more devoted to the social arena. I struggled in general chemistry but exceled in Greek life. Realizing this quite early on, I changed my major to sociology, with an eye on law school. I figured I’d be a good lawyer given my love of both reading and arguing.

    ​But after four years, I wasn’t really feeling law school either. My grades weren’t good enough to get in to a decent school for starters. I also had very little interest in three more years of classes, textbooks, and exams. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I landed ass-backwards into a career in finance.

    I had been working part-time at a huge international investment bank as a sort of paid intern since the middle of my junior year. I had a nightly batch processing job and would pick up extra hours in accounting and documentation as often as possible. To my immense surprise, I loved working at an investment bank. I didn’t really understand any of what was going on in terms of the proprietary trading business of which I was a part, but I could run the necessary computer programs and perform basic ledger accounting. I liked the office environment. I really liked the money. So I thought, why not get a banking job?

    And now, nearly nine years later, I am holed up in the sitting room of a French café in Hoboken, NJ, unemployed and somewhat adrift. I was laid off from my last financial services job eight months ago, my second layoff in less than two years. My unemployment benefits ran out two months ago. My fiancé and I had planned to be married this coming fall but as of two days ago, the wedding is on hold since just finding a way to pay the rent has become an increasingly creative process. It’s an interesting time to say the least.
    I am trying to find things to be grateful for and to be clear, there is no shortage. My fiancé and I are thankfully healthy. So far, we’ve been able to pay our rent, utilities, and car expenses. We do not have children that we have to fret over. We are very lucky and I know this. That being said, it still totally sucks to be out of work and financially flailing.

    Being unemployed allows a lot of time for reflection. I sometimes want to kick myself for leaving my original firm, where I had security if not a lot of upward mobility, for a French firm that was offering me a fat 20% raise and more exposure. That French firm laid me off after 15 months, albeit with a pretty good separation package, after it took some heavy losses in a trading scandal. I know that if I had not left my original bank, I would never have been laid off but I also don’t think I would have made much progress in the way of career advancement if I had stayed either. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have met my fiancé, for whom I am beyond grateful to have in my life.

    After experiencing my first layoff in my career at the hands of the French in December 2011, I spent five long months searching for a new job. At the time, the financial industry was still smarting and though recovery seemed imminent, budgets and headcounts had not caught up to the optimism. I did eventually land a spot at European investment bank through a friend. I spent the next 14 months commuting over four hours daily for that job, working for a person that I can only describe as a verbally abusive psychological terrorist. In that time, besides losing all time to work out and take care of myself, I became anxiety ridden and prone to panic attacks, both of which I had to eventually be medicated for. On the day that I returned from the vacation during which I had gotten engaged, I was unceremoniously given the boot. I had six weeks to find a new internal or external role before I would be dismissed with the biggest joke of a severance allowance I’ve ever heard of.
    Despite the fact that this second layoff could not really have come at a more inopportune time, it was almost merciful. That job was killing my spirit and I was going to leave it for the first thing that came along, anyway. I will say that this firm was very generous in allowing me to interview all over Creation during my redundancy, and interview I did. I must have visited 5 or 6 different firms over that period of time, making it through three rounds of interviews on more than one occasion, only to be ultimately passed over. Once I got to the fall, I knew that the odds of landing a new job before January were slim to none since financial institutions usually freeze hiring in the last quarter of the year.
    Out of a combination of desperation and boredom, I decided to put out a flyer on Facebook to see if anyone was looking for a nanny. A sorority sister of mine got in touch and introduced me to a former colleague of hers that was looking for an after school sitter for his plucky six year old daughter. I eagerly leapt at the opportunity and after a few tentative meetings, the little girl warmed to me. We developed a playful and loving rapport. I picked up another gig as a mother’s helper for a friend of a friend with two small children under two. I looked forward to every meeting that I had scheduled with each of the families. For the first time in many years, I had a job that I truly loved.

    I guess that my gigs as a nanny drop me more in the ‘underemployed’ bucket than the ‘unemployed’ bucket. I feel unemployed only in the sense that I don’t go to an office for 50 hours a week. I feel underemployed only in the sense that I am making a small fraction of what I was bringing home when I was working full-time in finance. However, my work with these families is so much more important. I feel far more satisfied and fulfilled with them than I think I ever did in banking. I’ve bonded with these children. I not only adore spending time with them, I truly love them. The aforementioned plucky six year old is going to be a flower girl in my wedding, whenever it actually takes place. The baby boy that I watch is now affectionately known as my ‘boyfriend’ and I, his ‘baby whisperer’, being that he instantly quiets in my arms. I have more pictures of these kids on my phone than I do of my own family. These people need me and I need them.

    So, what now? On one hand, I do miss working in an office, getting dressed up in a suit and heels to speak to clients or colleagues about subjects in which I am an expert. I also sorely miss and definitely could use that comfy salary that I would likely be making again should I find a new role in finance.

    But on the other hand, what if that is really not what I’m meant to do? I was able to use spare time on my days off from nannying to consult on a writing project as a freelancer and I absolutely loved it. It reignited my passion for writing, something I had always enjoyed doing but never thought I could really turn into a career. I had also started crafting a lot to pass the time (thanks Pinterest) and have made a sort of tradition out of sending a custom made onesie to every friend of mine that has had a baby. Maybe I’m meant to be a nanny-slash-writer with an Etsy onesie business on the side? I am at a strange impasse.

    So now I’m continuing to nanny as much as I can while simultaneously job-hunting, writing, and crafting in my free time. I am trying to find my true life’s work. I no longer want to simply work in a job because the pay is good or because it impresses people when I tell them about it over cocktails (which if I’m honest, was a major point of pride for me pre-layoffs). Perhaps it’s that I’m growing up and my priorities are shifting. I don’t know. I just know that I want to live a life that feels good. I want a job that allows me to contribute in a real way to the improvement or enrichment of others while still eking out a decent enough living to have a family of my own.

    Where this path will lead me, I do not know. All I know is that I am looking forward to finding out. And also, I might have to up the dosage on my anti-anxiety meds. But in the long run, I think that’s a worthwhile price to pay.