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Millworker

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Jan 26, 2011.

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  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    The White

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    I was working my ass off as usual and so I didn't have time to go watch the (U.S.) President's State of the Union address. I figure that I am helping to keep his country going so I get a bye on that. Maybe I will go back and watch it later.

    I hear, however, that jobs were a big topic in it. No shit, Sherlock. It's tighter than a frog's ass out there, although it's gotten a little better depending on where you live. People have been out of work for 12, 18, 24 months. I can't even fathom that, really.

    FOCUS: Are you currently or recently unemployed? How is that going for you? What job market are you exploring? How impossible is it to find a job out there in your world?
    ALT FOCUS: Stories about the hunt for jobbie jobs. Did you ever happen into the career of a lifetime accidentally? Did you ever make an unintended career switch because of some guy you met at a party? Do tell.
     
  2. bewildered

    bewildered
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    Deeply satisfied pooper

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    I am a full time student. I just signed up to be a conversation partner for foreign students, so I'll be pulling in minimum wage for about 5-9 hours a week. My parents are also paying me minimum wage to clean up some rental houses they own that people have wrecked.

    Typically, during the summers, I work some nominal job, and then during the school year, I am a full time student. The summer before last, I literally applied to 35 crappy businesses (fast food, dry cleaners, grocery stores, searched Craig's list, etc) and NO one even called me back. At that point, I signed up for summer classes.

    I'm a very frugal person and save the majority of the money that I earn. However, it's pretty terrifying when you see your life savings start to disappear after having no form of work for going on 3 years. Luckily, with an odd job here and and odd job there, I have managed to save a little more to get me through the year.

    I feel awful for the adults out there with no job and plenty of bills. I complain that my life savings are basically gone, but in reality, I have few bills. My parents pay for school, so anything else I want to buy/participate in is on me. I am very worried that when I graduate there's going to be nothing for me. I'll be graduating next fall with a degree in biology. I get the impression that I'll need to go to grad school, but where will the money be for that? (If anyone has advice for a soon to be new graduate, please share...)
     
  3. Frank

    Frank
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    Emotionally Jaded

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    I've been extremely fortunate in that I've never been fired or laid off from a job and have had continuous employment since I graduated college (though I'll admit I was very close to quitting my last job with no backup plan several times).

    My friends on the other hand haven't been so lucky, one just graduated from college with a degree in Econ a year ago (was in the Marines four years out of HS) and has been stocking shelves at Target since he can't find anything substantial. Another quit his job a year ago because he hated it, watched his savings dry up and had to move back home because he can't find anything.

    I could go on about the laundry list of former co-workers that quit at my last place with no plan because they couldn't deal with the stress, weren't able to find anything and had to move back home. Instead I'll impart some wisdom to those that are in jobs they hate right now: I know it sucks, I know it sucks A LOT, I've been there, but in this economy it is WAY easier to find a better job if you are currently employed than if you "stick it to the man" and quit.
     
  4. JGold

    JGold
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    Emotionally Jaded

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    Since the economic crisis began, I've quit two separate, well-paying, stable jobs without having another one lined up.

    The first job search went quickly. I quit my job in New Mexico on Nov. 13, and started my new one in Boston on Jan. 23. I guess that spoiled me. I figured I could do the same thing in the future, no sweat. So after roughly seven months at that job, I quit again, up and moving to Denver with no prospects. This time, I haven't been so lucky. I'm not that capricious, honestly, but outside factors led to both of these moves.

    From August through November, I didn't have a job at all. I spent whole days in coffee shops, sometimes applying to as many as five or six openings in one sitting. I don't want this to sound like hubris, but I'm a former English major with a degree partially focused on document design, so I know my resume and cover letters are stellar. To put in all that work, and get one callback every two weeks, was unbelievably frustrating. I was able to live on savings until about October, and then I had to make that dreaded call to the Bank of Mom. It was humiliating.

    Even the job I have now is a temporary, three-month contract. No benefits. It's hard to complain, though, knowing there are people out there who would kill to be receiving a paycheck of any kind. The company is growing and I expect to receive another contract when this one ends, but I'm still trying to apply to three or four jobs a week.

    My field is public relations. I'm switching over from daily newspaper journalism, which was the job I held in New Mexico. The journalism-to-PR jump is common. I was a full-time proofreader in Boston; as easy as it was to get, it was a go-nowhere position. My current contract is as a freelance writer and editor for an online search engine optimization (SEO) company, which is actually decent experience as I try to get a PR job. An online marketing background is definitely a plus. Now that I have an income, it's also allowed me to be a bit more picky about the jobs to which I choose to apply. From what I've heard from people I've interviewed with, each Denver PR opening is getting between 150 and 200 applicants.

    The tally, to date:
    -About 20 phone interview callbacks
    -Six in-person interviews
    -Three second in-person interviews
    -Finished second for one job, in top 5 for another

    My best advice is to be proactive. I've set up informational interviews with almost every local PR firm, and one seems to have really taken a liking to me. Once a position opens up, it's still no sure thing, but it's certainly not going to hurt.
     
  5. Misanthropic

    Misanthropic
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    Focus: Employment is all over the map here in NJ. I've been in the same job for 16 years (Biologist/env. consulting), survived the downsizing last year, and even had a few offers to jump to other companies during the past year. We once had a nuclear engineering group here - they didn't survive the downsizing, but most of them found other jobs in a matter of weeks. Many of my friends in engineering, IT, and pharmaceuticals are doing ok - and the carpenter and metal worker who live up the street are both as busy as ever.

    However, there are others in the neighborhood who haven't been so lucky. A few are finally back to work after being out for awhile, one guy has been in and out of work for the past two years, and a buddy of mine, an accountant with loads of experience who had a good job at an insurance firm, has been out of work for almost 18 months.

    alt. focus: At the last two jobs I've held (4 years and 16 years, respectively) I was hired after a half-assed effort on my part. At the first job, I responded to an ad in the paper, then was called in for an interview. About a month had passed from the I submitted my resume to the time I actually went into the office for the interview, and I had forgotten what position I had responded to exactly. The first interviewer didn't seem to care that I didn't know the position title, and I was hired two weeks later.

    I got my current job through a connection at the college I had attended. I was given the name and home phone number of someone to call, and for reasons that escape me, I decided to call from outside a bar, with a band playing loudly inside. I could only make out every other word he said, and I was sure that he could hear the band playing anytime people went in or out of the bar. I was equally sure my resume would hit the round file as soon as he opened it. I must interview exceptionally well.
     
  6. lostalldoubt86

    lostalldoubt86
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    I'm a grad student at the moment, but for a year before that, I could not find a full-time job at all. This may be because I have a BFA in Creative writing, but I couldn't even find a job as a secretary. I applied to newspapers, magazines, publishing agencies, anything I could think of that had even a little bit to do with writing. Nothing was open. I ended up keeping my filing job that I did for extra money in college. This is job that is not meant to be worked 6 hours a day, five days a week. And even they couldn't afford to have me working 5 days a week, so I got cut down to 4. Now I'm working towards my teaching certification and hoping the job market for teachers will not be too horrible when I graduate. I'm told it's all politics anyway, so I'm hoping the fact that I have so many relatives in my local school district will help me to get a job.
     
  7. tweetybird

    tweetybird
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    Experienced Idiot

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    I graduated with my MBA in June 2010.

    (Go ahead, get out the "bahahahahahah!!" I'll wait.)

    I got married in July and then we went on a honeymoon and then we moved into our first house. This would have fit nicely with the MBA hiring timeline of recruit in the fall of second year, interview in January, offers by March, vacay all summer, start in the fall. However, my target field is nonprofit arts management, where all hiring is just in time. For this reason, plus burnout, plus let's face it the economy, I decided not to recruit during b-school and take a couple months off.

    Then, we started hearing whisperings from my husband's company about troubles in the London office that he might be uniquely qualified to fix. I could not, in good (and/or lazy) conscience begin the job search knowing that I might have to peace out after a month or less. So, we sat around and waited for various superiors to scratch their asses and consider visa documentation.

    We arrived in London 4 days ago. I have now been unemployed for 7 months. Strangely enough, I have a better/quicker shot at a job here because my partner visa allows me to work, I have contacts here through family, and fundraising (where I built all my previous experience) as an industry here is so behind the US.

    If I could only get fucking jailbroken iPhone + Orange SIM card to not = no function-o, everything would be even better!
     
  8. audreymonroe

    audreymonroe
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    The most powerful cervix... in the world...

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    This couldn't be more timely. I'm currently shitting myself waiting to hear back from what I thought was a promising job interview because I am in a desperate situation.

    I graduated last May and thought I had a job lined up. They promised me full-time, so I moved down to New York right after school. Well, as soon as I got down here, I couldn't work for over a month thanks to some bureaucratic shit that could've been solved in a few days, but since they weren't doing as well as they thought they were going to, didn't solve for that long because they wouldn't have to pay me. (Meanwhile, they laid off half the staff they had just hired and didn't even tell them they were doing so. They just stopped giving them hours.) Once I was finally working again they only gave me one (six hour) shift a week. That went on for months, then I started getting a few more shifts for about a month, and now I'm back to one shift a week again. Thankfully I have a decent hourly wage, and I had saved up a pretty good amount before I graduated, so even though I was spending beyond my means, I was pretty much fine.

    Until now. I now have to get another or a better job within a month or else I am absolutely screwed. My job hunt so far has been excruciating. (The initial goal was to work in magazines, but I've since expanded to anything involving the arts, communications, nonprofits, marketing, and fashion.) I'd guess I've applied to about twenty-five jobs a week since last April. I've gotten a lot of interviews, and there have been around a dozen times that I "would've gotten the job, but we decided to give it to someone we know already." And along the way, I've had the people who were hiring behave like every kind of asshole imaginable because they know they can get away with that shit and people would still beg to blow them if it meant getting a job. The funny part is, these are for jobs pertaining to my career that I keep getting so close to getting. For someone my age, I have an impressive resume and great experience and, frankly, I know I'm good at what I do. Yet it's even more unlikely that I'd be able to get a shit part-time job to pay the bills while I'm looking because I've had the worst luck with those because they're just as competitive here and my resume for them is shit. I'd probably have to make it all up just to convince someone that I could handle being a cashier. And the option of giving up and moving back in with my dad? Well besides the fact that I would probably end up crippingly depressed, he lives in a small town with literally no opportunities. It's not like I'm going to be able to get a job there and save up.

    I am praying so fucking hard that this job works out. It is starting to feel extremely hopeless.
     
  9. ASL

    ASL
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    Disturbed

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    I was laid off almost a month ago, December 27th. I'm lucky in that I had been sticking to the "6 month" rule as far as savings was concerned. I was an aircraft mechanic for a charter company in Burlington. They recently replaced a director of maintenance, and the new "VP of maintenance services" is restructuring. He let four other people go about a month before me, with no warning at all. Needless to say he has won no respect with the rest of the employees.

    I am also fortunate in that I was going to school full time as well as working. I had been cut to part time in early fall, which was fine given my new class schedule, and then axed in December. Given my circumstances I even qualified for unemployment, which has been a huge help while I figure out what to do. If I can find anything it will most likely be back in the restaurant business. Aviation is completely dry in VT right now.

    Overall, I'm more upset about the circumstances of the lay-offs and the way the new guy is running the company (into the ground) than I am about not having a job. I get to experience college sans outside responsibilities, which is proving to be awfully fun.
     
  10. NoMames

    NoMames
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    Average Idiot

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    I lost my job in November-ish running a bar. We were close to closing for 6 months before I took over, including two court dates for eviction. I turned the bar around and we started making money again. Unfortunately, the owner would rather cheat on his wife than pay rent, so the week after we made him two months rent profit, we all showed up to work and there were chains on the doors and an eviction notice from the landlord. So for the last few months I've been trying to find a job. I've been able to pick up a handful of shifts at other bars, but no steady employment.

    I finally found a job as a bartender at a local restaurant that starts tomorrow after months of applying at every bar I could for any position. I'll finally get off my Ramen diet.
     
  11. audreymonroe

    audreymonroe
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    The most powerful cervix... in the world...

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    Since I know you were all on the edge of your seat waiting for an update, I didn't get the job. Between this thread and the suicide thread, you probably won't be seeing me around here for a while....




    (Just kidding. It'll be because, unless my endless source of bad luck lets the flight get cancelled because of the snow, I'll be going on a free trip to Israel. Thank god for something good.)
     
  12. KillaKam

    KillaKam
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    Emotionally Jaded

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    I lost my job as a cook at a local bar/pub in October...in a way, I'm glad I'm not working there because the owner/management is a complete disaster. As I would imagine though, the job search has been a pain in the ass as usual. I spend my days scouring the newspapers, Craigslist, etc.. but have received little response. I have lost track of how many businesses I have sent my resume to in the last few months.

    For now, I am looking for anything that will keep me afloat, whether it be full or part time. I will do odd jobs for my family members here and there when they need help...I am extremely lucky to have a few generous relatives. I'm in the Air Force Reserve, so I rely on once a month pay and my unemployment compensation right now. I left active duty military in 08 after finishing my four year enlistment. I left mainly so I could focus on getting my degree and gettting away from South Dakota, but I have kicked myself in the ass many times for walking away from a guaranteed paycheck. I am still determined for things to turnaround.

    The job market in Cleveland is not good in any way, so I am hoping this move to Georgia I am working on will bring some light at the end of the tunnel.
     
  13. Arctic_Scrap

    Arctic_Scrap
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    Emotionally Jaded

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    I've been unemployed for just over a year and have gotten unemployment the whole time. I am also a full time student. I get enough unemployment that I've had a very hard time trying to find a part time job that would pay even close to what I get for unemployment. I will probably be on unemployment at least until May when I graduate and find a job. I had been laid off from 3 jobs between 2005 and 2009 and then started this 2 year technical degree for millwright/industrial maintenance. Hoping to find a job with a railroad. Even though I don't agree with it, I'd have been completely fucked if unemployment didn't get extended to 99 weeks.That might not make sense, but I wouldn't have complained if it didn't happen.
     
  14. bmc415

    bmc415
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    Village Idiot

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    I'm currently employed but underemployed. I took about a $30K pay cut from my last job, which had all but dried up when I left. That company is now gone, so it was the right move. However, I have now been in my "desperation job" for 2 full years, have sent out over 100 resumes, and have had one interview. It's frustrating to see how many employers value experience over things like intelligence and work ethic. I see it where I work. They don't understand that a smart person facing a learning curve is far more valuable in the long run than an idiot with 15 years experience. I've recently ramped up my job search, but my level of optimism is at an all time low.
     
  15. Beer Me

    Beer Me
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    Experienced Idiot

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    I graduated over a year and half ago with a BA in Political Science and French, it turned out to be the worst mistake. When I started, I was told by the professors and my advisors that it was (at that time) a very "in demand" area here in Canada, by the time I was half done my degree, Canadian politics went to shit, and so did the economy.

    So now I've been applying all over this (truely) one horse town, as well as to bigger centres like Winnipeg and actual cities like Montreal and Toronto. For an entire year I didn't get a single interview, but random rejection notices. The last half year I've had about one interview every month. This may be because I realized I won't get the dream job I wanted in Ottawa working for the government like I thought, so of course one has to open up - apply for minimum wage jobs at futureshop and whatnot. So far, I've had a few good interviews but - I'm not what they're looking for, or just NOT qualified for. It's great I'm finally getting interviews, keeps me on my feet, boosts my morale but at same time, I'd rather be employed, making money and booking a trip to Quebec City to eat poutine, drink 10% 40oz beer and check out the hot Qu├ębecoise girls.

    What I find strange is the interviews I get usually are due to applications I send in when drunk late at night, that may be the ticket to success!
     
  16. seelivemusic

    seelivemusic
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    Experienced Idiot

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    I have been employed for the last 9 years by a company I like working for and believe in but I have some serious problems with management policy. It has been very challenging to ignore my seething hatred of some in management and accept that things could be much worse for me, like they were in 2000.

    In the spring of 2000 I resigned from my soul crushing 75k/year job and went to jazz fest in New Orleans. After 2 weeks of astounding partying I found myself back in Boston sobering up and wondering what the fuck I had just done to my career. I didn't walk out without saying boo, I gave 8 weeks notice. I traveled, worked in a djembe factory, painted my folk's house, and other odd jobs for family and friends. I was 31 and without a mortgage or children.

    I won't say walking out on my job without another one set up was the best thing I could have done but it did allow me to change direction in my tech career and it has given me a skill set that is useful in any industry. I've never been on unenjoyment and the spring of 2000 to the fall of 2001 was the longest I've ever been without a regular job since 1988. I have learned to appreciate what I have and to be humble. That doesn't mean I'm not competitive but my analysis of my decision making has taught me that being impulsive with your career is poor judgment. Captain obvious is a close friend of mine.

    I am a network engineer with a masters in fine arts. My Ph.D father likes to bring that up at family functions when one of their friends is bitching about their kid's liberal arts major.
     
  17. silway

    silway
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    Emotionally Jaded

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    I graduated from law school in 2008 which meant getting my license in December. Of 2008. Yeah, finding a job of any kind was not happening for awhile.

    Anyway, these days I continue to do the tedious job of being a document review attorney. It's temp/contract work that firms hire out to basically unemployed lawyers to do at a fraction of the cost of having an associate do it. The main issue is the unreliability. It's not a steady job. I've gotten a phone call at 8:40 pm on a Tuesday night telling me that I've been downsized off my project and not to come in the next day. Now, fortunately, more projects come up and once you've done a few it becomes a lot more likely to get called for them, but it's not the kind of job that lets you plan for the future easily.

    So in the meantime I look for permanent work. I have not had a reliable job (as much as any job is reliable) since graduating and it really sucks to not be able to plan.
     
  18. Suit Jacket

    Suit Jacket
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    Village Idiot

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    I was laid off in late 2009. I figured that I would likely pick up another job in the beginning of 2010. It is now the beginning of 2011.

    I have a degree in engineering and a JD. I was at my old place for about 3 years and basically got let go because I was the most expensive associate there. My boss was also able to successfully fight my unemployment (which is still baffling to me). I have no idea how many resumes I have sent out, but it does dwarf the numbers cited by others. I have had probably 8 interviews, but the last one was months ago. The thing that irks me the most about the process is that of those interviews, only 2 have sent me rejection notices. I understand not sending out rejection notices for just submitting a resume, but if you call me in, let's be professional. I have expanded my search coast to coast, I have expanded it to other fields (non-profits, education type stuff, etc.). It is just dead out there.

    To make ends meet, I am currently nannying two of my nieces, working as an ACT tutor on the weekends, renting out my spare room, and do some other random stuff.

    One of the most interesting things about my unemployment is how friends react to it. A couple have been overly generous (I can still afford to pay a couple bucks for the gym rental when we play basketball... but thanks?). Some have treated it basically with ignorance (thanks for the invite to Vegas... but no.). And others have shown some their real colors (my girlfriend dumped me after about six weeks, which worked because then I could use the money I had started saving for that ring she would demand weekly when I had a job).

    My advice to anyone who loses their job in this market is to assume the worst. I figured I would be unemployed for 3 months max, so I lived my life like normal. I wasted way too much money in the beginning, and it really irks me.
     
  19. toddamus

    toddamus
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    Emotionally Jaded

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    I've made my unemployed grumblings known, but for those who don't know here's what happened to me.

    I graduated in August '09 with a degree in Psychology and Economics. Like most recent college grads I assumed getting a job with my lofty degrees would be easy. Well it wasn't. I spent most of the first 6 months getting drunk most every night while job searching. At first it wasn't so bad but sooner or later the despair caught up to me. Being unemployed with no real experience but me at an extreme disadvantage in that job market. I had no real chance of getting any sort of professional job. It was sometime around February when I got a job doing resets at Ralphs. I had to wake up at 3am, drive upwards of 30 miles (one way) to a store and get paid $11/hr. The traveling was brutal and the people I worked with were ok for the most part, but for a person who had the background I did it was tough for me to accept that the only job I could get was a job a person without a HS diploma could get.

    I worked that job for about three months. The horrible hours, the long drives, the minimal pay, and the general feeling of getting crapped on got to me so I left. It really wasn't that big of a deal as I was making virtually no money anyway. My next job came in September and I was working for a scam. The job I had was menial, tedious, and difficult. I'm not a machine, I wasn't able to copy and past stolen information all day everyday into a spread sheet while getting paid $8.75/hr. I quit after two months. Since then I've enrolled in a local community college and am taking accounting classes. My plan is to go either to the University of San Diego or Southern Florida to pursue a third bachelors in accounting. I can only assume the third degree is the charm and I will find some stable employment afterwards.

    For the time being I'll continue living with the rents and telling girls I don't live with my parents, they live with me!

    Edit to Add: Like the poster above I assumed when I graduated college I'd have a job in 3 months, 4 months tops. I had no idea I would spend the entire year of 2010 depressed and angry.
     
  20. Dcc001

    Dcc001
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    New Bitch On Top

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    I've been really fortunate with my work. I started working part-time at 14, and the only breaks in my employment have been when I was out of the country or working for my dad. I typically worked 20-25 hrs/week when I was in high school/university, and I kept a part time job when I was hired in my first "real" position. I was hired before I graduated, so there was no gap in between work and school.

    I quit two jobs in 2007 to spent 2008 travelling around the world. When I came back, I was a bit burnt out (lots of health problems hit all at once while I was abroad), and I took both parent's advice and didn't look for work right away. In all, I was unemployed for almost two years - one year for travelling and eight months spent gutting my father's house and renovating it while he was out of the country. I learned that despite my overdeveloped work drive (60-70 hours a week from the age of 18 to the age of 27), I am at my happiest unemployed. Having no money sucks, but I worked out a trade with my dad that I would live in the house and do all of the reno work in exchange for room and board. Best. Time. Ever.

    When it came time to look for a work I was lucky again in that it took only a phone call - my old company hired me back and gave me the choice between Calgary or Winnipeg. I had put out some resumes (around 25) in Ontario, where my family is, but no dice. It really sucked having to move away from all of my relatives but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    What I don't understand is people who quit a job they are miserable at with nothing lined up in the wings. I worked front line customer service for over ten years - six years of it on a returns counter. I know how much minimum wage and soulless corporations suck. That being said, bills still need to get paid and people still need to eat. I'd work at Walmart if I had to, just to bridge the gap. There are people on this board, from the sounds of it, who are trying to do just that. And yet others walk away from miserable jobs because they're depressing, so that they can be unemployed and looking for work. Someone posted that old saying, "It's easier to get a job when you have a job." So true.
     
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