November 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Posted in Interviewing, Job Search, Positive, unemployed | 2 Comments
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I had an interview this morning with my state’s highway administration at 11:00 am.  Around 3:00 pm I got the word that they wanted me to start tomorrow.  So starting at 8:00 tomorrow morning I will again be a member of the workforce.  One thing to understand here is that I have moved from being unemployed to underemployed.  I got this job through the Jones Network staffing agency.  It’s considered an indefinite temp job.  I work a 40 hour week.  I’ll eventually get benefits through the staffing agency.  I’m hoping that they like me well enough that they will hire me full-time.

This will put a temporary stop to my search for a full-time job, but that’s fine with me so far.  Getting this job is good on many levels.  It’s getting me working and making money for myself.  That makes me feel better about myself.  It will look better on my resume, I get off the government pay check, and I feel better about myself.

I sent out 234 resumes since I became unemployed in March. I had about a twenty phone and face to face interviews.  Six of these interviews were with Johns Hopkins alone. Although it would have been great to work with them, I didn’t have the luxury of waiting.  Not in this economy and out of work for as long as I’ve been.  I took about a half-dozen of tests from Word to applied mathematics. I had about 25 rejections before an interview, just looking at my resume.  The rest of the employers did not get in touch one way or another.  I signed up with 5 temp and staffing agencies. Jones Networking was the only one that came through for me.  They are a professional, well-known agency and I recommend them highly.

Finally, the status of Debbie’s Desk:  I am going to keep writing on the blog.  I’ll be presenting my skills as an admin just as before.  I’ll be looking for ideas and feedback from my readers, just as before.



Happy Halloween

October 31, 2011 at 10:33 am | Posted in Economy, Opinions, unemployed | 1 Comment
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Since everyday is scary for people who are unemployed I’m glad to find out that Occupy Wall Street is becoming Occupy Halloween today.

Here’s hoping that the 1% stop being zombies and wake up and become real human beings again.

Good luck to all you job hunters out there. Try to keep in mind that it’s all a numbers game and you’ll get a job.  Each day is closer and closer to that day.

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My Stages of Grief

July 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Posted in unemployed | 4 Comments
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I think one reason I’m writing this post is to help myself get through one of the stages of grief, Anger, the “why is this happening to me?” stage.

While I was in college, I took a course called Death and Dying.  Our textbook was Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s book, “On Death and Dying“.  Her model/stages are now used for all types of losses, not just death, from divorce to infertility to disasters.

My loss includes the loss of a regular commute, the feeling of doing something good and worthwhile, a lack of a paycheck, and perhaps most importantly, my reputation and the respect that comes with good dependable work.

That course I took was a long time ago, but it really struck me and now I recognize how it relates to being unemployed because of being fired.  I think a large part of my anger is probably stemming from frustration.  Once I was fired, the state determined I was “terminated without misconduct” and could receive Unemployment Compensation.  In my state employment is “at will”, so there’s nothing I can do about it.

In her model, Kübler-Ross has Anger as the second stage and Bargaining is after that.  In my mind, I bargained before the anger.  The American Psychological Association reports that’s common when the loss is one of a job.  How could I be treated with such contempt?  Why does it seem that no one defended me?  Why have all my co-workers, except one, deserted me?  In the type of job I had relationships were quickly formed because, it was what I call, “an in the trenches job”.  Emergencies and crisis were daily events, sometimes involving life or death situations.  You have to be a great team to be successful.

In my first work scenario post I mention my kudos folder.  This folder is helping me when I apply for jobs, but it also exacerbates my anger.  To expand on that folder, it has certificates of completion for in-house and outsourced training, e-mails from all levels of management from the CEO to Program Managers praising my work, and requests made only to me because I was the only assistant with the skills to complete the task.  Was all this hard work for naught?

After 4 months I am still asking these questions, I’m still angry and frustrated.  After this, I’m supposed to move onto Depression and finally Acceptance.  I can’t stop reading those e-mails, I need them sometimes on my job search.  There’s one co-worker who stays in touch, we were friends outside of work, I don’t want to stop seeing her and she’s still a reminder.

I’ve read two good articles about this:

The Five Stages of Grief Related to Unemployment

The Unemployment Crisis

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Unemployment, Politicians, and My Rant

June 24, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Posted in Economy, Opinions, unemployed | 2 Comments
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WARNING-This is one of my political rants

I’ve become and avid reader of anything I can find about unemployment on the internet.  Below are what my research has found over the past couple weeks.  I don’t think any other preface is needed.

Senator Paul Rand:
“As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that’s less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again,” Paul explained.  “Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen.”

Sharron Angle:
I would have voted no, “because the truth about it is that they keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn’t pay as much as the unemployment benefit does.  Moreover, what we really need to do is put people back to work.”

Senator Judd Gregg:
Said extended benefits undermine the economic recovery because they “basically keep an economy that encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment.”

I disagree with all these comments because I’m not given the credit of being a citizen that has self-respect, wants to contribute to the society, and earn my way.  I’m well-educated and have a Bachelor’s degree.  I was told that this education would make me a valuable employee that would be in higher demand.  I don’t know about other people receiving unemployment compensation, but I’m only getting about two-thirds of my pay when I lost my job and I’m not getting any satisfaction in using my unemployment card to pay for things.  I don’t feel entitled or that I’m on some vacation the government is paying for.
I still have to pay taxes on the money I receive from unemployment insurance.  I’m someone who hasn’t been out of work for the past 24 years, I’ve been unemployed for three months now and I want a job!
My dream would be for any of those people, or anyone who believes what they say, to lose their job.  I want them to go through the process of applying for Unemployment Insurance.  I want them to be told to practice saying, “You want fries with that” and take that job just to get off Unemployment.

Remember this: thoughts turn into words and words into actions.  So far, all I’ve heard are things like “we have to get people back to work”.  What’s the plan out there that will help the span of the middle class?  All I ever hear are ideas that seem to be “short-term economy”.  If you think I may have some facts or information wrong, please enlighten me.  I have done several searches to try to find any information, biased or not, that has a real plan for the high unemployment.  I’m tired of reading rhetoric and listing to spin-doctors.  I’d almost rather hear “we don’t know what the plan is yet, but we’re working on it” than the crap I’ve heard so far.

Finally, let’s check the statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics .  According to the most recent stats (those of May), 13.9 million Americans were out of work; of those 822,000 were “discouraged workers”.  Discouraged workers are persons not looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.  That means that only 6% have stopped looking for work, usually that means they can’t collect unemployment either.  To collect, in most states, you must be able to prove to the state that you have looked for work over the past two weeks.

If you don’t like the situation you’re in, if you don’t like what your government is doing, if you don’t even understand where others stand on the issue of jobs and unemployment let your representatives know and do research.
A good place to start is The Office of the Congressional Whip’s page on jobs.

For more information on how to get in touch with your legislators check out my How To page’s section, Write Congress

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Your Mental Status While Jobless

June 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Posted in Health, unemployed | Leave a comment
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My earlier post mentioned the physical and psychological stress on the unemployed.
I’m a big believer in the word disease actually meaning dis-ease, a lack of ease.  That’s one reason, among several, that I’d like to pay close attention to the stressors of life now.  We need to keep our minds healthy to keep our bodies healthy.  It’s strange to think that most researchers and doctors don’t believe in this correlation.
Psychological stress is defined by JAMA as:

Psychological stress occurs when an individual perceives that environmental demands tax or exceed his or her adaptive capacity.

It’s normal to feel hurt, vulnerable, or angry after losing a job.  A lot of the feelings are in the same stages as grieving the loss of a loved one.  HelpGuide.org has some great tips on managing those feelings go over those tips here. I particularly liked these suggestions because it shows a step by step process with action, not just things to think about or meditate on.

Some feelings that are lasting for a while may seem foreign, but are actually very normal.  You’re supposed to feel exhausted, depressed, angry, or anxious.  Unemployment is a health hazard.  It’s a totally different state of mind for most people.  It’s dreary, repetitive, and it can be unhealthy.  It’s a cause of stress and a cause of anger.  The trick is not to let all of this get out of hand.  This file from the University of Georgia has a lot of positive tips:
Surviving Tough Times

One of my favorite tidbits of information comes from The Resiliency Center.  How wrong can it be if the first idea is to write about how you feel?  See if the skills presented help you: Resiliency Skills for Handling the Emotional Side of Job Loss and Job Search
These are just a few pages that helped me If you Google “psychological stress of unemployment” you’ll find pages and pages of information, pick what’s right for you.
Always remember that the world is too big for any of us to get through it alone. 

Let’s stick together.Finally if you get to the point where you are becoming too depressed or want to harm yourself there are always people to help you.


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