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Kindred Spirit

August 16th, 2011 at 06:20 am

These days, I pay close attention to Craig's List help wanted ads, and in fact, I have six or seven categories for writer/editors in three different counties RSS-feeding onto My Yahoo home page.

From time to time, I see another job-seeker who has posted an ad touting their abilities/services in the help wanted section. Not a bad idea. I saw one the other day written by someone who described themselves as a journalist looking for work.

I decided to send them a quick note, partly because I was curious what another unemployed writer's experience has been in the job market.

She wrote back in a friendly way, then I wrote back, telling her about a job posting I saw at the start-up news site where I worked about five weeks last spring. It's in her home city.

Anyway, we've begun a nice dialogue back and forth. She had in fact applied to that job but heard nothing. I wrote her back with the personal emails of the owner and managing editor there. Nothing to lose in writing them directly, and there's a chance they just didn't see her resume amidst all the others they likely received.

So we're getting to know each other. We seem to have a lot in common. She has a strong journalism background; I dabbled in journalism for a few years out of college. We're about the same age, tho she's a little older. We both are frustrated with the job search, wish we could retire and want to do some travel. I'm flying solo, she's divorced, I think, and has two grown kids. She suggested meeting sometime.

This week, I exhausted my "regular" unemployment benefits. Here in CT, you then go into EB, or Emergency Benefits, for another 20 weeks. Thank God for that. I guess the total comes to 99 weeks. My 99-week mark would have normally been up now (mid-September is the 2-year anniversary of my layoff), but also thank god I've worked here and there, thereby extending my benefits quite a bit longer.

I worked at the Census Bureau from late April to early August, 2009 (3.5 months), probably averaging about 25 or 30 hours a week.

I worked another 3.5 months f/t at Prudential in Q4, 2010.

I worked 5 weeks f/t at the startup news website. And then there's been my freelance real estate writing all along.

I felt very bummed out that today I had to transfer $1500 from a taxable mutual fund to my checking account to cover expenses. It represents the very first time in nearly 2 years that I've had to do that. It's not that my normal expenses got out of hand; I only had to do it because I had a major capital improvement, the $13K vinyl siding job on my house. I had planned originally to take that entire amount out of taxable mutual funds, otherwise earmarked for retirement, but then thought it would be preferable not to have to sell mutual funds during such a volatile time if I didn't absolutely have to, so I paid for the bulk of the vinyl siding with about $12K I took from my checking account and my now completely depleted emergency fund, an online money market account I have with Dollar Savings Direct (an offshoot of Emigrant).

So I did greatly mitigate the damage and avoid the tax consequences, I think, that would come from selling mutual funds at a possible loss. I would love to replenish that emergency fund, of course, but that will be extremely slow going, given that I'm just barely paying for living expenses off of unemployment benefits and freelance work.

Absent a job, I can only look forward to next year's tax refund to put into the money market account.

I'm still hoping there's an outside chance I may still hear from that energy analyst job I interviewed for, but I will definitely (albeit, sadly) write it off completely if I don't hear anything by week's end.

I'm embarrassed to say I was turned down for that $11/hr transcriptionist editing job. I really felt it was beneath me and the pay about as low as i would go, but i would have done it because it would be somewhat regular work which could be a godsend since all my bills are "regular" as well. It's nice to earn $135 in 2 hours as I do for writing a press release, but it's not as great as it sounds if you only get those assignments on occasion.

Well, I can only hope there's something better for me waiting in the wings.

Wait a minute....Hope is not a strategy! One of my favorite sayings these days. It so perfectly reflects my take-the-bull-by-the-horns attitude toward the job search. Lately, it seems it's the bull that has the upper hand.

9 Responses to “Kindred Spirit”

  1. North Georgia Gal Says:

    Hang in there! I am sure you will find something!

  2. Miz Pat Says:

    I think you are better prepared and organized than most and will do well. I'm glad you met a kindred spirit!

  3. Petunia 100 Says:

    We never do know where we will find those kindred spirits.

    I think you have done an excellent job managing while underemployed. I hope a great job is in your immediate future.

  4. NJDebbie Says:

    Patient Saver, I was wondering, can you apply to be a subsitute teacher at a nearby elementary school for a while. I know we live in different states, but substitute teachers can make up to $100 a day here depending on the school district. Just a thought (I don't know how you feel about working with children).

  5. My English Castle Says:

    I'm sorry to hear about the transcription job. But how nice to meet someone with a similar job search. I'll bet it helps depersonalize some of the bad job news if you know someone in the same boat. I second Petunia's salute to how well you manage!

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    I do hope you find something soon. I'm glad you made a new friend.

  7. littlegopher Says:

    It has been such a long time for you, but you've done very well in only now having to take out some funds. It's nice to find another unwillingly in the same boat - you are so kind to share your contacts with her.

    I second what NJDebbie suggested (if it's something you'd be interested in.) In our local district, subs don't necessarily have to have an education degree to substitute teach (and the pay ranges $110 to near $200 a day for long-term subs.) But if teaching isn't your thing, there are many school support staff positions needing subs too, and the pay isn't bad and the duties aren't difficult. Before I worked for my district, I subbed and was nearly working every day in various positions throughout the district. It may or may not be something you'd be interested in, but it could be a flexible way to add to your multiple streams of income that you've brilliantly put together Smile
    Best wishes to you!

  8. Homebody Says:

    Was the editing job for medical transcription? If you have no medical transcription experience that is probably why so don't feel bad. (I was a medical transcriptionist for 30 years and edited for a while).

  9. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Sorry to hear the job doesn't seem to've worked out. Something will come along.

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