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Home > More thoughts on the changing nature of the job scene...

More thoughts on the changing nature of the job scene...

April 11th, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Just wanted to thank you again for all your kind and encouraging words. Believe it or not, shortly after hearing I'd lost the job, I mentally said to myself that I needed to let everyone know on Savings Advice. Smile

So here I sit, at 2:05 a.m., thinking about my next moves.

As I said in a comment to my own blog post (!), a few someones here had mentioned before that I'm a "survivor." I never really thought of myself in that way before, but I guess I'm kind of like velcro. I try to attach myself to whatever job I can find and then it's hard to get rid of me!

Seriously, though, the jobs landscape has changed so much. Working in marketing as i have for nearly 30 years, you were never really thought of as indispensable (no one is, I know), but that was a field that tended to be put on the chopping block fairly early on when times got tough. Still, in the 4 or 5 layoffs I've experienced over my career, I've never had the experience til now of these kind of on again, off again career moves, the temporary, contract jobs that end up going nowhere. In the past, I'd always get another full-time perm job. Sometimes it would take somewhat longer than other times, but it was never like this.

Further words of wisdom I do not have. Just the observation that the US jobs market has undergone a radical transformation, and I hope it's not a permanent one.

I have a friend who's been pretty much in the same boat as me, although he lost his job in IT even earlier than I did. He's 4 or 5 years older than me and always sounds anxious and a nervous wreck when we check in with each other.

He's doing much worse than me financially and emotionally. He's divorced with 2 college-age kids and rents a house for the same amount, $1200 a month, as my mortgage with property taxes. He's in a very exclusive town.

He'd gotten by (or not) by driving an airport limo car for several years, but that work has largely dried up and he really couldn't stand dealing with the guys who run those companies. He had jobs with Macy's and Weight Watchers that didn't work out. He got way behind on his bills, something I only learned when he let it be known that creditors were hounding him.

I've encouraged him to move to a cheaper place but I doubt he will. He had the opportunity to live for free by moving in temporarily at his dad's house in Queens, but he and his sister don't get along. He told me he could store all his stuff there and then get a cheap room with kitchenette somewhere and stay here in Connecticut, but even then, he said, Flushing has the highest crime rate in the city and he didn't feel comfortable even storing his things at the house.

So I guess I count my blessings. I have great credit, live in a nice home in a nice town and have a relatively small mortgage. (I am quite sure that if I hadn't been so conservative when I bought this house 15 years ago and not put 45% down in cash, which you could do back then, although it was still a heck of a lot of money at about $95,000, I would have already lost the house. I was always risk-averse.)

And I haven't dug into savings to live on. In fact, since Sept 2009 when I was laid off, my net worth not including the house has increased by $84,000. That's largely due to stock market gains.

If I can just hang on for a few more years I should have the mortgage paid off, and then I'll be that much more...well, I won't say immune to the financial impact of future job layoffs, no, of course not, but they will be easier to handle without that biggest of all bills coming due each month.

On the plus side, I had my follow-up visit with doc for my physical today. Aside from the UTI/yeast infection, which yes, I am STILL BATTLING, everything looks good: no diabetes despite my 15-pound weight gain, triglycerides, LDL and HDL ratio looks very good, although my total cholesterol at 195 is a bit higher than it usually is, and my thyroid is normal, as is glucose/blood sugar.

She said the 4 worst foods from a diabetes/weight point of view are: white starches like rice and white bread, pasta, alcohol and...oh shoot, i forgot the 4th. The only one I have a problem with is the pasta. I have a huge bowl every week, sometimes 2 or 3 times a week if you include macaroni and cheese or some other form, like a favorite of mine, pollock and sauteed carrot/onion in olive oil over linguine. A traditional bowl of pasta is cheap and easy to make when you don't know what else to make. I have to really try not to rely on it so much. I tried whole wheat and rice pastas, and ewwww.

One thing I did yesterday afternoon is send a quick email to my oldest freelance client, someone I also used to work with when I had a perm job at the real estate company he's been with his entire career. (Strange how different, but he's a Senior VP.)I had inquired in the email did he want me to start working on the next blog post and how about such and such a project he'd mentioned to me months ago? (Basically, I was trying to drum up business for myself.)

He knows my work situation has not been steady since my layoff, and I guess he could read through the real meaning of the email. He wrote back and said, Are you working full-time? Because just a week ago, his assistant had tried giving me a pile of work which I had to turn down since I was working full-time and then some for the news website. It killed me to have to say no and generally i try to avoid doing that with this client becus i wouldn't want to start giving them the general impression that sometimes i'm available and sometimes I'm not and that they can't rely on someone like that.

Anyway, we have something of a history together, and he's someone with whom I want to keep in contact with.

Just blathering on. It's 2:38 am and I feel like talking...um, writing, but I will bid you adieu now.

10 Responses to “More thoughts on the changing nature of the job scene...”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    I missed the first post, so I am catching up. To hear you lost your job again was almost like a sucker punch. I can't believe it! How far away are you from retirement? I think I'd be tempted to hang it up, but I know you have a lot of resilience. Maybe one of the other two will come through, or something else entirely. You know we are all pulling for you.

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    How ironic Myrina Stein's response on your blog is. Wink
    Your writing this morning helped me to know what I wanted to advise my DH this morning about a job possibility for the summer, i.e., go for it!

    I have an acquaintance who has been on the employment-unemployment yo-yo for 4 years now! It has taken a heavy toll on her. I think she lives on fragile hope, desperate prayer, and plain spaghetti noodles....She left a message on our answering machine, then biked over to plead for help as her phone cord plug had broken so she had neither phone nor DSL internet which she needs for her current job. She had a spare cord, but is herself so broken that she lacks the confidence to even plug in her darn phone by herself. Can you imagine? This is what the constant dashing against the rocks of unemployment can do to a person.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    Joan of the Arch (always wondered how that name came to be), I deleted that comment by "Myrina Stein." the comment sounded suspicious to me so I googled the name and I saw almost the same verbatim comment left on other sites. It's some sort of scam by someone for whom English is not the native language.

    CB, I'd love, make that, LOVE to retire, but I'm not there yet. I plan to keep working f/t for another 8 years. Perhaps I can retire sooner, but the first thing that has to be done is to pay off that mortgage, so that's why that has been so front and center for me. That should happen in about 3 years. After that, we'll see, but really, I can't retire very early anyway because what would I do about healthcare coverage? Especially with my pre-existing condition.

    I had hoped, way back when Obama unveiled his healthcare reform plan, that by 2014, health insurance would be "decoupled" from employment. In other words, you wouldn't have to depend on an employer to obtain health insurance; you could buy it more easily (and affordably) on the open market. I'm not at all confident that's going to happen now given the changes in the political landscape; Boehner and friends have said they want to dismantle the whole healthcare reform thing one piece at a time.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    I'm so sorry to hear about your woes. I wish you lived in MN, I'd try to get you some writing work at my company! (They typically only hire people who can come on-site.) You're clearly articulate and seem to have a heck of a work ethic to keep going over 40 hrs. per week with a UTI.

    Interestingly, I heard on a news commentary show recently that Obama's plan includes a clause where states can opt out if they come up with an equally or even more affordable healthcare system of their own. I think it was Vermont that did it, and guess what they came up with? Single payer, which is what a lot of Democratic legislators pushed for in the first place. I really wish the conservatives would give this law a chance to work; but I guess that's the point. If it got a chance to work, and worked well, it would be a major political blow, and that matters more than the health of the nation.

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    Yes, Ceejay, I heard about Vermont's single payer system, too, and I was very excited about it. I hope it works. If it does, I could see it spreading to Massachusetts and then I'd have to move there.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    Another thought -- you might look into what I do for a living -- prospect research. Basically it's researching and writing for the fundraising field. They are always looking for someone with a marketing background, as well as the ability to research and write well. Not great paying, as it's always for a non-profit, but benefits are usually good. I'll bet you have a lot of colleges in your area. Take a look at the aprahome.org website and see what you think.

    Not long ago it was ranked as one of the top ten growing fields in this poor economy.

  7. baselle Says:

    Regarding the #4 on the hit parade of starches you shouldn't have: What are potatoes?

  8. retire@50 Says:

    don't know if you are interested in this kind of work or not, but I was reading this on the moneysavingmom blog site

    HopScout (formerly Liluxe) is looking for five work-at-home editors for their site. If you’re hired, you’ll do some blogging, some social media, do video reviews, be a product buyer and more. Pay is $40 per hour, plus a free MacBook Air, $200 monthly grocery stipend, paid one-week family vacation and more

  9. PatientSaver Says:

    Thanks, CB. I checked out the jobs area on that website. If I see any jobs like that near me, I'll go for it and tell them CB sent me.

    Retire@50, thanks. I found that website but it looks like they want parents, which technically, I am not. (Altho I like to baby my feline boys.) they also want you to create a video, something I don't have the equipment to do, altho i guess i could find someone to help me in that regard. That one sounds like an inordinately good deal. Groceries? A MacBook? Wow.

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