Ok Everyone, I am going to talk a bit about what it has been like for me over the last three and a half years in looking for a job in the current economy. I am not unemployed by choice, but it is the way things are for myself, and many other people in this country right now. This is how things are for millions of American’s.
In high school I did some babysitting, and volunteer work, so I then went off to college in 2006 before the whole recession hit, so ok fine, and I focused on school, and studied my rear end off, to graduate in four years. So, by the time I was nearing the end of my senior year, and was really starting to look for a job for after graduation, I started applying everywhere. I graduated with my Bachelors Degree in Social Science (with a focus in history, and absolutely no sociology, so being a case worker, sociologist etc was not something I was or am interested in, and is out of the question). I really did not want to move back with my parents, but I did, because I was unsuccessful finding a job, in the area that I lived in.
It would be another year before I even got the nanny job, which lasted a week, because it wasn’t a good fit (aka I was too sheltered and too much of a “goody goody”), so a short time later I worked at a supplemental insurance company, where I was for a month, and never saw a dime, because it was 100% commission based income, and my trainer left me out in the cold, to figure it out all on my own. After that I started working at a daycare, which happened to be during the occupy protests, and had to deal with the stupid traffic back up that those caused, and was late for work twice because of them. I also go severely sick for a weekend and was too sick to work (I think they probably thought I was hung over or something, which I was not) – this was the bug that effected me to the point that I can no longer eat dairy, so hung over my foot. The kids there were also horribly behaved, so that whole experience turned me off of working with kids and just reinforced the fact that I knew from my sophomore year of college that a career in which dealing with other peoples kids on a behavior management day to day basis was not for me. I did need that reinforced to me.
It was after the not so great daycare experience that knitting sweaters for kids in need really took off. I was still doing something to help children in need, but I don’t have to deal with children unrelated to myself on a day to day basis, and when I do I can choose whose children I take on (ie I can choose to babysit children I know are well behaved, and not babysit the children who I know are not well behaved), and it is usually for a few hours to a couple days at a time.
Over the last year and nine months as well, I have taken on more volunteer activities that I enjoy, such as helping bake cookies for the Christmas event my church has put on, and serving hot chocolate for said event, or serving cookies after the mother’s day concert, that kind of thing. I also have been knitting like crazy in between apply for what few jobs I know I stand a chance at even hearing back from for an interview.
Last fall, and this past spring I have also worked a few roadshows for a non profit organization that works with Rwandan and Ugandan women, and purchases baskets, paper bead jewelry, and hand sewn shoulder bags from the women who made them and sells them over here. I did that because of the non-profit helping others factor behind it.
I have been told that I should knit things to sell, which in and of itself I would have no problems with, but what is stopping me, is the the means of doing so would require me to obtain a business license up front and deal with the self employment tax scheme. I am not a business minded person. I’m not saying that I can’t do it, because I could, but for me it would be the bane of my existence, and I would quickly lose steam and enjoyment from knitting.
At this point I have been applying for jobs with no response, or at best and interview. I am currently waiting to hear about a volunteer opportunity I applied for at a historical museum here locally that is right up my alley, and part of what I loved studying about in school.
This story is not a Woe is Me story, it is an insight to what many American’s, myself included have been dealing with since the economy went south. I keep hearing that the economy is picking up, and the unemployment rate is down, yet the fact that I am one of millions who is chronically unemployed or underemployed is still a stark reality. I know that there is more to the problem that what the unemployment rate really reflects. This whole situation is not something I really like to talk about, but it is my reality at the moment. I much prefer writing about the projects I have completed for children who are worse off than I am, and the adventures I get to have, even here locally, even if it is just window shopping with one of my best friends. I prefer to think on the positive side, and use the time I have for a good cause. Beings that I have this time, I might as well put it to good use, and do some volunteer activity to fill my time productively. I like the feeling of knowing I am doing something to contribute to the greater good.