‘I’m not stupid but I sure have been made to feel that way.’
My story won’t be any different from the article and stories I read on your website but it is good to know I am not alone. Everything people wrote about feeling horrible about themselves and not sleeping, not going out, not having money for food is true of me! I have a BS in Education and taught in the public school systems in Texas and Florida for over 15 years. I was on an annual contract in ‘08 in Florida when I was told my position was eliminated. I did apply for unemployment but thought that the proper thing to do was get another job immediately. I found a temp job and lost my unemployment. I also lost that job after working one month. Of course, I was no longer eligible for unemployment.
I found other odd jobs but was forced to sale my house on a short-sale. I attempted suicide when I had no money, no gas for my car, no job, no food, and my electric and water had been shut off. Only by some fluke of nature or whatever you want to call it did I survive. But survive is all I have been doing ever since. Odd jobs and graciousness from my mom keep me going but I have no quality of life. I live in hell on earth each and everyday.
I’m not stupid but I sure have been made to feel that way. I have filled out 100s of online applications and sent my resume as well and haven’t even received so much as an email from any of the places I have applied. It now seems like filling out online applications is someone’s idea of a cruel joke. They seem pointless. If I physically go into a place to inquire about jobs, the management always tells me to fill out the online application and then I never hear back.
At this point, I live with my boyfriend because it is a roof over my head. My mother sends me money each month that helps me pay bills and have food. I have no car, no other means of money coming in, no TV, and basically no life. I have no self-esteem and no motivation. Everything seems pointless to me. I go nowhere because I have no transportation and no money. I have been to other parts of the world during better parts of my life, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Barbados, and people in those countries seem to have a better life than I do. Sometimes it seems unreal that I am an American!
At 46, I never dreamed my life would ever be like this.
Linda L., via email
‘I have received consistent feedback that the problem lies not with my competencies or interview skills, but instead with the fact that I have an MBA’
I wanted to share my story with you as I feel that it presents a bit of a dilemma involving recent MBA graduates. I attained my MBA in Marketing from a top-20 business school in 2009 and began work at a renowned sports marketing company shortly thereafter. After executing a successful product launch in two major metropolitan areas for one of the company’s clients, I was laid off in November 2010 when the client suspended its marketing budget due to unexpected cash flow shortcomings. The suddenness of the announcement was surprising, but I began an intensive job search immediately and fully believed that I would land another marketing position within 1-3 months. As of today, seven months later, I have yet to secure a new job despite countless leads and over a dozen interviews.
During the course of my unemployment, I have received consistent feedback that the problem lies not with my competencies or interview skills, but instead with the fact that I have an MBA. I’ve been told off-the-record from numerous companies that they are hesitant to spend extra money to hire qualified MBAs when job competition is so fierce. That is, for any mid-level managerial position, I seem to be competing against either respected internal employees or candidates who possess between 10-15 years of industry experience. From that perspective, companies have been hesitant to hire MBAs (reputation for being a bit more expensive) when cheaper options are readily available. I feel that, instead of aiding in job placement, my MBA has actually negatively impacted my search due to common misconceptions tied with the degree.
Over the course of my journey, I seem to have experienced every emotion in the book: from anger, frustration, helplessness and despair to exhaustion, worthlessness, self-pity and disappointment. I have taken a part-time job with Major League Baseball not for the salary it pays, but instead for for the love of the game and so that companies don’t become wary of my long-term unemployment. In fact, I’m not 100 percent sure that the salary for my part-time work covers what I lose in my unemployment checks due to the work hours that I must file.
Zvee G., via email
‘I find myself getting angry fast, crying’
I am 36 year old and the mother of a 1 year old daughter. I have been out of steady work since October 2008. I have had jobs in between, but they have all been contract work and they ended. It is very hard to function on a daily basis anymore. There are a lot of emotions that come from being unemployed. I am depressed all the time, I find myself getting angry fast, crying, etc. It is very heartbreaking being that I have an undergraduate degree in Broadcasting with a minor in Marketing and I have a Masters in Public Administration. Since I have been unemployed, I have moved back home with my mother and become a recipient of WIC, Medicare and Food Stamps. I constantly have bill collectors calling me about bills that I owe because I cannot afford to pay them.
In order to make ends meet, I started an employment consulting business in which I do workshops and individual sessions on resume writing, cover letters, interviewing skills, mock interviews, Dress for Success, etc. Unfortunately, no one is calling for my services.
I have tried to obtain jobs everywhere. I am constantly sending off resumes and applications. Some places I receive letters back telling me that I am not qualified while others send nothing. I have written to my senator, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Networks and expressed my story about being unemployed but I have not heard anything from them. I even put a plea out on YouTube about me not working and have spoken to local officials here in Louisiana who say they will try and help but I never hear anything back from them as well. What really makes me mad is when I ask some officials and person that I know about jobs, they will say that they will check around and then I never hear back from them or they will know about open positions but won’t tell me. Sometimes I feel like I am blackballed.
So, I constantly pray and hope that tomorrow will be the day that I finally get a job. I just think that if I don’t get anything soon, I may just breakdown.
LaToya B., via email
‘The local pawn shop is our regular stop at least once a month’
I had my first job in 1979 and I never worried about having a job. My last source of income was from a company that I founded. Following the recession, and a nasty lawsuit later, I found myself unemployed.
Now, in my fifties, it seems impossible to find a job that I can fit in, and when I find it, it seems impossible to compete with kids half my age.
We lost our house, our cars and most of our valuables. The local pawn shop is our regular stop at least once a month. It is humiliating but it isn’t the hardest thing. The hardest thing is trying to explain to my 11 year old why this is happening and why I’m not able to get a job.
I still apply. I have a PHD and an MBA but I apply for jobs that require much less qualifications. Sometimes I don’t even mention my higher education because who wants to hire a PHD for a clerical position.
I have a life insurance. So, when I go out to look for work I’m really hoping to have an accident so I can leave something for my child.
Casey N., via email