The Silent Soul-Crusher: UNDERemployment

21 01 2010

underemployment

Hello blogosphere, it’s been a while.  I got a job back in June and since then, kind of fell off the blogging wagon.  I thought, hey I’m employed now, it’s all good.  Hah! Little did I know that with each day I spent at my new job, my soul would be crushed a little bit more.

At first, I was psyched to be back at work – just to be doing something besides searching endlessly for jobs on the internet.  Everyone asked me how my new job was and I said things like “I have a whole new perspective now,” and “I’m just grateful to have any job at all.”  Which was true.

But in hindsight, I took my job because I was depressed and desperate, not because it was something I was truly passionate about, or a company I really wanted to work for.  And as a result, here I am, underemployed and stuck, eight full months later.

Here are some signs that you (and I) are underemployed:

  • Your bosses take you for granted and don’t treat you well (i.e. no holiday bonus, no holiday gift, no holiday card, never say thank you, expect you to go above and beyond your job duties with no compensation).
  • You accepted a lower salary than you should have because you were desperate, and now you’re barely breaking even.  You may have even accepted a job with no benefits (like me), which was a mistake and is a constant source of stress and worry.
  • You feel underpaid and under-appreciated on a daily basis and are working in a position below what you should be/are qualified for.
  • You dread the idea of having to start the job search process over  again and possibly end up in a position you still don’t like, but you know you don’t want to stay in your current job.
  • You sometimes consider going back to school, but have no money to pay for it or means to support yourself while doing so.
  • You watch your friends and old coworkers advance in their careers while you remain stagnant in yours, and even feel like you have regressed.
  • You are depressed that you can’t get unemployment again if you quit your job and regret not spending more time looking for a job you really wanted.
  • You want to feel sorry for yourself but know you shouldn’t, but no one really understands who hasn’t been through the same thing.

So that’s it, that’s my sob story of underemployment.  I don’t want to feel sorry for myself, or wallow in my underemployment, but it’s hard.  All I can do is try to maintain a somewhat positive attitude while going into my job that I don’t like (verge of hate) every day, and hope that someday soon, I’ll get my big break.  I keep hearing that there are “millions” of my fellow underemployed Americans stuck in the same position that I am and that should be comforting, but somehow it just makes the task of trying to find a new job seem even more daunting.

Still, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one.  So if you’re out there, fellow underemployed, sound off here. What advice do you have for me or anyone else in our shoes?  In the meantime, I’ll keep you updated on my struggle to break free from underemployment (have an interview Friday!).








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