The Silent Soul-Crusher: UNDERemployment

21 01 2010


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!).


Frustration nation

26 02 2009

So, today I took the express train to Frustration City.  Now I am officially the mayor.  It’s been over three months and the job search process feels like nothing but one dead end after another.   My one interview that I thought went great – haven’t heard a thing back.  And I’ve followed up multiple times. 


Aside from that, I’ve had another string of interviews that I thought were promising, the last of which was yesterday.  Today, I got word that they want me. YAY! But then…they made me an offer…and it’s terrible.  I’m 99% positive that garbage collectors and sanitation workers make better salaries than the offer they made me. The salary is lower than the salary of my first job out of college and wayyy lower than my last salary.  $15,000 lower to be exact.  I know it’s an economic depression and all, but I really don’t want to sell myself short and bring myself all the way back to where I started from. I put in so much time and hard work to get to my last job, I really don’t want to have to start all over.  So I went back and asked for more money.  I’m still waiting for an answer so we will see.


In honor of my day, here is a photo collage:




The waiting is the hardest part

10 02 2009

So I’m waiting to hear back from a few different prospects and man, it’s hard.  I carry my Blackberry around with me everywhere I go waiting for it to ring and it never does.  Whoever said “a watched pot never boils” really knew what they were talking about.  So, I’ve resolved to leave my phone in my bedroom and stop looking at it every two seconds.  Maybe someone will call, maybe they won’t. But at least I’ll stop making myself crazy waiting!



Post Interview: the aftermath

5 02 2009

So I had my interview this morning and it’s really hard to say how it went. I was extremely nervous and I think they could probably tell but I tried to pretend to be confident so who knows.  Plus, I only had my last job for a month before getting laid off. Unfortunately, that job was my first job in marketing after working in other area of the television industry for a few years.  So, even though I have solid experience in my industry, my marketing experience consists of one lonely month.  Not too impressive.  At least the hard part is over.  Now for the fun part: following up and just…waiting. And waiting. has some great post-interview advice (especially #3):

POST-INTERVIEW STRATEGY #1: Immediately send a Thank-You Letter.

POST-INTERVIEW STRATEGY #2: Don’t be shy about making follow-up calls.

POST-INTERVIEW STRATEGY #3: Don’t worry, be happy

POST-INTERVIEW STRATEGY #4: Negotiate your salary when you are offered the job.

POST-INTERVIEW STRATEGY #5: If you got the job, go celebrate! If you didn’t, don’t despair, just start again.


Here’s a picture of me, waiting to get the call for a second interview: