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!).


oh unemployment, you minx you

24 06 2009

At this point, I kind of totally embrace being unemployed.  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • vegas 
  • forgetting to pay COBRA one month, then getting it taken away, then begging for it back, being denied and today, receiving a bill in the mail and realizing that they gave it back for no apparent reason
  • watching and rewatching every episode of real housewives of nj
  • obsessively following the demise of jon and kate’s marraige
  • hanging out with the kitten I adopted when I got laid off
  • teaching myself how to cook
  • explaining to people at a wedding how I don’t have a job and don’t care

It’s been a while…NBD

22 04 2009


So, yeah…I haven’t blogged in a while.  Where have I been, you ask?  Well, trying as best I can to fill in the job void and scraping together as much money as possible.  I’ve just come to terms with the fact that my life is not normal, and that it’s going to remain crazy for a while before it can even begin to resemble normal again.  I estimate this process may take up to a year, if not more. Especially considering the fact that I was laid off 5 months ago.  


Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  •  I took a job. Congratulations, you say! Well, stop. The job is weird though.  I’m technically working from home until the “new office” opens in New York, and there is no date set for said opening.  Some days, I get frantic emails asking me to send faxes or schedule meetings and other days…nothing.  I was promised a salary and benefits, and despite constant nagging on my end, I didn’t get paid for the entire first MONTH of my job and I don’t think they’re going to give me benefits.  Finally, last week I put my foot down and they overnighted me a check in the mail.  Still – it’s weird.  Plus I’m not into the job, but it’s a job and it’s giving me money, so I guess I should be grateful.


  • Took a part-time job, since I have some extra time on my hands when job#1 is not demanding things of me. I really like job #2 since it’s doing marketing for a small start up company and I get to have a lot of fun with it and make some extra money.  But…it’s going to end soon since the start-up has well, started up. 


  • Despite great interviews and seemingly doing everything right, I didn’t get the “dream job” I had interviewed for.  I don’t know why or anything, and they didn’t have the decency to tell me either.  I know the economy is bad so companies can be choosey about who they hire, but come on! Have a little decency, HR people.  That’s all I have to say about that.


    So, yeah my life is still far from normal.  I promise I’ll keep up with the blog better though. Strength in numbers, people!

    My Exciting Week (I have nothing else to do)

    23 02 2009

    I have three big reasons to be excited for this week:

      1) I have a big interview on Wednesday morning.


    • I really hope something works out soon because although I’m really enjoying unemployment, I don’t have a lot of money anymore and that kind of sucks.


      2) I’m hosting a Top Chef finale party on Wednesday night.


    • Please pack your knives and go. I love this show and love having friends over, and eating and drinking, so it’s the perfect combination. Go crazy-eyed Carla. 


      3) I have two free tickets to the Maury Show on Friday.

    • Last week, I was watching Maury and a little thing came up and said “for free tickets to the Maury Show, call this number”.  So I looked at it for a second, and then thought, “well, I have nothing else to do.” So I called and got two free tickets a taping on Friday.  I think it’s going to be really, really fun.  Everyone should be jealous. 


    My new unemployment motto is officially: “I have nothing else to do.”  This way, I’ll do as much as possible and see as many people as possible while I have my freedom.


    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!



    Some Craiglist Unemployment wisdom

    14 01 2009

    Unemployed man seeking a woman:


    Artist seeking your rendered-useless business cards:


    Unemployed dude wanting a free massage (haha):


    Hilarious post by Joe the Carpenter: (I couldn’t make this up if I tried)


    One month layoff anniversary

    9 01 2009

    Exactly two days from today will mark the momentous and wonderful occasion of my layoff on December 11th.  In the past month, I’ve learned a thing or two about being unemployed in New York City.  I’ve read a lot of books, seen a lot of movies, traveled to the Caribbean, watched a lot of daytime television, adopted a kitten and just lived my life.  This blog will chronicle my everyday journey of joblessness in the hopes that you, too can enjoy your unemployment in the city almost as much as I do.