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Unemployed: A Sort Of Hopeful And Not Too Whiny Update

March 12, 2013

I have neglected to write about why I haven’t been writing very much recently. I moved from my home state of Texas to Chicago after the completion of my last job in November and have been looking for work ever since. I have become a piece of the (according to who you read) 13.1 to 16.6 percent of unemployed millennials.

The Huffington Post is providing a number (13.1 %) from the U.S. Department of Labor as of early this month. Editors over at PolicyMic are reporting that, “When “real unemployment” is factored in, that number jumps to 16.6%”. But no matter how you slice it, I’m in there. And I knew nothing about graduating and finding a job (especially with a liberal arts degree) was going to be easy, but I didn’t think it would be this painful either.

All in all, I’m fine. I have savings from previous jobs, a friend is graciously letting me crash on her couch while I hunt, I can eat, take showers, and drink tea while writing this out. I can only imagine how difficult it would be if that were not the case. But my confidence, my ability to bounce back from rejection feels impossible to find. And like a little slap on the wrist for not being more confident, the whole discussion over Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead pops up. CNN is even gearing up for a two-day extravaganza on women in the workplace. But all of this talk of women CEO’s, COO’s, and asking for raises feels so far from me when my pretty simple dream of getting my own place (with some roommates) and paying my bills on time feels more and more far off.

Between going after nonprofit jobs, unpaid and super competitive journalism internships, filling out Starbucks, Walgreens, and restaurant applications, I have gone over in my head all of the things I should have done differently. More internships. Different major. More externships. Learned a second language. Perfected my cover letter more. Started applying earlier. People tell you that unemployment sucks but what they don’t tell you is how it kills your soul a little. In efforts to stave this off, I’ve been gettin’ my volunteer on lately as much as possible.

If I let myself list out all of the things that make me feel crappy, I’d feel even more crappy because I’d read through it all and chastise myself for being so whiny. So instead I’ll just wrap this up by linking to some articles that have comforted me for a variety of reasons during this time period of unknown length that you should read:

Don’t Let Unemployment Crush Your Soul: Staying Sane While Seeking A Job(XOjane)
The Age of the Permanent Intern (Washingtonian)
The No-Limits Job (The New York Times)
Generation Stress (RedEye Chicago)
When a Kid’s Bedroom Isn’t a Room (Mother Jones)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2013 10:24 pm

    Hang in there. It’s a nasty time to be looking for work and I agree that discussion of how to manage the C-suite leaves many of us, working or not, cold and annoyed at the elitism of it.
    Volunteering really is a terrific way to show people all your skills and great attitude — loyal, on-time, helpful, full of good ideas. It’s one of the best ways to network and build a group of people who can give you good references. Don’t forget (?) to create and update your LinkedIn profile.

    You might (?) consider coming to NYC in late April to our annual ASJA conference; we have student rates and you will meet lots of smart veterans in journalism. I think it would be a really smart investment of your time and resources. You might (?) very well find a few writers who need a smart research assistant (paid) there as well as many of us are writing books and need help!

    http://www.asja.org/for-writers/annual-conference/

    • March 13, 2013 10:43 pm

      I didn’t know ASJA had a conference and it looks fantastic (the Saturday schedule especially)! Unfortunately, I’m not a student anymore (recently graduated), do you think it would be worth it to go for just one day of the conference?

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