View Full Version : Been unemployed for one year, and counting

01-11-2010, 11:32 PM
I lost my job last year on January 15. It was a mass layoff; they let go probably about 75% of the workforce. And they let even more go in the months ahead.

It was the economy. No new orders, and everything ordered was put on hold "until the fourth quarter. That's when we expect to bring you back" they told me.

Fourth quarter was around October of last year.

Being laid off gave me time to focus on writing my fourth book. Then my baby was born in March, so I became a full-time, stay-at-home dad. I wrote while holding her in my lap, and revised while she napped. Sent the book off in July. I comes out in two weeks.

In the meantime, I sent resumes and cover letters. I focused mainly on writing-related jobs. That's what I wanted to do, I said. No more technical, no more manufacturing. I'm a writer, I'd like to write for a job.

Didn't happen.

I can't tell you how many resumes I've sent out. The majority of them go unanswered, even those I'm perfectly suited for.

I've had the unique position to watch my baby grow from a tiny infant into a crawling, "talking" ten month old adventurer who gets into everything. It's been real treat, and I'm happy because of it.

But, I have no job. I collect unemployment. I'm currently on my second or third extension. This one lasts until March. I'm not sure if there's another extension. Then I'm SOL.

BTW, my wife works full time. She has a good job, and her paycheck plus my unemployment keep our heads above water. We can't afford to eat in the classiest of restaurants, but our bills are getting paid.

Luckily, I'll receive a nice royalty check in March. Sales were good this last half-year. Subway has topped 7,000 copies. Beverly Hills, hopefully, sells off the charts.

But, what then? Hope a proposal I have floating out there for a nonfiction book I want to write sells? It hasn't sold yet. And if it does, will the advance cover me for any length of time? And that's a might big "if."

I've had a good amount of time to rework my novel. I've been doing a major revision to it, having not looked at it for about ten months. It's coming along well, I'm about halfway through. And I'm querying it now. All rejections, no requests for partials. There's no guarantee this will sell. They say most first novels don't sell. I hoped to prove it wrong. So far, I'm wrong.

Books or no books, I need a job. I think, come March, I'll be settling for anything. Shoveling out driveways, work in a car wash. Maybe back at McDonalds. Who knows. I'll put my Bachelor's Degree to great use.

01-11-2010, 11:41 PM
Hang in there! I know that sounds trite, but there are a lot of folks out there in similar positions right now. I have a couple of them in my own family, including one that is currently residing in my basement. Things will change. They always do. It's just a matter of when.

01-11-2010, 11:44 PM
I was unemployed for three years because of illness, and that's when I started to write. It got to the point where I didn't know if I could actually re-enter society I was so isolated. Fortunately our benefits system is very different and as long as you meet the criteria you'll receive benefit for the entire time you're looking for work or ill. I'm eternally grateful for it, but it's 60 a week (roughly $US90) so doesn't go very far. And I don't have children to worry about. Thankfully my cat preferred the cheaper cat food. :)

I finally got a call centre job. It wasn't much; I certainly wasn't saving the world and hardly earning a fortune, but the socialising and having money again was brilliant. I've still not got all my social skills back, but I'm ready now to move abroad. There's hope. I wish you loads of luck with all your submissions, and much as your situation is difficult you've had an amazing time with your baby you'll never forget. A' the best t'ye. :Hug2:

01-12-2010, 06:17 PM
I appreciate it. I just had to rant, get it off my chest.

It will be hard to socialize again on a daily basis once I do get a job. My only company during the day is my baby daughter, and my link to the outside world is either television, which I don't watch much of, and the computer. Mainly AW. I don't go out that much during the day unless I have to. It's just too much work to bundle up the baby and go someplace. But when I do, it's really nice to get out of the house and mingle with grown-ups. Sometimes, a whole week goes by before I leave the house.

How do you make that transition, from homebody to full-time employee someplace? It's gonna be weird.

01-12-2010, 06:44 PM

Wayne K
01-12-2010, 06:46 PM
I'm on the beginning ofyear three. I'm out due to an injury that my insurance company refuses to fix. I feel for you. Be glad that when the call comes, you'll be able to answer it.

01-12-2010, 06:57 PM
Oh, I know I'm not the only one in this situation. I also know many other people have it worse.

It just sucks all around. For everyone.

Wayne K
01-12-2010, 10:22 PM
Oh, I wasn't trying to minimalize what you're going through. I was offering a ray of hope. Commiserating even.

01-12-2010, 10:42 PM
I'm on month 16? 17? I've lost count now. I'm on disability because I've shutdown (autistic feature) during my time unemployed - having to drop out of school, attempting suicide, going through a bout of daily CBT to see if it helped. Right now I don't know if I have enough skills to retain a job of any sort. So on disability I go.

01-13-2010, 12:39 AM
Oh, I wasn't trying to minimalize what you're going through. I was offering a ray of hope. Commiserating even.

I know. I appreciate it. :)

Wayne K
01-13-2010, 12:54 AM
:Hug2:<- Manhug :D

01-13-2010, 02:46 AM
But when I do, it's really nice to get out of the house and mingle with grown-ups. Sometimes, a whole week goes by before I leave the house.

I've been unemployed for over a year, and that's the part I miss most about work – day to day interaction with other adults. If I could, I'd take a low paying part time job just to get out more often, but the structure of unemployment makes that impossible. (You lose of your weekly benefits for every day you work.)

OTOH I'm just one chapter away from finishing the first draft of my second novel. And I keep putting it off, for some reason.

01-13-2010, 03:37 AM
It really sounds like your unemployment experience has been better than a lot of other people's.

I think you'll find the transition back to employment relatively easy. It's not like you're suffering from a disability. The hardest part will probably be seeing so much less of your daughter.

Hubby played stay-at-home dad for a couple of years, and he was quite relieved to get out in the world again...

I thank God for the internet. My chronic fatigue has worsened considerably and daily social interaction would just about kill me. Christmastime requires days of bedrest to recover from. I think I'm almost there. But in the meanwhile, at least I can talk to people online, and I can quit a conversation pretty much anytime I need to, which is awkward in real life.