Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Will work for food

I've been mostly unemployed for over two years.

I belonged to a union for nearly 10 years...paid $1000s in union dues and then suddenly lost my contract job after being at the top of the union heap.  The job requirements for a position I had held steadily for nearly 10 years changed overnight.  I was given no warning and there was no grandfathering.  Letters to the union remain unanswered.

Needless to say I lost a whole lot of respect for unions due to this distasteful experience.

So, during the past couple of years I've explored a whole lot of options.  I've sent out many resumes.

I have discovered that I fall into this curious niche market:  over educated and possibly older than the target audience of the jobs I've been applying to.

At a time in my life that I thought I'd be able to swing into any type of job since I do have impeccable qualifications and my daughter is in her last year of high school (so I could take a job with travel requirements) I have yet to be interviewed (let alone offered) a job.

It is hard not to be discouraged and often I am.  Greatly.  I go into blind panics...especially as I see my debt load rising daily (I long ago ran out of employment insurance).  I have gotten to the point that I think I will explore temporary secretarial options.  It is disheartening to think that my mathematics and engineering degrees are to be put to such waste.

I have had contract work my entire adult life with the longest contracts being one year and the great majority of them being 4 month contracts.  I have lived a lifetime of contract employment and naturally have thought about starting some kind of business.  Yet a part of me craves the stability of a longer term stint.  Benefits.  Pension plans.  Things that most of my classmates from years ago have enjoyed their entire working lives.  Things that have been challenging to me due to having a child that required far too many sick days to allow me to enjoy the regularity of a traditional 9 - 5 job.  And once I got the union job and was at the top of the seniority list I thought I wouldn't have to worry about it (even though there was no benefits and no pension with that job and my contracts always depended on enrolment numbers).

Today I remain hopeful and will once again enjoy an outing this afternoon that wouldn't be possible if I was working a traditional job.

A part of my soul was dying in that previous life and it feels good to publicly reject it.

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