Thursday, December 2, 2010

Faces of Unemployment

This is my family.
One year ago to the date, I was laid off. Actually, I was corralled into a room with many of my coworkers and told by strangers in suits that we would be joining the masses of the unemployed.

It was three weeks before Christmas.

Now, twelve months later, we are no worse for the wear. We've weathered some strong currents and have come out victorious, wiser and grateful to still have our home, our health and each other.

In fact, I learned a few things along the way:

1) The only difference between a working parent and staying at home with kids is that I can stay in my PJs all day and never shower when I'm at home.

2) When you interview, treat the company like a date. Maybe they'll call you for a second date, and maybe not.

3) You can't always change the circumstance. But you can always change your attitude.

4) Don't underestimate the power of baking bread. You get the satisfaction of tackling something not everyone can do AND save money in the process!

5) When in doubt, clean.

6) Your kids may never be able to understand the frustration or stress you're under, but they will always be there to offer a hug.

7) If you're unemployed for more than a few months, revamp the resume and the attitude. If you're unemployed for more than a year, you're looking for the wrong job.

8) Homemade spaghetti is cheaper than fast food...and feeds a family for much longer.

9) I have experience and a college degree in a thriving area where unemployment hasn't been as bad as it could be. It took me six months to find a job, and I consider myself lucky.

10) Don't take naps in the afternoon. Businesses don't let you take naps so don't get into the habit.

11) Remember to thank those who help you, even if it's something as simple as listening to you vent. Those people are priceless.

So in the end, here we are. I have an AMAZING job, and I couldn't be happier. I was waiting for doors to open, and they did.

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