Riding the job boards

It’s now going into the fifth month since I received notice my position with Nokia was being eliminated, and the third month since I was actually released.  The experience has been like riding an operator-free rollercoaster, or surfing in a tsunami.

In January of this year there was a brief flurry of activity, leading me to hope that I was seeing the typical “January bounce” for employment prospects.  But the many interviews and offers quickly evaporated and thus began the stomach-wrenching ride on which I now find myself.

The unemployment monster is certainly bipolar, offering up dozens of new opportunities one week only to cruelly withdraw them and offer nothing new the next.  I can’t speak for other states, but the Texas Workforce Commission requires us to make at least 3 contacts a week, which is extremely easy some times but not so much at others.  We jobless learn early on to set aside some prospects for the weeks that will be lean, just to make sure we have something.

I’m motivated to post today because the last week seemed to have fallen off a metaphorical cliff.  Opportunities in my locale evaporated like the funds in a Bernie Madoff investment account.  It was an eerie five days, plowing through my usual resources to see almost nothing new at all, and certainly no positions I could fill.

I’m not completely depressed, though: I have an interview this week that I strongly believe will pay off.  I expect to be employed again by early April.

But what about everyone else?  I’ve noticed that many people don’t symapthize with the unemployed until the monster strikes them.  I’ve gone through the experience enough that I can’t help but be empathetic.  However, it would sure be easy to “forget” there’s still a persisting problem once my mind is fully on my next job.

I’m going to make an effort, though, to keep visiting this subject and especially not regurgitate the same despairing message every time.  I don’t want to patronize anyone (as so-called experts tend to do) but I do want to find rays of hope, especially now that unemployment has become the biggest concern according to polled Americans.  In a recent interview,  Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said he thinks the recession will end for the United States by the end of 2009.  I sure hope he’s correct, and that the rest of the world quickly follows suit.  People want to get back to work.


2 responses to “Riding the job boards

  1. “The unemployment monster is certainly bipolar, offering up dozens of new opportunities one week only to cruelly withdraw them and offer nothing new the next.” Couldn’t agree more. One of the biggest challenges is to not get bipolar along with it. It seems like it should be a steady climb upward to the final reward, but it doesn’t quite work like that.

    My unemployment was by choice, but I’m not likely to forget the experience any time soon. Assuming the economic situation in the country is remotely similar, the media won’t let me forget anyway.

  2. Thanks for commenting!

    Some have complained about the overwhelming media coverage, and I’d normally be inclined to agree… but we Americans have been in “live in the moment” mode for far too long, always expecting continuous miracles to overcome persistent demons such as the Law of Diminishing Returns. To that extent, I’m glad the news sources aren’t letting up on this one. We adults apparently need to have this fiscal lesson repeatedly pounded home… and our kids need to learn it.

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