I’ve been unemployed since March 1, 2010. Since the moment I got the call giving me the bad news, I have been in full scramble mode. I am a single parent with an amazing two and a half year old daughter who deserves the very best from me and the world. Her father is not involved because he chooses not to be. It is just me. I must provide a home, food, clothes, warmth, safety, love and a real chance at a happy future. Just me. The understanding that it is my sole responsibility to provide and protect her has sent me into a whirlwind of activity.
My first task was to apply for Unemployment. However after spending a week trying to get in on the phone to the unemployment office for verification, I was informed I am not eligible for unemployment in Colorado until April. Why? Because I have not been employed in the state long enough to have an income in the current block of time they are using for reference. NICE! Another wonderful blow to my fiscal health.
But I did not waiver. I have submitted 14 applications at retail and restaurant establishments, 13 resumes for Customer Service, clerical and general office positions and 11 resumes for technical positions that would be my normal career path. I have also registered for work with Aerotek, Adecco, Ciber, Geologics, Kelly and Volt. In the process, I have racked my brain and morphed and scrubbed my resume providing me, at present, nine different versions.
In the 11 days since I have been unemployed, I have had six interviews for non-technical positions. Unfortunately the interviewers did not seem so pleased to hear about my past technical history no matter how much I tried to “sanitize” it. In one incident the interviewer told me flat out that although she found me “wonderfully pleasant” and a possible “great addition to the team,” she would not consider hiring me because she could not believe I’d still be employed with her six months later. OUCH!
Another thing that has truly hurt me in the retail and restaurant fields is my availability. Because I’m a single parent I need to provide daycare for daughter. This means I am not available to work nights and weekends. It’s a fact. I do not have people I can just “drop” my daughter off with every night and weekend. It’s just me. I need to work days. I can’t negotiate that.
One more hurdle for me in the job search is the fact that I need to keep my daughter in school during the day so I can focus on finding a job. This has proved to be problematic because of my sudden financial crippling. Thankfully, I’ve had a friend offer to help me out with this a little, so I’ve been able to literally buy another week of school for her. My daughter is happy and still is not sure exactly what has changed. She is a very adept girl, so I know she is aware that there has been a change though. My intent is to find a job as soon as possible so that she never really knows.
I have a lot going on and a lot of hurdles to soar over. For the most part I’ve stayed pretty positive and focused. I won’t lie though. I had a moment where the magnitude of what I have to overcome to protect myself and my daughter overcame me and I just sat down and cried. I am human and I am annoyingly sensitive. My emotions are still all over the spectrum from the drama that has been my life for the last two and a half years. But, I can’t sit down and be depressed. I just don’t have the time. I am just too busy.
My daughter is my driving force. My touch stone. She is the reason I continue going and staying positive. I am unemployed. But I am not going down. The economy sucks. But I don’t have time to wallow. I don’t have the luxury of standing still. I’m moving forward, and I will excel.