Sunday, September 05, 2010

Stuff I Learned from a 15-Month Unplanned Sabbatical

 Labor Day Thoughts from  a Guy Who is Recently Re-employed:

1. I love job security!

2. It is good and satisfying to work for a living.

3. Contrary to the human nature beliefs of some of my friends, most humans (even most Americans) believe, live by, and are motivated by no. 2.

4. There are hardworking people who can’t find a job and hard-working people who can’t provide for their families (OK, I already knew this one).

5. There are more important things than job security.

6. Looking for work is work. Looking for work during a recession takes patience, persistence and ingenuity. And the Patience and Persistence Award goes to: My wife, Laura.

7. Networking works, even if it takes 15 months (or longer) to work. 

8. Contrary to some rantings from defenders of hard-working, successful people, there is no such thing as independence. No-one gets there purely by their own actions and abilities (See no.7).

9. There is no such thing as job security.

10. blah blahblah GRANDKIDS blah blah blah (See no.5)


bjm said...

Thanks for sharing your heart.

Laura said...

Well spoken my dear husband. You have been a great example to me in how you had handle your unemployment. Thank you for never giving up hope or your humor during this season of life. Love ya! Laura

nashbabe said...

Thanks Anthony.

I have seen both sides in this situation. I personally know a significant number of people who see the employment situation in a completely different light. It is readily apparent that they are doing as little as possible, or acting like a small effort is enough when it is not. The tall dude with big feet's family is one example, but there are others. They have a couple persons living over there that are taking full advantage of the two years' of unemployment currently offered. In all the time I drove over there to pick the dude up in the first months of the year, I never saw one of those aforementioned folks' cars leave its spot on the driveway...they weren't exactly out looking for a job. Tall dude confirmed that they were, in his words, "lazy", and just collecting unemployment checks. The person in question is a trained computer professional...and computer people can at least get recruiters to look for them, if the person would get off the sofa.

I wish instead of just cutting checks to people, that our government required able bodied individuals to work for the money. Far less demeaning and ties into your statement of people wanting to work for a living.

Many folks are having trouble finding jobs, and it's not getting better. Many of them do not understand, or are unwilling to commit, to the level of work involved in finding a job. I've have read quite a number of articles in the local paper, for example, of individuals saying they had sent out sixty resumes in a six month span, for example, and this is considered acceptable behavior in job searching. That isn't even close to the numbers that one will need to do in order to get a job. From experience, I know this too well.

I know a guy who lost his job at the Spring Hill auto plant. He is late fifties and is an automotive management type specialist. He is collecting unemployment, and won't even consider calls from recruiters that he receives from other cities with jobs in his field because he wants to stay close to his grandchildren. I'm sorry to say that especially at his age, that kind of selectivity is NOT an option. He is seeming to act like a job will fall down from the sky that will meet his discerning tastes, and in the meantime he will continue to collect checks. His wife is working in a low level retail job, so it's not exactly a reason to stay here.

I ought to know, having spent a very long time putting my hubs' resume in at hundreds upon hundreds of places, in many different states. We have lived apart for a year and a half and are in the midst of a move because of this economic reality. My husband spent a year working as a contractor in another city because of this reality, and possessing the willingness to do what it takes to be employed.

I know what economic hardship is like, and we didn't receive a penny of unemployment checks. We have considerable debt to clean up as a result of being unemployed. We also lost the job right before Obama offered to subsidize folks for their COBRA, so didn't receive a penny of that either.

I personally don't know anyone who would say the job search is something where folks should be lauded for being independent. There's no possibility for that in today's arena, because the market is competitive. But I don't think independence was ever an option.

Love the Rosie the Riveter... :-)

tdadpete said...

@nashbabe: All of your examples are well noted. While job searching and holding down a job are both work, they are different animals.

All sorts of factors play out in unsuccessful job searching, some having to do with dedication/motivation, others having to do with knowledge/ability/ingenuity, and others having to do with availability of jobs. And family considerations do matter when looking for work. I did not consider work outside of the Nashville area because my wife was not budging as long as the kids and grandkids are here. My family is a legitimate consideration (but don't worry, I got no unemployment $ or COBRA either) Perhaps your husband is one of the only people around who is dedicated enough to make difficult decisions, but I think not. Maybe you are not in a position to understand all the ins and outs of another's decision-making.

When it comes to actual working, I still believe that in the long run MOST people would rather work for a living than sit on their butts. Many people believe it is human nature to want to get something for nothing. And in the short-run that may or may not be so. But for the long haul, I believe we are made to prefer working for a living. In that, your husband is not the exception, but part of the rule.

nashbabe said...

I understand that family considerations are important. In most cases where the unemployment rate is high in a given area, the people involved will HAVE to seriously consider moving in order to get jobs. There has been nothing for hubs here in town for some time, and wanting to stay by friends (who are more family to us than our biological family) isn't an option.