Without work but full of energyThanks to my dear friend Diana, I've gotten a translation of this article. Some of the facts are off - I'd been looking for a job for longer than six months; I was the Operations Manager at DEX; and I haven't had a credit card since 2001 (though it's probably more interesting to make up a quote like the one above - journalistically not cool, but ... eh.). But it's still pretty cool to be featured in a huge newspaper in Finland!
A fighter: a New York bachelor of arts has been actively applying for jobs for 6 months without success.
B.C. from New York lost her job 18 months ago, but hasn't let it get her down. "I was let go in November 2008. I'd been working in DEX New York-fashion company as an executive producer for three years and just couldn't believe I was being let go. I considered myself an integral part of the company and good at my job. The reasons they gave me were related to production and the economy. The first couple of months were depressing. I missed the job, the daily rhythm it created and my colleagues. I spent a lot of time at home by myself not doing anything.
After a few months I reasoned with myself that I couldn't take the dismissal personally in this economic climate. I've been applying for jobs constantly, honing my CV and my application and training for interview situations thousands of times. Still, I haven't had luck in landing a job.
I have a bachelor's degree in arts. Because of my degree and my job experience, I'd really rather not go for an underpaid trainee position. At the moment it feels like, however, that there's little else on offer. And the competition is tough. Last week in an interview I was told that they picked me out of 450 applicants, which is encouraging."
Saved by a blog
"New York is an expensive place to live, but I seem to get by ok. I recieve 1720 dollars in unemployment benefits per month. I live with my friend in Brooklyn in an apartment with a rent of 1700 dollars a month. A lot of my friends are also unemployed which isn't surprising given that the country's unemployment rate is nearly 10%. I know a few people who see their lack of employment as such a disgrace that they haven't even told their parents about it. There's a huge risk that they'll get depressed and isolated. My savior has been my blog.
The now nearly one year old Unemployed In Brooklyn blog started receiving comments from other unemployed people almost immediately after its launch and these days it enjoys a tight knit but wide community. The blog has 1500 individual readers per month and we meet up with the most active readers regularly. The group has brought a lot of joy to my life and some unbelievable friendships. The most important part though, has been the peer support. Who knows, I might even find my next job through this community."
Your family connections?
I live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with a gay friend who I consider a part of my family these days. My parents and one of my sisters live in Boston, another sister lives in Los Angeles.
What do you do in your spare time?
Anything free. I meet friends, go out or visit the library. I don't shop.
What do you watch on the TV?
After I was let go I would watch TV around the clock until the morning soaps really started to bum me out. Now I only watch my favourites like Mad Men, Millionaire Matchmaker and Top Chef.
Do you dream about traveling?
Being unemployed I can't afford to travel even if I have the time and the will. As an employed person I would treat myself to weekend trips.
Do you watch your energy consumption?
Electricity is so expensive in the US that you have to control your use. Fortunately heating and hot water are included in the rent.
How would you describe your diet?
I try to eat healthy and avoid red meat. But occasionally I'll succumb to a hamburger in a restaurant. I cook a lot at home and favour local produce. I enjoy baking and my Nutella-oatmeal cookies are my biggest weakness.
Are you concerned over healthcare issues?
I feel healthy and in good shape. But since my income is so small, I don't have a health insurance and suddenly falling ill is a concern for me.
(Image caption: "I live frugally and often have to say no to temptation. To prevent myself from living outside my means, I cut my credit cards in half after I'd been unemployed for 6 months")
Monday, November 22, 2010
In April, right before getting her new job, your MatchGirl was featured in the Finnish newspaper Aamulehti. If anyone knows Finnish, feel free to let me know what it says about me!