Thursday, December 6, 2012

Will Work for...........Work

It's taken 37 years on planet earth and two sweet wonderful sons to teach me a degree of humility.  So it is without reservation that I post this publicly and unashamedly.

My employment of 12 years unexpectedly ended yesterday.  My company had been experiencing financial hardships for the last two years and laid off nearly 1,000 people in this time.  Regrettably, yesterday I became one of them.

I've worked in some capacity since I was 13, to include through all levels of education.  I work, because that is what I know how to do and what I'm good at.  I simply cannot sit idle.  I've found that people can be generally lumped into two categories - workers and non-workers.  I'm a worker.  Whatever task at hand, I work, and this ethic has served me well.

As I laid awake last night pondering my options, it was a reality only this morning that I had no place to go - no "work".  My family is a one-income household with my wife doing her best to raise our 3 and 5 year old sons to be respectable and brilliant contributors to the world.  This is a philosophy which is necessary for us right now.  Unfortunately it also means that the lack of our only income is devastating.

It is very unlikely that I will find a job locally which means I am now on a course to relocate and start something new.  My hope is to use all the resources I can, to include the anonimity of the internet and the blogger sphere, to look for potential "work" where ever that may be.  My personal interests are in all things backpacking and outdoors.  If you are a vendor and would like to expand in Virginia or elsewhere, please let me know.  If you have more conventional work, again, I welcome the challenge.

Thanks for reading.

16 comments:

Malva said...

I've been a reader for a while but haven't commented before.

A job loss is really unfortunate but these things happen and it's often the push needed to go after what we really want. If you'd been thinking of relocating, now's you chance.

I'm in favor of taking any job at all, regardless of how "beneath me" it is, just to provide a small stream of income while looking for something more suitable. Just make sure it's not so many hours per week that it prevents you from looking for your dream job. Also, now that your income has dropped, look into any program that you may qualify for, even if you're not "in need". Money you don't spend = money in the bank will last longer.

You're also a great writer (it's true!) and may want to look into monetizing that in some way. A first step could be to reorganize your blog to have all the reviews in one tab, with affiliate links embedded. I think people would forgive you for adding some google adds on the sidebar right now as well. That doesn't mean selling out and posting only favorable reviews. It wouldn't be huge money but it would trickle in.

Best of luck in your job search! With the right attitude and network (good for you to post this here!), this may just be the opportunity you needed.

john personna said...

I don't know of anything, but best wishes!

Stephen McGuire said...

When I was faced with a layoff last year I immediately purchased a thru-hiker's guide to a trail that I was interested in. Might be time for a break. :)

Good luck,
-Stephen

Alan R said...

Having been in almost exactly the same situation i can say it’s one of the most horrible feelings in the world.
At first you don’t think there is a light anywhere, just a dark tunnel. You feel this is the end.
Have non of it. There is light, you just have to maintain a positive train of thought even in the bad days to come. Put pride to one side, put everything except your family in a box and close the lid. It’s tough out there at the moment and family come first.
Keep selling yourself, don’t wait for something to come, go out and seek it even if it’s something you have never done before.
You will succeed in a new challenge.

Michael said...

Sorry for your loss. While I don't have any news of opportunities I have become skilled at developing the résumé, cover letters, and linked in profiles if people I help to mentor. If I can help in any way please let me know

You can find my email address on my website.

-Michael

Josh Mitchell said...

Hey man, I know what you're going through. Been through it twice in not many more years than that... When you're the provider, especially when you're used to providing well enough that your wife can stay home (kudos to your family for finding a way to do that the long term dividends will be huge), it's a serious kick.

I agree with Malva, take advantage of every program your state has to offer: Unemployment (no brainer), Medical Coverage (for kids), Foodstamps / WIC, etc. Literally, go into your local Family Services center and go "I need to talk with someone... I really don't know what to do."

Those services are there for this very reason. You and your employer have been paying into that pot (and your employer has been paying unemployment insurance) for a reason. This is that reason. Do not in anyway believe that you are "becoming a leech on society" by doing so.

PS - Look into angel food ministries as a way to stretch your food dollar. You may have a near by site.

However, I MAY disagree with one thing (and it may just be my interpretation of the comments). Depending upon what your past employment was, do not rush into taking on just any old job to have some side income. Unless you do it right, depending on the rules of your state, it can endanger what you're eligible for AND unless you're making a real $/hour that is acceptable you're job hunt will ultimately bring better returns. You need to leverage social services in such a way as to get you 100% back on your feet as quickly as possible (aka, not underemployed). It doesn't do anyone (including the rest of society) benefit for you to drag on longer than needed just to "minimize how much you suck off in welfare" in the short term.

Realize, it isn't a pride thing, it's a shrewdness thing. You simply need to play within the rules and maximize your support in the short term so that you can get to fully employed in as rapid of a fashion as possible. Your full time job right now is to find a new job. Work at it with all your gusto (though realize that doesn't mean fill out applications 40 hours a week you owe it to yourself and society to take some time to analyze what you should be doing next), welfare is there to, essentially pay you to do this.

Now, realize, there may be some mental / social / spiritual needs of your own that can be served by working part time. If that's the case go right ahead. If it helps your mental health to work 10 hours a week while job hunting 30 hours. Do it. Just make sure to look at all the variables and don't risk disqualifying yourself from the support you've earned just to assuage guilty feelings of not working or guilty feelings of drawing on that social welfare safety net.

Again, you paid into that bucket, it's time to take some out. The bucket is there for this very reason.

I only say this, because I had to have a few people get in my face and tell me the same thing in order to get me focused on the future.

Josh Mitchell said...

Hey man, I know what you're going through. Been through it twice in not many more years than that... When you're the provider, especially when you're used to providing well enough that your wife can stay home (kudos to your family for finding a way to do that the long term dividends will be huge), it's a serious kick.

I agree with Malva, take advantage of every program your state has to offer: Unemployment (no brainer), Medical Coverage (for kids), Foodstamps / WIC, etc. Literally, go into your local Family Services center and go "I need to talk with someone... I really don't know what to do."

Those services are there for this very reason. You and your employer have been paying into that pot (and your employer has been paying unemployment insurance) for a reason. This is that reason. Do not in anyway believe that you are "becoming a leech on society" by doing so.

PS - Look into angel food ministries as a way to stretch your food dollar. You may have a near by site.

However, I MAY disagree with one thing (and it may just be my interpretation of the comments). Depending upon what your past employment was, do not rush into taking on just any old job to have some side income. Unless you do it right, depending on the rules of your state, it can endanger what you're eligible for AND unless you're making a real $/hour that is acceptable you're job hunt will ultimately bring better returns. You need to leverage social services in such a way as to get you 100% back on your feet as quickly as possible (aka, not underemployed). It doesn't do anyone (including the rest of society) benefit for you to drag on longer than needed just to "minimize how much you suck off in welfare" in the short term.

Realize, it isn't a pride thing, it's a shrewdness thing. You simply need to play within the rules and maximize your support in the short term so that you can get to fully employed in as rapid of a fashion as possible. Your full time job right now is to find a new job. Work at it with all your gusto (though realize that doesn't mean fill out applications 40 hours a week you owe it to yourself and society to take some time to analyze what you should be doing next), welfare is there to, essentially pay you to do this.

Now, realize, there may be some mental / social / spiritual needs of your own that can be served by working part time. If that's the case go right ahead. If it helps your mental health to work 10 hours a week while job hunting 30 hours. Do it. Just make sure to look at all the variables and don't risk disqualifying yourself from the support you've earned just to assuage guilty feelings of not working or guilty feelings of drawing on that social welfare safety net.

Again, you paid into that bucket, it's time to take some out. The bucket is there for this very reason.

I only say this, because I had to have a few people get in my face and tell me the same thing in order to get me focused on the future.

Justin Mc said...

Hey there,

What do you do for a living? Maybe giving a bit of your experience and expertise will give us all a frame of reference of what to look for as we keep an eye out for you!

Jolly Green Giant said...

Thanks everyone for your comments.

I've been out connecting with the Virginia Employment Commission as well as sending out resumes. This is a very trying time which is weighing heavily on me. It's amazing what a physical and mental toll this can take. It does feel hopeless and unconventional. As Josh said, being the provider and knowing that, well, I failed, probably tears at me the most. I see my kids and want to know that tomorrow will be a better day and hate the fact that I can't guarantee it.

I am following the advice of many of you - so thanks for that.

In response to Justin, I work in national security. This is the polite way of me telling you I work in an office, manage people, and manage information. I'm a manager in the sense of having solid experience being the subject-matter expert and being singularly accountable for all respects of a related department and personnel. I deal with executives, workerbee's and all levels of the federal government. This includes managing a budgets, contracts, paperwork, personalities and widgets. I have solid "office" skills and an indepth knowledge of security related topics concerning national security and have spent a lot of time writing policy and developing training. This is not my passion, but I don't mind doing it. If given the choice, I'd much rather run a gear shop or be in an environmental position. I'm highly organized, highly motivated and generally perceived as one of the better apples in the bunch. That's about as specific as I can be.

Please keep the suggestions coming. Beggers can't be choosers.

JGG

Iván said...

I´m sorry, but I think that you're a great person.Surely only a passing moment
I send you my good energy.

Good Luck my friend

Wes said...

Only very recently discovered your blog and enjoy it much. I know you must feel like you've been kicked in the stomach with news of the layoff. As others have said, sometimes these types of events in our lives end up changing our course for the better. You're obviously intelligent and hardworking and have a skillset that is valuable. It might not feel like it right now but I'll bet things will go well for you soon. Best of luck to you!

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog and want to note, based on your experience, that if you're willing to move, the California Department of Transportation is hiring. The hiring process is more rigorous after years of staffing freezes, wage freezes, and furloughs, and the department may announce a position but not end up filling it, but there is lots of opportunity to move around throughout the state once you get in. Means hiking and backpacking in north, central, and southern California. You won't get rich either, but you'll have a job.

Stick's Blog said...

Wow! I am sorry to hear about this. I hope that you will be able to find something soon, and that until then you and your family will be ok...

Luke Schmidt said...

Sign up for the NOLS alumni job postings. You don't have to be NOLS alumni to sign up. They post jobs weekly in the outdoor industry. A lot are summer camp type jobs that would not pay enough to support a family but there are some you might be interested in, after all its free.

Jolly Green Giant said...

@ Stephen McGuire - Enabler :)

@ Luke Schmidt - Hadn't thought of that. Thanks for the tip.

@ Everyone - Thanks for the continued positive comments during this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Look into getting PMI certified.From what you posted your experience is very relevant and can betransfered, the PMI certification will allow yu to do that. You can then leverage your experience and work as a project manager in any field. If it was me I would aim for financial sector as it offers the most opportunties at this time the best cost/benefit return.