Stages of Unemployment

September 3, 2014
As many of you know, I quit my jobs to take a chance and start a new life for myself here in Savannah.  While I don't regret moving, I'll admit that I am a bit stressed over not having started work yet.  As I mentioned in a previous post or two, I did have an interview last week and am just waiting to hear back.  I'm hoping there is light at the end of the tunnel, but the points below pretty much sum up how I felt step-by-step.

*Three days after quitting my job:  Oh my gosh, I can't believe I haven't worked in three whole days.  I feel like I have all the time in the world--I'm free! 

*Weeks 2-3 of not working: This is glorious!  I'm actually LIVING life right now instead of feeling like a machine.  I'm so glad I'm out of the place where I formerly worked.  I have time to read, work on my blog, to cook healthy meals, to exercise, and to binge-watch Netflix.  This is the life!

*A month of not working: Hmmm...I put out several applications and haven't heard anything yet.  It's okay though because these things take time and I know so many people that got teaching jobs at the last minute.  Maybe I'll put in applications for non-teaching jobs, too... That way I have a back up plan.

* A little over a month of not working: I just applied to six non-teaching jobs.  That's fine, but each one takes me hours to apply to because I have to re-write my resume specifically for each one, so now I have about five different resumes.  It will be worth it if I get an interview, though.  Also, at least I have manager experience to rely on if I don't hear anything back about teaching.  


Going back to work is what I want to do!!  

*A month and a half of not working:  Okay, I'm getting VERY concerned.  Why haven't I heard anything back?  Oh wait, I did hear one thing back--I got a rejection letter for a manger position I applied to and they never even called me for an interview, despite my years of manager experience.  I'm getting frustrated and better watch what I spend because I expected to have something lined up by now.  Is there something wrong with me?  I worked my butt off in my program which was ranked as one of the top five in the nation.  I have glowing references, maintained a 4.0 in my program, and have international teaching experience as well as subbing experience.  What more do they want from me??!  Did I accidentally type the wrong telephone number on my resume and is that why they're not calling?  (Nope!) 

* Two months of not working:  School is starting and I still haven't heard anything.  I really thought I was going to get my own classroom this year, but it looks like that is not happening even though I applied for more than 15 jobs in early childhood education.  Why wouldn't anyone at least give me an interview?  Subbing is an option, but my heart was set on having my own classroom.  Maybe I should continue my education and get my Ph.D to avoid this problem.  Hmm...some of my friends have really good jobs.  I could write them and ask how to get into those fields.  

* Over two months of not working:  Now the agency I have to go through for subbing isn't even calling me back.  I KNOW I am qualified for this.  What the heck is going on??!?!  When I call and ask about my resume, I just get told that they'll get to it when they get to it.  I'm starting to get dramatic and envision a bleak future of working in fast-food or being a janitor after shelling out $40,000 for my Masters.  I try to enjoy myself but get anxiety about spending money knowing that I haven't had a paycheck coming in for months.  I try to calm down and look on the bright side of things, but also have to stay realistic about my current situation.  I bawl to my friend about I've lost hope, feel like a loser, and wonder why some weirdos we know were able to get teaching jobs, yet I still don't have one.  I start to mope thinking I don't have control over the situation.  Then I feel guilty for feeling bad because I know that others have it so much worse than I do.  I try to be happy, but I clearly have an underlying problem and it's a big one.  

Then, I FINALLY get an interview, but only because I kept calling the agency about subbing.  It goes well and I'm pretty sure I got the job, but I am not officially hired on until my background check and drug tests go through which might take awhile (not that there would be any issue on my part with those things, lol.  Just saying that because sometimes paperwork like that can take longer than expected to get processed.)  I'm relieved, but won't be fully relaxed until I get my first paycheck and things are "official."  

I've never been unable to find a job for this long in my life.  I really empathize with anyone who has struggled with unemployment.  It can take such a toll on your self-esteem and patience, not to mention be stressful in plenty of other ways since money makes the world go round.  While my situation started to get scary since I had to use up a huge chunk of my savings for my move and for just basic living expenses, it could have been a whole lot worse.  At least I don't have kids to support and thank goodness I had a savings to fall back on.  I did work extra shifts and longer hours all year last year just in case something like this were to happen, and now I'm SO glad that I did! Also, I got an interview after 2.5 months of being here which is sooner than some people have gotten interviews.  For that, I am very lucky.  I just hope that this emotional roller-coaster is put behind me and that I'm able to work regularly again!  Once I start subbing, I'll know with all certainty that I can stay here, and believe me, I really would like to.  I just want to move forward and start creating a life for myself here which will be much easier to do once I have some financial stability. 

Has there ever been a time in your life when you were unable to find work?  How did you deal with it?
28 comments on "Stages of Unemployment"
  1. Hang in there dear! I was unemployed for a bit over 2 months after being laid off and then just took something to work because I couldn't stand not working. You'll find something! You've got this!

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  2. Keeping my fingers crossed for you! I know the feeling,w hen I moved abroad last year I first had to wait for my visa and then was constantly being told I wouldn't find anything since I don't speak Icelandic. It is such a difficult thing, I hope the perfect job comes your way soon .)

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  3. Good luck! Looking for a job is STRESSFUL. I hope you get the sub job and then a teaching job next fall! The way the public school system works is pretty crazy. I know people in my area who weren't hired until two weeks into school. What the junk?!

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  4. You should have moved to Boston- they are desperate for teachers! I'm sure it will all work out though- glad you have subbing to fall back on.

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  5. knock on wood, but i haven't been unemployed unless i decided it so. i heard that hiring teachers comes in waves and that males have an advantage (ie. they always hire males over females, esp in the elementary levels). the last time we had a teacher hiring boom, there was a huge shortage and recently in the last 5 years (in my city), it's so saturated that the teachers aren't teaching but on a waiting list...for like 3 years!

    good luck!!

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  6. good luck love, hope it all works out and you start getting pay checks soon. i quit my job and moved overseas and was unemployed for about a week, but only because my friend's dad owned a restaurant. i worked there until i found another job, but it took months. its hard! and very discouraging.

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  7. I've spent this entire year looking for a full-time job. We'll be moving again in a few months, so I finally just gave up on trying to find something new.

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  8. I've been there. It's really frustrating - have you thought of other things you might be willing to do in the meantime? I'm sure if you're persistent you will eventually find a teaching gig, but there's nothing wrong with working some random part-time job while you look so you don't go broke!

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  9. I've been there, too. It very much sucks! Good luck with this one!

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  10. Yep, that's about right. Two months, though- that's a cakewalk! The first time I was unemployed (after a layoff) it was for 10 months. The second time, it was for 22 months. You're absolutely right, the toll on self-esteem is tremendous. It's incredibly depressing and scary, especially when you run through every spare cent and don't qualify for any state or Federal assistance. You feel like every decision in your past, from college to the amount you spend on grocery, was a mistake.


    There's really nothing you CAN do. Be persistent, always submit a resume and a cover letter specifically tailored to each job, research research research, network as much as you can (LinkedIn, volunteer organizations, etc), practice interview questions....but when it comes down to it, 90% of it is out of your control.

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  11. UGH. You are the complete opposite of a loser!! Jobs are so hard to come by (hello, recession!!) I know good things are coming for you.. keep your head up!
    Also, look on the bright side-- you really got to grow your blog this summer!!

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  12. I hope things work out for you! I was unemployed for over a year at one point. Technically I was freelancing, but the projects I had were not enough to pay the bills and I slowly burned away all my savings. At the end, it was pretty touch and go, especially because I took advantage of the free time to take a trip with my sisters, but eventually it all worked out and I got a job almost immediately after the trip. In the end, even the "I have no money - why on earth am I going on a trip?!" breakdown was worth it.

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  13. You will get it! This sounds like exactly the process my mind would take during unemployment. Chin up, things are going to get better very soon! :)

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  14. Fingers crossed, I hope you get it!


    Unemployment is a cruel game.

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  15. Thanks! I got my background check back yesterday, so it looks like everything is moving forward...just at a slower pace than I would like, but at least there is some progress.

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  16. I really hope so!! It's just so frustrating because I didn't expect to have to sub this year, and it is harder than expected to even do that. I think I'll eventually get a job I want, but it's not going to happen right away. I'm going to have to prove myself!

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  17. Oh wow, a over a year? I would have had a breakdown, too. I go back and forth with my thinking about spending money...Sometimes I think,"You must confine yourself to the walls of this house and not spend a single cent because you have no job." Then I think, "A job opportunity will come your way soon... Don't you want to go out and enjoy things while you have the time? So what if it costs a little money? You will make it back."
    I'm glad things worked out for you AND that you had a nice trip with your sisters.

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  18. I did apply to other full-time jobs, but have not applied to part-time ones. I started talking with the subbing place at the end of July (at first as a back up, but then as my actual job.) I applied in early August, but it has just taken this long to go through the process...I think I have this job, but things are moving slowly for my tastes and they aren't allowed to officially hire me until the background check/drug tests come back. If for some reason I don't get hired (and I really don't know what reason that would be), I will start to look for any sort of job to tide me over like you said.

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  19. I feel like it's so hard to get a decent job if you don't have an "in." Yeah, it doesn't seem worth it to try to get a job now if you know you'll be leaving soon. Hopefully a better opportunity will come your way in your new city.

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  20. Ugh that sounds so incredibly frustrating. When I first moved to NYC I got hired for a job pretty quickly, but they made me wait 3 weeks before starting?! It was frustrating and weird. In any case, I hope all goes smoothly with this job you did the background check etc. for!

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  21. Are you applying to private schools as well as public? Any time the funding is even partially dependent on the Feds, it's a bit dicey. Half of my family are teachers, so you definitely have my sympathy (and crossed fingers that something breaks for you, soon). Maybe a library job or something would be parallel enough to it that you wouldn't have to move? That's an expensive and frightening prospect in itself!

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  22. I looked up private/charter schools and didn't find much in my area. I did find a Montessori school I was interested in, but they were only hiring for paraprofessionals. Thanks so much for the well wishes...I really hope that it works out with subbing so that I can do that while I continue to apply for full-time teaching jobs.

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  23. I didn't know that about Boston! I heard that Vegas, Orlando, and basically the whole state of NC need teachers, so at least I know that there really are teaching jobs out there somewhere and it's not just an urban legend. ;)

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  24. It's so true about schools going gaga for males, but I guess I can see why since there are not that many male early educators. I think the ball is finally rolling with subbing...I'm hoping to start in two weeks at the very latest, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see if they hire me!

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  25. Thanks, Nina. Once I (hopefully) start subbing I'm going to continue to look for SC teaching jobs because I want my own classroom so badly!

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  26. Thanks so much! It's comforting to know that it all worked out for you. I hope it will all end up being okay for me, but I'll never take having a job for granted again!!

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  27. I think I just need to vent, lol...I wish the economy was better and that Georgia schools didn't require the reading endorsement because then I could have actually applied at those schools and not just SC ones. Thanks for the encouraging comment!

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  28. Oh gosh...I'm going to jump for joy once I finally get paid again! Thank goodness for your backup job--hopefully subbing will be my back up job.

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