Today marks 10 months since I was laid off from my full-time writing job in the tech industry.
The last official update I gave was at the 120-day mark, and honestly, I thought things were changing for the better at that point.
But, being laid off has been quite a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions.
During my 120-day update, I’d just started to work at my part-time retail job. I was hired as a seasonal employee, meaning my term would be over in January.
Well, I’m still working there ~30 hours per week, where I make $14.40/hour (I recently got a raise from making $14.25/hour). I wrote an entirely separate blog post about what I’ve learned as a seasonal employee.
Toward the end of the year, it sounded like my freelance client was going to have enough work for me to actually leave my retail job in January, and I’d be working for her nearly full-time.
I was really excited to learn more about the role she was offering me, and I could finally get back to working from home and making a wage that would cover my bills.
But when she found out I had a part-time retail job, my workload slowly started to disappear, and there was no more talk of working with her full-time.
I explained that I was simply trying to do what I had to do to avoid being homeless, or in great debt and that I was still available for whatever work she needed from me.
But I went from billing her ~$4,000/month to barely doing $900 of work in a month. Between the work with her, and working 120 hours/month of retail, it’s still not enough to cover my rent and other living costs.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t very stressed about what the next few months hold for me, and I might have to rely on credit cards to avoid losing my apartment.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m very thankful for the work I do have. I’ve been able to stretch my savings account much further than it was ever intended to stretch, and I’m proud of myself for making it this far.
Although I feel very burnt out from my retail job, I am grateful for what it’s provided for me these last six months: a place to meet people, a weekly paycheck, a chance to step away from my computer, time to process and heal from being laid off, and a nice little discount on makeup and skincare (my favorite things).
But the time has come for me to get back to full-time writing work.
I miss being part of a team and working toward goals. I miss spending my time writing instead of commuting to work and ringing on the register for 7 hours/day. I miss not having to worry about being able to pay bills (and I realize this is a privileged stance). I miss having Sundays to stay home and hang out with kitty Blanche.
So, I’ve been applying to jobs every day for… I’m not sure how long.
I’ve applied to 300+ jobs, but have only had a few interviews.
The job market — especially for what I do — is so crowded and competitive right now.
I’m trying to apply to different jobs that may have gotten overlooked, and remain open to contract, part-time, or full-time work.
I also recently gave my resume a massive overhaul, and I’m proud of how it looks! I’m hoping it will help me get some more interviews.
Another thing I’ve recently done is focus my time looking for jobs. This may sound counterproductive, but in April, all I did was job hunt.
That resulted in me hating my life, and I was starting to resent looking for a job. Now, I still look for jobs daily, but only for one hour each day. I set a timer, and once that hour ends, I move on with my day.
I’m still able to apply to several jobs in that hour, but can also work on other efforts like this blog or my Etsy Shop!
Speaking of my Etsy Shop, it is still doing great. I do wish it brought in more income, of course, but I’m going to keep adding new items and hope for the best!
Hoping for the best is what I’m trying to do every day during this time.
I have to remind myself that I’ve been here before, and I ended up just fine. After being laid off during the pandemic, it took me 14 months to find full-time work!
I know many people (hundreds of thousands of them) are searching for work and I’m not alone.
But, if you know of anyone that’s hiring, or if you want to hire me for work, including helping you with a blog or writing a book, please let me know!
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I had a point where I was unemployed for two years. I know what you are going through. The only thing I can say is to keep fighting. Do whatever you can to keep your skills sharp. Best wishes to you.
Thank you so much, Tony!