Santa, Bring Me a Job for Christmas
CNN is reporting that 1.9 million Americans lost their jobs this year. I turned off the television, as I watched the DOW dropping from the news.
Having talked with my financial advisor this week, I knew that the unemployment stats would be grim today. Luckily he and I worked out a plan to get us through the next few months. But I need my mutual fund investments (both 401K and regular) to rebound.
I was given health insurance by my former employer until June 30, 2009, which is a big help. My husband has been without health insurance since September. We're playing Russian roulette that he stays well until he can get a job, although we will probably purchase a temporary policy for him against anything catastrophic. He has just left the house for his third interview in two weeks. I hope he gets employed.
My husband is getting his unemployment checks now. I was approved for unemployment benefits, but when I've applied online, I was told that my request was not timely. The state of Tennessee has eliminated its unemployment office, where live people answer questions, since I was last laid off ten years ago. Everything has to be done online or by phone. Since I have had no luck qualifying online, I called the telephone number repeatedly only to receive a busy signal. I have gotten through a couple of times, but I am told that my request is not timely. There is no live person anywhere who can help me.
We watched Dave Ramsey's show last night. I was struck by his comment on small businesses. He said that if a small business with 100 employees lays ten people off, that's significant. It's 10% of the workforce at the business, but the business owner can't go to Washington and demand a bailout. I worked for a small business with twenty employees, and three were laid off. That's a 15% reduction. And, no, the owner won't be going to Washington and asking for a bailout.
I have worked for 35 years in the publishing industry, either catalogs or magazines. I was laid off the first time in 1997, when the retailer, where I had worked for 19 years, decided to eliminate its in-house catalog production staff. Fortunately, I found a job within a few months for a magazine publisher in Nashville. After a year there, the magazine was not making money due to poor ad sales and was closed down. Everyone lost their jobs, including the editors who had relocated from New York City. I had lost two jobs in less than 15 months.
Again, I rebounded in a couple of months by finding employment with a small publishing firm. After layoffs at two corporations, I had been advised to try a small business. I welcomed the change. I worked there for almost ten years, survived a staff reduction in 2001, survived in 2002 when the owner's partners left to form their own business, but succumbed this year when a major client cut back its business.
Do I stay in publishing? Since my layoff last month, two other publishers in Nashville have reduced their staffs. Others may have also reduced payroll, but escaped being reported in the local media. While I'm looking for a new position in publishing (or contract or freelance work), I'm expanding my knowledge of social media.
I have two blogs and shortly before my layoff, nowpublic.com approached me about reporting on recycling for their environment section because of the success of my blog about litter. I am now recycling myself, along with almost 2 million other Americans.