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ajtaylor (1283)

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Journal of ajtaylor (1283)

Thursday January 10, 2002
12:54 AM

Unemployment blues

[ #2030 ]
Get strapped in folks, I'm in a rambling mood and this might get long...

I'm sure I'm not the only one but I've got the unemployment blues. I had the unfortunate luck to be laid off twice last year. :-( At least the second time I saw it coming because I was not doing anything while drawing a paycheck. But it sucks all the same.

It gets worse too. This fall, after the second layoff, I thought I had a job with a division of a major PDA company (no names to protect the [innocent|guilty]). After the interviews and lots of waiting, I was told that they would like to give me the job but that management didn't approve it, sorry. I guess it was for the best because not long after, the CEO resigned and more layoffs at the company were announced. Needless to say I was kinda happy not to be working for said company, but even one paycheck would have been nice.

So then after much more waiting (did I mention the job market this fall kinda sucked?) I finally got an interview w/ another company. After making it to the second round and doing some more waiting, I found out I didn't get this one either. So now I'm back to square one. No more leads. This is bad. BTW, why is it companies don't feel the need to get back to you in a timely way? The waiting is by far the worst part about the interview process.

Now for the blues part. With each passing day, I feel myself becoming just a little more depressed. I believe (with good reason) I'm a good programmer, and I have a good understanding of and dig the planning part of software engineering. Proper design, patterns, and planning are something I've been using to try and set myself apart from the crowd. I'm no Damian, but I think can hold my own. However I can't seem get a job to save my life.

My brain is stagnating. I can feel it deep down inside of me. I need an itch to scratch. I need something productive to do. After a conversation w/ a friend this week, I think I've found a couple itches - but it's not a job. Hopefully it will tide me over to the next lead. It's truly amazing what sitting around on your butt all day does to the psyche. I find myself staying up late, sleeping in way too long, and generally getting nothing done. IMHO, people have a deep need to feel useful and worthwhile. I know I certainly do. When I'm bringing home a paycheck, I have much more of a sense of purpose, a raison d'etre, a reason to get up in the morning. Something I'm sorely lacking now. Thank goodness for my wife, otherwise I probably would have gone crazy by now. She's the best thing that's happened to me.

What I really need is a routine, but it's tough to pull yourself up by the boot straps when your face is in the mud. I've begun to seriously contemplate going back to school (finish the old bachelors degree) or going for a state govenment job (meager pay, generally decent benefits, more job stability). I'd love to continue programming, but the landlord doesn't care where my rent comes from. He just wants it yesterday.

OK, I think I've gone on long enough. Assuming you made it this far, thanks for reading. And of course, if you have any job leads, I'd love to know! :-)

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  • I worried much, when I was younger, that I would eventually fall prey to equating myself with my job. I worried because depending on anything is setting yourself up (IMHO): "I must have a job, or I'm not me."

    The sad bit is just how unproductive I started to feel once I got laid off.

    So I threw myself at a thing for a friend of mine. It's a very small thing, really. It's taken me damn near forever, mostly (I think) because it's the first thing I've ever had to write and I didn't really know any perl g


    You are what you think.
    • It's not that I equate myself to my job. I love to work, but I don't consider myself a workaholic. I turned down an offer (which I'm now kicking myself for doing so) last summer because they told me to expect 50-60 hr weeks when I wanted 40-50.

      It's the unproductivity that hurts me the most. If you're not moving forward, you're moving backwards. So now I'm going to find that challenge/itch/project to hack with. Thanks for the encouragement. I know I'm not alone in this boat.

      "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
      • I didn't mean to imply that I thought you equated yourself with your job -- just pointed out that I found myself doing it after I'd tried so hard not to.

        Believe me, you're not alone in it. :)


        You are what you think.
  • I know exactly how you feel. Last summer by the time I found a new job I hadn't been working for 4 months. Until that summer I honestly thought I was pretty invincible, and a desirable job candidate. But no, sadly not.

    It got to me too. I'm not really sure how to tell you to not let it get to you, because it does regardless. What I suggest though is to find a project (heck, come hack on AxKit!). Hacking (and a supportive wife) is the only thing that got me through it.

    Oh, that and moving 400 miles away to
    • Until recently, I was thinking "You know, every job for which I've applied I got an offer. I am invincible!" 2001 destroyed that myth. ;-)

      As fo moving, since I'm unemployed I have no $$$ to move. And in the current climate no one wants to pay starting bonuses or moving costs, so I'm out of luck there. But the most important is that I just moved in Sep 2000 to Boston, and I really don't want to move to a new state/town again. I love Boston and want to stay here as long as I can.

      But I am taking my (and yo

      "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
      • Yes, I was *very* lucky in finding a job that payed for relocation, as I was in the same situation - couldn't afford to move.

        Good luck, and keep blogging - it helps.
    • I feel your pain -- been out of work since 8/1/2001 -- and still looking... I find I go thru cycles -- phone screens, emails, and interviews, then nothing, lather, rinse, repeat.... It used to take me 2 weeks to find a new job - and this is driving me crazy -- going on 6 months now....
      • Well, my last paid day was Sep 20, 2001 so I guess it could be worse. :-( I understand that cycle well. Unfortunately I'm married & therefore have much higher living expenses (no roomies). Even with unemployment, I'm just barely getting by. My landlord is going to move for eviction soon if I don't give him some money...

        The whole situation is just driving me crazy. I want to work!

        "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment