Here's to 2010, the Year of the Job
What happened? Well, in late 2008 the magazine I worked at folded. As luck would have it I quickly found a new job, freelancing at another magazine. At the time I didn't know how lucky that really was, but soon magazines were crashing and burning all over town.
I held onto my freelance job and was made staff in early 2009, albeit on a salary significantly less than my previous staff job. But it was clear there was a recession on; what do you do? Grin (or grimace) and make the most of it, right?
And then, the majority of my team was laid off, leaving me to wonder if I would inevitably be next. I wasn't, not for a while ... not until May. (Which just so happened to coincide with a relationship breakup. Thanks, 2009.)
Since May, I've jumped from place to place, working temporary jobs and freelancing from home, trying to make ends meet. I borrowed from my parents, facing the humiliation of being that thirty-something daughter who has to rely once again on Mom and Dad.
Freelancing means you can't really count on regular timing for receiving paychecks, and so, while I managed to pay my rent and bills, my credit card just went up and up and up. And I still haven't managed to pay back the parents, not for lack of trying.
The thing is, I still didn't know how lucky I was. I was luckier than a lot of people who don't have parents who can loan them money, or credit cards, or who were never trained in a wide variety of skills (having been a researcher, a copy editor, a manager, a writer, and an editor helped increase my options for getting work-any work).
Not to mention, I don't have any dependents, unless you count three potted plants that only require a little watering now and again.
So I know it's been even harder for many of you. But the good news: Jobless claims are now at a 17-month low. We're only a few days in on this new year, and things have yet to pick up in terms of job creation, but I'm going to take this as a good sign.
In hopes of making more good things happen with our collective positive energy, let's go ahead and call 2010 the year of the job. Can I get a hear, hear?
Jen Doll was the devil-may-care managing editor at Radar magazine when, in October of 2008, her world changed completely. The great media apocalypse began, and all at once, her magazine was no more. Though she landed a job at OK!—where she learned more than she ever wanted to know about Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, and Paula Abdul—she was laid off (again) in May.With her newfound freedom, Jen started YourUnemployedDaughter.com, musings from “a formerly high-powered media exec.” She also chronicles her thoughts on the great recession on trueslant.com/jendoll, and she freelances to make rent. Believe it or not, her layoff was the best thing that ever happened to her.