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?