Fran Hopkins

Employment Guilt: I Got A Job But What About The Others?

Employment Guilt: I Got A Job But What About The Others?

Last week I marked the one-month anniversary of the day I started my new job. I'm noticing that, like riding a bike, the routine of working full-time is beginning to feel almost comfortable again. It was tough at first, but I'm getting used to it. Although I very much dislike the fact that I have less free... Read More »

Pinch Me: I'm Working Full Time Again

Pinch Me: I'm Working Full Time Again

What's it like, working full-time again after a nearly three-year sabbatical? It's seeing the beautiful full moon, still in the sky at 6:30 in the morning. It's smiling to myself because I feel connected to the world again. I'm no longer an observer, I'm a participant. It's having daily... Read More »

From Long-Term Unemployment To Full-Time Job: How I Beat The Odds

From Long-Term Unemployment To Full-Time Job: How I Beat The Odds

I'm starting a new, full-time job this week. I've waited 34 months to write that sentence. I received an offer on Tuesday and accepted it on Thursday. I can't even pinpoint exactly how I'm feeling right now, it's such a jumble. Happy, nervous, worried, anxious, sad, excited. Read More »

Is It A Mistake To Turn Down A Job Offer If You're Unemployed?

Is It A Mistake To Turn Down A Job Offer If You're Unemployed?

Lately I've received more calls than usual for job interviews. I'm very happy about this; but after one particularly promising interview today, I'm surprised that I'm also feeling a little unsettled. I think this employer may be on the verge of making me a job offer. You know how they say, "Be careful what... Read More »

Unemployed, Romney Supporter: 'I Am Numb'

Unemployed, Romney Supporter: 'I Am Numb'

It's the morning after Election Day 2012 and I am feeling numb. Over the past four years, nearly three of which occurred after my layoff from a good job with a good company, I came to believe that the policies of the Obama administration were antithetical to a robust economic recovery after a deep recession.... Read More »

Should You Apply For Multiple Jobs At One Company?

Should You Apply For Multiple Jobs At One Company?

I wonder if I'm the only one who applies for jobs multiple times at the same company. It's not that I'm banging my head endlessly against certain corporate walls. These are usually companies with whom I've previously interviewed by phone or in-person. Obviously they haven't offered me jobs -- yet -- but since... Read More »

Do Job Interviews Have To Be So Grueling?

Do Job Interviews Have To Be So Grueling?

It's an amazing thing, really, the degree of stress one feels when preparing for a job interview, especially when: 1. You've been out of work for two-plus years. 2. You know that there are scads of well-qualified candidates being interviewed for the same job and 3. You're feeling rusty because you haven't... Read More »

Why The Unemployed Are Better Workers

Why The Unemployed Are Better Workers

It's unbelievable to me that some employers deliberately avoid hiring people who are unemployed. Let me put this another way: Some employers won't hire you if you actually need a job. There's an article posted on AOL Jobs right now, in which an employer explains 5 reasons why he won't hire the unemployed. I... Read More »

Is It A Mistake To Hold Out For A Full-Time Job?

Is It A Mistake To Hold Out For A Full-Time Job?

I don't want a part-time job. I'm fine with freelancing, which I do now; I'm a self-employed writer and editor. What I mean is that I'm not actively seeking a 20- or 25-hour-a-week job working regularly for someone else. Read More »

Have The Unemployed Become The New Pariahs?

Have The Unemployed Become The New Pariahs?

In the couple of months since my blog about unemployment has been running on AOL Jobs, I've heard from many people, both across the U.S. and around the world, who are dealing with the unique and sometimes painful challenges of unemployment. A lot of us feel very isolated in what we're experiencing, so there's... Read More »

12 Things I've Learned From Being Unemployed

12 Things I've Learned From Being Unemployed

There's no question about it: being un- and under-employed for more than 2½ years teaches you things about life. I was pondering this in between applying for jobs (I've been extra busy with these recently) and wanted to write about it. But the more I thought about it, the more I saw that my "lessons... Read More »

Taboo Topic Among Unemployed? We're Really Angry

Taboo Topic Among Unemployed? We're Really Angry

I haven't seen too many articles about anger in connection with unemployment, especially long-term unemployment. So I thought I'd write one. Now and then, I do feel angry. Angry that I was laid off, angry that I can't find my "dream" job no matter what I do, angry that my chances of finding a job diminish... Read More »

My Unemployed Life: Should I Give Myself A Deadline To Find A Job?

My Unemployed Life: Should I Give Myself A Deadline To Find A Job?

What do you try when you feel like you've already tried everything to find a full-time job? I've been at this now for 32 months. I'm no novice at the search for work anymore; luckily for me, my skills have become well-honed. Actually, it's ironic: Usually experience is a good thing, but the more job hunting... Read More »

My Unemployed Life: Is There Any Light At The End Of This Tunnel?

My Unemployed Life: Is There Any Light At The End Of This Tunnel?

The unemployment rate dropped from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent. Whoopee! My good cheer is sarcastic because the reason it dropped is nothing to celebrate. Quite the opposite: The unemployment rate only came down, according to today's Bureau of Labor Statistics report, because 368,000 people who'd been looking... Read More »

My Unemployed Life:  Is 8 Percent Unemployment The 'New Normal'?

My Unemployed Life: Is 8 Percent Unemployment The 'New Normal'?

I like to post in the numerous job seeker discussion groups on LinkedIn. I've "met" so many capable, hard-working people over there who can't find good jobs in this stagnant economy. Sharing our experiences, we understand that our situations aren't our "fault" and support each other as we navigate these rocky... Read More »

My Unemployed Life: Am I Not Getting The Job Because I Don't Expect To?

My Unemployed Life: Am I Not Getting The Job Because I Don't Expect To?

One of the hardest things for me to do is keep applying for jobs while waiting to hear back on a job I interviewed for. When I like and want that particular job, my heart just isn't in it to look for a different job. But I feel that I need to have other "irons in the fire" in case things don't work out. Then,... Read More »

My Unemployed Life: Is It Crazy To Turn Down A Job Interview?

My Unemployed Life: Is It Crazy To Turn Down A Job Interview?

Am I crazy? I get the feeling that some people think that I am. I was called for a job interview. I turned it down. The job was located in downtown New York City, near the new World Trade Center. I was aware of this when I applied for it; but a woman I know at the company told me that they'd been allowing... Read More »

My Unemployed Life: Why Do People Treat Us Like We're Invisible?

My Unemployed Life: Why Do People Treat Us Like We're Invisible?

There's a powerlessness that comes with long-term unemployment. I think of it as a quiet desperation, an urgent need to find work coupled with a frustrating inability to make that happen. The unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for so long -- 3½ years! -- that you might forget that only a few... Read More »

My Unemployed Life: Could This Phone Interview Be 'The One'?

My Unemployed Life: Could This Phone Interview Be 'The One'?

Are things looking up for our long-term-unemployed blogger? Read More »

Don't Put A Rosy Spin On July Jobs Numbers, Please

Don't Put A Rosy Spin On July Jobs Numbers, Please

I always pay close attention to the monthly unemployment statistics. I'm not an analyst. Or an economist. But I've been unemployed for 2½ years, scraping by on freelance work. I like to dig a little deeper into the numbers to get a better feel for what's really going on -- and what that might mean for... Read More »

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