Unemployment Nine: A variety of vents

A little more than 15 months have passed since my last day as a full-time employee, and the pattern continues: Every time I receive a little bit of positive news, it immediately gets gang-tackled by a linebacker unit of negative news. Nothing surprises me anymore.

Now THIS is a vent!

The trickle of positive news came in the form of two phone interviews (for two different positions) that I felt really good about. Of course, as anyone who has ever looked for a job knows, feeling good about a phone interview or an in-person interview means nothing, and by no means am I counting on either of these coming to fruition, although it certainly wouldn’t suck if one of them did. But it’s good to know I can still interview for a job and sell myself without sounding like Stuttering John.

However, as I said, bad news always seems to follow good news, usually in triplicate.

Top of mind, for several reasons: Just in case you’ve been nowhere near a television, computer, radio, cellular phone or human, AOL is undergoing massive layoffs. This affects me in a couple of ways. First off, I have a few friends at AOL. As far as I know, everyone survived the purge, but it’s still tough. I’ve been through layoffs at a much smaller company and on a much smaller scale, and even when I’ve survived, I felt like I was sitting through a funeral. The atmosphere at AOL the past few days must have been thick with sadness. Second, the thousands of people cut by AOL will likely mean hundreds more people looking for the same types of jobs I’ve been seeking, and the last thing I (or anyone else in my situation) need right now is more competition. Think of it this way: Would you rather fight 50 people or 1,000?

Another sign of the apocalypse: While scanning job listings last night, I saw an ad for an editor in chief position, and the salary was listed as “under $55,000.” Seriously? For an editor in chief? To be honest, if someone offered me a full-time position for $55,000 per year right now, I’d have to seriously consider it, despite the fact that it would represent a huge pay cut from what I was making at my last job. But $55,000 for an editor in chief — a position I never came close to — is very sobering and frightening.

Finally, while the new year brought with it a decent flurry of positions worth applying to, that flurry has ground to a screeching halt this week. I think I’ve applied for one job in four days, which isn’t quite the pace I’m comfortable with.

For anyone who reads this and hates his or her job, take a deep breath: It’s a scary time to be swimming in the pool of the unemployed, and right now, I see no reason to be optimistic.

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5 comments on “Unemployment Nine: A variety of vents

  1. jscirish27 says:

    I’m pulling for you man… I know something will turn up! In the meantime we will drink bourbon and eat pork products.

  2. Lisa says:

    I couldn’t even dream of making 55K…ever…I know it sucks to be unemployed and a part-timer (been there from 2002-2004), but 55K would be the high life for me. I guess it’s all perspective: beach house, Yankees season tickets, going out in a regular basis with friends–all foreign concepts. I pay bills and can’t even afford going away when vacation time comes around. Remember to keep things in perspective of the good lifestyle you were living and have faith your brains and personality will help you rise to the top again.

  3. 9nine9 says:

    Lisa, not knocking $55K in general. In fact, I’d probably take it right now if it were offered. But $55K for an editor in chief is very, very, painfully low. I’m not even qualified for this job.

  4. […] If this company is going to send out e-mails with the English language mangled, they certainly do need an editor, but I thought $162,000 was a trifle high considering my discovery last week of an ad for an editor in chief position that was paying a paltry $55,000. […]

  5. Deb says:

    Hi Dave!

    I see what you’re saying and sympathize but I would absolutely take the $55,000 Editor-in-Chief job if ONLY for the experience. I’ve never had a job that paid that much so, right off the bat, the salary sounds better than anything I’ve ever earned. However, nothing beats the value of experience, one that you can take with you when another opportunity comes along :).

    Unfortunately, we’re not cutting salaries where we need to, such as in the medical realm where general practitioner, Dr. Douche, is making nearly 100K per year to check your pulse and tell you that you’re still alive. Until that happens, I’ll latch onto opportunities I’ll learn from the most and also work on adapting to different types of work.

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