According to the latest jobs report, unemployment benefit claims are the lowest they’ve been since 1973! There are just so damn few people to do the work, many folks have taken a 2nd or 3rd job, just to get all the work done. Congress is considering easing child labor laws to help expand the labor force. With an economy like this and the job market chugging along like it is, what loser still doesn’t have a job?
Well to be fair, it’s not like I’ve been at it very long, or trying very hard. I initially conceived of starting this blog nearer the beginning of my earnest efforts to get a job back in July 2015. The idea cropped up a couple times through the years but I always felt it would quickly end up an abandoned blog; that my “break” was just around the corner. As it is, I’m waiting for a call back from a Fortun[at]e 200 company, and have my 3rd interview with another on Monday. Even if one of those companies feels desperate enough to take me on, I have enough material about my trials I could keep this blog going for a while. In 2008 I did a re-write with a friend who was good at such things. I sent a few out after that, but only to the choice jobs. Slight updates and casually applying to jobs all over the country gave way to a big update and more concerted effort in 2014.
You see, I freelance and though it ebbed and flowed, I was generally, consistently doing better, moving up you could say, but it always felt unsustainable. I shifted around a lot within the industry, filling many different positions, different types of projects, but I was able to scrape together a living.
In 2014 I had had enough. It was clearly not sustainable. I was saving, but not enough to buy a house in LA, nor enough for my cushy retirement at age 45. Hell, not even enough for an aged 70 cushy retirement. And I wanted out of the industry, out of LA. I had plans to open a distillery but those were out of reach. I needed to punt on that, and get a “real job” to save and plan more. So that’s where this story will begin. I’ll tell you about “the industry” I so vaguely refer to, my continuing efforts to find a job and the interruptions by my occasional freelance work.
I call myself “continually unemployed” because being freelance, going from job to job, between jobs what else am I but unemployed? I’ll tell you about my efforts to educate myself, gain skills, network and relocate. I’ll tell you about the jobs I take, branching out and explorations with friends into starting various businesses. But I ask you, in this “gig economy”, as they call it, where more and more Americans have “unconventional jobs” and work as “independent contractors” might this be a factor in the decreasing unemployment rate as freelancers are not eligible for unemployment? If so, should we expect the unemployment rate to continue to decline as it’s expected that 40% of Americans will be freelance by 2020?
Despite my continual unemployment, I’m not living in my parents basement nor coasting on savings. I have a very small, self-funded retirement that couldn’t even buy a good night in Vegas and which is currently melting away like the sweet green icing of that cake someone left out in the rain. God damnit! Who left the cake out? I don’t think that I can take it.
But that’s probably because I didn’t get the market manipulation email sent out by the big banks and fund managers warning me to pull my money out. I guess my non-neutral internet plan doesn’t include those. C’est la vie. And this is my life. It is filled with fantastic failings, comical catastrophes, ill timing, dramatic hyperbole, and anti-climactic disappointment. It’s quite pathetic. So welcome, to The Girth Of My Patheticism.