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Learning to Believe in Yourself…

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My husband received a second call back for the government position. I know he’s talented, smart, and hard working – I just didn’t expect him to be one of the top candidates in a position where 1,324 people applied (they released the final number of applicants at his test site). In this market, there are 20 year veterans looking for work with college degrees.

I excited he has made it this far. It’s good for him to know his value – even in a bad economy. If his journey ends here, he can feel good knowing he’s in that top 5% – and the only reason he’s here is because he’s incredibly hard working and dedicated to learning.

The debt we have been carrying has made us feel like failures. It has affected our self confidence and made us believe we are incapable of doing anything. Digging our way out has helped to make us feel like we are more than just a number.

It’s nice to feel valued.


Layoffs again?!?!

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As the fiscal year closes for government agencies, it’s time to prepare for the new. If the budget is higher, it means raises. Lower… well, we all know what lower means.

Our agency is short around 20 million dollars (which suddenly makes my $30K debt look like chump change). Remarkably, we are fairing much better than most agencies – or so they tell us.

Today was difficult. I watched as co-worker after co-worker was escorted into an office… and then escorted out of the building. I joked with my manager that I was considering hiding under my desk. You can’t get laid off if they can’t find you right? Then…

They came for me.

The CFO sat me down and said, ‘Let’s talk about your job.’

Tears started to spring. I’ve only been employed for a few months and I’m going to be jobless again?!?

He continued, ‘I heard from your manager that you were frightened about job security? You have no reason to worry. Your department is short three people and we simply aren’t going to hire those positions. Sure you have to do the work of those three people, but at least you have a job… err… well, at least this fiscal year anyway.’

I’ve been told to quit my job and to pursue a more stable position. In this economy, a guaranteed year of work IS stable. Hurray for 2010!!!

Whew!


Tough Employment Decisions…

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Do you remember that government job my husband applied to get? He was one of well over one thousand to apply.

We were elated when he received a call back and a position test date… that is, until they dropped a bomb. The job market in Southern California, like in most places, is a tight one. They are only offering the very bottom pay bracket. If my husband received the position, he would take a 25% pay cut.

Short term, this is a bad decision. This job would put us back to making minimum payments on our debt. Our finances would become the tightest they’ve ever been.

Long term, the position offers a retirement and health package unrivaled by the private sector and offers more stability. On top of that, my husband is at the highest position he can go with his current employer. The new job is one he can stay at and grow in for the next 30 years.

What would you do?


Scary Scarcity…

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My husband turned in his resume for the government job.

According to HR, he was one of over 1,000 applicants for that position.

I am confident in his abilities and his references but I’m not expecting him to get the job.

I knew the job market was bad in San Diego… I just didn’t know how bad.

I am more thankful now than ever that we are both employed.


Resume Help…

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My husband is applying for a position at a local government agency. His current position in construction is unstable and he’s trying to be proactive.

The poor guy has never had to look for a job before – his reputation as a hard worker has always earned him employment without even an application. Writing a resume is difficult.

I’m trying to help him but I realize that what I want to write, ‘Good looking, hard working, smart, sweet man’ probably won’t land him the position… and it might be hard to fill a 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper with 7 words. Sure I could add more like, ‘beautiful olive skin that tans in the sunshine, huggable arms, and a perfect husband’ but somehow, I don’t think that’s the ‘more’ his resume needs.

Unfortunately we’re under a time crunch (the resume is due tomorrow) but for those seeking employment and need resume help, DON’T PAY SOMEONE TO WRITE YOUR RESUME FOR YOU! If you attend college, seek the advice of a job counselor. For those not in college, check the offerings of your local community. Nearly every city in San Diego County offers job and resume assistance free of charge. Not only can these organizations help you with your resume, they often have a good idea of where jobs in your field may be opening.


Surviving Layoffs… Again.

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Sorry for the quiet this morning. I was a bit nervous… they were doing layoffs at work today. I still have 18 more days to survive before I’m safe but most of the layoffs were conducted this morning.

I can breathe a temporary sigh of relief.

I keep hearing about layoffs across the country. I lost my job when the business closed 7 months ago, my husband’s company is on the brink, and my new job is unstable. My father and brother are without jobs. Are we just in bad industries or are you struggling to keep your job too?


Work Mistakes…

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As I’ve said before, having a job is a vital part to paying off debt. I try my best to work hard, to get along with others, and to be enthusiastic about serving the public.

Friday, I wasn’t ‘feeling it’. Late nights paired with high stress had me pooped by Friday and I hit the snooze button far more than I should have.

I rolled out of bed, threw my nappy unwashed hair into a pony tail, and put on my uniform without ironing it. I caught the train to work and arrived my usual 45 minutes early – 30 of which I should have spent getting ready and ironing at least my shirt. I sluggishly walked into the elevator, hit the floor button, and leaned my sleepy head against the wall. Just as the doors started to close, a hand slipped through the doors and in walked the equivalent of the company CEO.

I’ve met the guy approximately 2 times in the 6 months I’ve worked there.

He gave me a slow once over – and it wasn’t because I looked smoking hot in my uniform. He looked at my crumpled pants, my against policy un-tucked shirt, and said a very crisp, ‘Well… good morning.’

I heard ‘No Scrubs’ by TLC blaring on my brain radio.

I’ve always been told to dress for the job you want and not for the job you have. I’m fairly certain I will be demoted to janitorial staff by tomorrow.

Never again folks. Never again will I dress like that.