Recession Mama

{June 6, 2009}   Gone Fishin’

 By: Liz



I have decided that job searches are a lot like fishing. Not that I go out fishing a lot mind you. You’re out at sea alone with your thoughts… and you sit there patiently waiting for something (a prospective employer) to bite. You put the bait on the hook, you throw out your lines, and then… you wait… and wait, and wait some more. When you finally do get a bite, you than have to decide if that’s the kind of fish (job) you want? If the fish you spent all that time catching is big enough (paycheck) to feed your family dinner? For you to eat (live off of) in the future? Will there be any (bonuses) leftovers?  If you like it, you put it in the boat, take it home with you and you subsist off of it. Your fishing trip was a success. If not, you throw it back in (turn it down) leaving it for someone else to catch.

You’re throwing out all these lines day after day, month after month, and still what happens if you don’t get any bites? How do you catch the BIG FISH?


How do you even know if there is a nibble? If your bait (resume) is even eye catching enough to be seen by someone who can actually help you get hired? How do you change the bait when the bait is you? How do you get bigger or better or seem tastier to employers especially when all the things that make you different and help you to stand out are being taken away? Because the current process; build a profile, go to our website, and upload your resume leaves you no room for creativity at all. All you get is to cut and paste your resume into a box and send it into the internet sea if you’re lucky you get to add extra bait (a cover letter) in the hopes that it soon will be read.

 It’s like you threw bread into a coy pond. The fish fight, fight, fight over just one crumb. Plus, even though there are hundreds of thousands of people like myself out of work it feels seriously lonely in my boat.


I got to thinking about how your parents always said, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” Boy, when you become an adult do you realize just how finite finances really are. That no matter how much you have it never seems to be enough. Your parents weren’t really trying to deprive you of anything they were just trying to provide everything they could. There are just limits (credit card and otherwise) that you just can’t afford to max out. As a child you don’t have a concept of that? You don’t see that… because all you see is the Easy Bake Oven, or the Snoopy SnoCone Machine, or the new must have outfit of the moment… right in front of you. All you know is you’re not getting it.

 money tree

 What I have learned is that it’s actually more expensive to be out of work than it is to have a job. There are expenses that you just didn’t realize the cost of (health care, life insurance, medicine) or that you didn’t have before because your employer was paying for them, or you were, especially when you find out Cobra costs this single person $508.03 a month. When you don’t have a job or you have a part-time job how do you foot the bill for that… and any unexpected expenses.

At some point you may have to ask for help… it’s just a matter of whom you’ll ask?

j0387248CATCH 22

Yes, unemployment benefits are great. Applying for them makes me feel sad . When you don’t have a job… you don’t get to keep tons of pride… in fact you better be prepared to give a ton of it up.  Sucking up, brown nosing, kissing butt… Learn it, know it, perfect it. 42-15348570

There’s a lot of competition out there and companies know it. They will give the job to someone younger; someone they can train, with less experience and workplace expectations than you.  Read: Cheaper and less complicated.


It seems that companies and employers are holding all the cards right now. The perks are gone.   They expect you to take less money to work longer hours, accept more responsibility and handle more stress. Face time just got all the more important. Who knew looks meant so much and we’re not talking about actual physical beauty? Be seen. Be noticed. Be there and be unforgettable. Forget about more flexible schedules, or hours, even taking a vacation. Because the question becomes; will your job be there for you when you get back?


Because let me let you in on a little unemployment benefits secret. When you earn over $100 a week, working your part-time job to keep you in the black, they start docking your benefits. So you have to balance what you are gaining with the money you are now losing. Is it worth it? Yes and No. It depends on your current situation. What’s so strange and I don’t quite understand this, is how unemployment rewards you for not working? Isn’t that the point of the benefit in the first place? To get you out there and working full-time so you become a contributing member of society again? It’s a cycle, a really bad one. That becomes tougher to break, especially when it is easier to stay home, twiddle your thumbs, and do nothing because you earn more money.  How is that really helping put people back to work? 



Katy says:

Hi Liz,

I think you’re stuck in a spiral. I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t heeded our advice from the last time you posted. Please let someone help! You can post your resume here, and I’m sure you’ll get lots of great feedback from people who know what they’re talking about. I have friends who read this site who are recruiters or are in positions to hire. Also, did you know that the federal government is now helping to subsidize Cobra? I think they pay something like 70% of it now for you so it will be more like your employer paying. And finally, I have had to take unemployment, and I don’t think I ever thought it was better than a paycheck. I totally get that you think you may never find a job. I’ve thought that when I wasn’t working, but you will find one, eventually. And once you do, you’ll be sorry that you spent so much time dwelling in it. So in the meantime, I suggest that you find a hobby or do the stuff you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have time to do when you were working…like cleaning the house, the car, the dog, whatever. And visit friends! When I wasn’t working for a couple of weeks this year, I went to visit all of my friends who had babies recently. We took walks, chatted, and I played with the baby. It was free, and I just love babies, especially since I can give them back after an afternoon of play. 🙂

P.S. I never had the Easy Bake Oven or the Snoopy Sno Cone machine when I was a kid, but a friend of mine has one now and it’s awesome!!!

recessionmama says:

From Heather:

I can understand your frustration. Job hunting is like fishing. Some days you get a lot of nibbles and some days you don’t. But sometimes you have to look for a “new” fishing hole and try different bait. That’s easier said than done for sure. But I know you have a lot of talents and soon someone is going to see that.

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