Category: Dealing with the Aftermath

Unemployed? So, Now what?

Things recently have been super busy for me and I was worried I wouldn’t get the opportunity to commune with all of you, my dear readers, with a new post anytime soon and so I asked a dear friend of mine, D. Ajane Carlton, a currently unemployed actress, what tips she had for those who might find themselves in similar situation. Check out her post below!

The fact is that in our current economy unemployment is like mono in high school, somebody is gonna get it and it might be you! So this “list” will hopefully lend you (or someone you know) some leverage to get out from under the huge rock that a lot of Americans are pushing up that mountain. So, Let’s Go Sisyphus!!!

First Things First!!!

FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT!!
I cannot stress this point enough.
FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT!!!!!!

Are you unemployed? YES?
Do you like doing fancy things like; eating and paying rent? YES?
Would you like to continue doing those things? YES?

Then FILE!!! Seriously, it’s there for you, for this exact reason! Trust me, its best to do this as soon as possible, because in some states like, New York; there is a “wait” period of at least one week from the day you first file a claim before you can start receiving benefits. So as soon as you get a chance get that done! And it is so easy to make your weekly claims by phone or on their website; they’re basically giving you a few months (approx. 26 weeks) of money so you don’t need to start looking at that Cup O’ Noodles like it’s gourmet dining (unless you are into that sort of thing.)

Have you filed? Ok, Good.

Next: Have a drink, or five…

Losing your job or being fired sucks balls! So feel free and totally vindicated to go out and let it all out now in the company of friends (and strangers) who have been where you are right now. Seriously shake out the shock, dance off the doubt, drink out the… umm… BAR! Allow yourself a few hours (or days…not too many though) of FTW, before you go and deal with the real world.
But remember to drink responsibly (or at least with responsible people!), although if you end up in the hospital, losing your job won’t seem so bad… I guess…

Had your drinks? Woken up early with a hangover, only to realize you don’t have to get up, because well… What job?!

The Work of Finding a Job:

Whoever said finding a job is full time job itself wasn’t lying. When you consider the unemployment rate for the United States is 6.3% (as of April 2014), that might seem like a small number but trust me, that’s A LOT of people looking for a job. But, now that you don’t have one, HAHAHA (too soon? Sorry…) this might be the best time to put some strategies into the foundation you are building your life upon.
Is the job you had one you wanted to keep for the rest of your life, moving up the ladder to see how you got before retirement? If it was, then it’s time to go back to take a step back and review what resources you have at your disposal. Plum your former teachers professors and colleagues for advice.

Remember that guy you met at that conference a while back who told you to keep in touch? TOUCH HIM!! (not like that!) Resources like these (personal contacts) may get some of the leg work done for you. Don’t feel like you have to start running them to ground either, linkedin.com and similar social websites may also get you a lot more mileage than you expected.

Although, this status change, to unemployed may be a real wrench in your Corporate America takeover plans. Have no fear! This is a great time to start fine tuning your skills in order to prepare yourself for your next move. What do you have that others don’t? What can you do to make yourself the better bet? A broken bone once healed is stronger than before.

Now, if the job you had was just that, a job, take this break as a good time to focus your talents, put some real, thorough thought into where you want to go next in your life, and in your career. Are you just looking for something to pay the bills while you finish your screenplay? Do you need a day job to make your car and credit card payments so you can save up a good chunk of change for that summer tour with your band that all your YouTube fans have been begging for? Well then perhaps a “Survival Job” is more your speed.

A survival job is basically that, a job that keeps the cash flowing so you can focus on your non-corporate career. But it’s not just being a cater-waiter or a bartender, so you can audition during day, although that work is perfectly fine, it’s using your talent in more diverse ways. Are you a Ballerina who just got off back to back tours and you wanna take a minute and eat a freakin’ hamburger? Teach a dance class. Lead guitarist in search of your next band? Teach beginners guitar at your local Community College. An actor whose independent film went to Cannes, and now all you’ve got is a freaking T-shirt? Monologue coach anyone? If you know how to do something and do it well there is someone who wants to learn to do it too!

If you noticed that there were a lot of questions in this post; being unemployed like all other change, is the best time to start asking questions. Big questions like: Where do I want to go from here? Is this what I want to do with the rest of my life? Or even the small ones like what was Cellino and Barnes’ number before they changed it that 888 B.S.? Or why don’t I know any cool card tricks? I think in this day and age we place so much importance into the jobs we have that they become who we are. The status of being employed and upwardly mobile can overshadow all of the other things we are as human beings. To be quite frank, when a woman commits suicide rather face another day of being unemployed, there is a problem with the system. In other words, finding a job will as long as it takes, just don’t be afraid to ask the questions.

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Lesson learned; 5 yrs. later

It’s that time of year again, Graduation Season! As thousands upon thousands of students countdown to that day when they too will don their cap and gowns to walk across that absurdly long stage and take those first initial steps into “adult-hood” and all the opportunities to go out and concur the world; to make a difference and to be successful.

This May being my 5th anniversary from graduating from University.I can’t help but wonder if I was ever so innocently optimistic?

What have I learned since then? What would I tell those who are preparing to leave school and the realities they are bound to face?

1. Don’t rush into furthering your education (Graduate-level) right away: It is not that I don’t support more education, because really nothing can be further from the truth, the fact still stands that unless you are going to Med-school or Law school (which may not be such a smart move either) will only put in you in debt with no work prospects. There are tons of people with advance degrees who can’t find work in their prospective fields who are stuck working whatever job they can find just to keep there heads above water and a great majority of them are barely managing to even do that! So my advice is to put it off for a while and look into starting a career first because there are still some companies that offer tuition reimbursement and/or training that you would need to grow in your career.

Being social at the work place….

2. Learn Business Etiquette: Trust me on this, no matter what field you are in or what you are doing, learning how to appropriately communicate and interact with your co-workers and superiors (both written and spoken) is the Number #1 rule for succeeding in the work place. In Corporate America, even if you work for yourself, your not moving up that ladder unless people take you seriously and they LIKE you!

I can’t even begin to tell the amount of times I have had to tell co-workers (my age and some younger) that Yo’ is not a greeting, emails don’t begin with Hey and now is not the right time to have a loud ass discussion about that party you went too last night! (Don’t laugh! It happens!) There are tons of online resources that will teach you the basics of how to write emails, memos, minutes, slides etc. and they are all FREE! so there is no reason to not do your research and save your self some aggravation and start your career with your best foot forward.

Speaking of jobs…

3. If you managed to land a job realize that you are lucky to have one, no matter how much it sucks: I get it, you have just spent all of that money getting your degree and the last thing you imagined yourself doing was working at the supermarket, mall, movie theater etc. The moments when you hear “Where is the restroom?”, “Can you make that a Large?” or “I need you to order my lunch.” make your eyes roll and lead to drink away your misery.

But guess what? you have a job! Your making money and you are getting out of house! And trust me after spending almost five months unemployed I was all too happy to get that job working in retail for the holiday season and so should you be!

Making it Work…

4. Have a Plan A and figure out how to make your present situation work towards that plan: So your working the sucky job but have dreams of owning your own business/writing/acting etc. It is all about making where you are right now work for where you want to go. All those hours you spend sitting at your desk doing virtually nothing, start doing some research about what you would rather be doing, start writing that great novel in between calls or start a blog *wink-wink*. In retail and wanting to act: start playing with character development while your on the sales floor, change your accent, start quoting lines from your favorite movies at the register!

Not only does this make your day more interesting for you but allow yourself to work towards your Plan A and still make the money you need to survive.

5. There is no shame living within your means: Financial literacy is what your quality of life will be built on because there is nothing worse than worrying over money. It will affect your relationships, family planning, career, health etc. And is one of those things that is never too early to learn. If your lucky enough to have family that will continue to support you, take advantage of it! Even if that means living at home for a while, not buying rounds at the bar for all of your friends and getting those $300 shoes.

And if your friends try to laugh about you still living at home and being on a budget just let them know that when they start worrying about their credit card bills you will be laugh all the way to bank! And get you some like minded friends, on time, who are trying to something with themselves!

If you get the chance…

6. If you can swing it, Travel: While you are still young and free from significant commitments see the world, not only will you get the chance to learn more about others but you will definitely come back (if you decide to come back) knowing yourself a whole lot more.

There are tons of opportunities to go abroad and work/volunteer, like Teaching English in Asia or doing Eco work in the Andes and you will never regret the experience and the stories you will have for a lifetime. If you do decide to go, a word or two of caution; do research about the country you are looking to visit; not only touristy spots and night life but the political climate as well. Also just because your traveling/working abroad doesn’t mean you can ignore your financial commits back home (ie: Student Loans) make sure you work out a plan to continue making payments on those while you frolic over seas.

It is important to remember that there will be surprises, break-ups, let-downs, laughter, tears and tantrums along the way. But just take a deep breath and live in the moment you are in now!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Izx9ADLjgbM

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When Weight Stops Being the Issue

In today’s media there are countless images upholding the ideals of beauty. But for most of us around the world, those ideals portrayed in mass media do not reflect what we see around us nor what is in the mirror. But media has some options for us to “fix” what is “wrong” with us too; from quick-fix pills to fad diets and beyond. We have been led to believe that if only we comply with the ideals of beauty we too can be happy and successful.

You too! Can go from this:

To this:

WHAT A LOAD OF BULL!
The truth is, that only way your weight contributes to your happiness and success in life is if YOU let it! And you can take that to the bank.

And this is a lesson I had to learn myself, the hard way. At my heaviest and most “miserable”, I would find myself thinking, “that if only I was skinny then I would have a boyfriend or more friends, I would be beautiful, people would just like me etc.” and so one day I decided, that I was going to seriously commit to losing the weight and I did it! But I will tell you, after shedding almost 1/3 of my weight (about 70 lbs) no boyfriend magically appeared nor did any new friends. I was still the shy, awkward girl who preferred reading and Korean dramas to meeting people, that I was before I lost the weight. Same person just in a smaller package.

So that got me thinking, What if the Weight wasn’t the Issue? and what a scary thought that was because for so long my weight had been the great “enemy” standing in the way, to me frolicking in the sun with all my bffs. What the hell? does that mean there is something actually wrong with me? GASP

That isn’t what I had signed up for! I was just supposed to loose the weight and then be happy! Where did this self-examination step come from! Nuh-uh!

But all kidding aside, this is not to say that I regret losing the weight because by doing so I have gained so much from losing; I am more comfortable in my skin, my confidence grows everyday to try new things and see new places. I have had the chance to start learning more about myself; how people perceive me, how I perceive myself, and how want to be viewed by myself and by others.

The main take-away from all this is; if you want to lose the weight, that’s great! I applaud you!

But realize this:
1. You are beautiful/handsome, as you are!
2. You are not only worthy but DESERVING of love and all the things your heart desires, not matter what size jeans you are wearing!
3. There are no limits to where life can take you, as long as your get out of your own way!
4. It is not your duty to take on other people’s crap, misguided notions and/or prejudices BUT you can take on the duty of proving them all wrong!

When Weight Stops Being the Issue then we can start to figure out what really matters and start making ourselves the change we wish to see in the world around us.

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