Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Drama

Wal-Mart laid off 700-800 employees at their home office. Oil hit $36 a barrel. Robert Plant and Allison Krauss won a Grammy for Record of the Year with their collabarative effort, Raising Sand. Aren't those the first three signs of the apocalypse? Of all the companies you think that might have to resort to layoffs, Wal-Mart is not one that comes to mind. A $300 billion dollar company and the largest retailer in the world. When I was laid off (downsized, right-sized, reorganized, whatever you want to call it) from my corporate job in April 2008, I was pretty sure that I'd get work again inside a month. After all, I live in Northwest Arkansas, and I have the skills that are in demand for suppliers of Wal-Mart. Or so I thought. Since April of last year, I have applied for around 200 jobs, had nearly two dozen interviews, and still have not landed a job. Fortunately, I was blessed to have a nice severance package to see us through for several months. But having been without a job, that money is long gone now. And it's not like I haven't tried to get a job. I haven't just applied for the stuffed shirt corporate gigs—in fact, I'm not sure I ever want to be a corporate stooge again—I've applied for jobs as an office assistant, telemarketer, computer support representative, bank teller, camera operator, caregiver for the elderly, dental hygienist, airport baggage handler, photography assistant, bookseller, data entry get the picture. Chances are you're reading this and nodding your head because you're going through the same situation. So many people are. I wish I could say that the worst of it is over, but I don't know that to be true. Seemingly, there's no end in sight. So for all of you that are in the same boat, keep paddling. Enjoy the extra time you have with your family. And don't give up.