Unemployment diary: I’m a 47-year-old anthropologist in Colorado who’s been out of work since February

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We’re a family of four, and my income was really the only one coming in. We had a few months of savings, but we weren’t sure what we were going to do about money. There weren’t any jobs out there that I could really apply for, and the jobs that were available either put my health at risk or paid so poorly that I would need two or three of them to pay our bills.

On top of that, the job I lost was a dream job that I’d wanted for close to 30 years. I worked with a small team and we felt like family. Losing them was heartbreaking. 

Between losing my dream job, losing my work family, losing my family’s health insurance, and losing my only source of income, I spiraled into a depression that I haven’t really recovered from.

I don’t know what to do next. Nobody is hiring.

I’d contemplate starting my own business, but people are clamping down on their own finances and getting clients isn’t going to be easy. 

Currently, I’m working a contract gig, but full-time employment just isn’t happening at the moment. I have multiple, diverse skills and am trying to fall back on some of my other skills at the moment, but the pay being offered for those jobs in my area is insultingly low, and I’ll have to go back to working multiple jobs if I’m lucky enough to land them. I spend about 10 hours a week looking for a job, applying for jobs, and networking.

We lived very frugally before this all hit, but we’ve cut out about 95% of the few extras we did allow ourselves. No new clothes (even when things wear out), no meals out. We’ve banked every penny and only spend on absolute essentials.

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I’ve cut down on groceries.

I’ve stopped going to the doctor and physical therapist, even though I have a chronic illness. I may just chuck it all, sell the house, and go back to grad school. If I’m going to lose the house anyway, I’d rather sell it first.

I worked for a nonprofit based in the state of Florida, so I’m collecting my UI benefit from them. Those folks have their heads stuck in an alligator. Florida’s UI benefits are hopelessly low and only last for 12 weeks.

The state bungled their normal UI claims and held up payment for thousands of people, then bungled the extended UI benefits. They designed a UI system that’s horribly confusing to use and then blamed claimants for errors and refused to pay. Overall, claiming UI from Florida is awful.

The $600 additional UI benefit was a godsend and kept us afloat, but I don’t know what I’m going to do now that it’s expired.

I’m just worried that I’m going to run out of money before I can find a job again, or that something medically catastrophic will happen to someone in my family and we won’t be able to afford care. That we’ll lose our home. That employers won’t bother with …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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