As you may know, my job ended the week before Christmas. With three months warning, it was hard to maintain excitement for doing the job. When you know the job is ending, you sort of check out. It's frustrating, because no matter how great the work you do is... you know it won't help keep your job. Of course you want to maintain pride in your work - but even so - you can't help but check out.
So when the end came, I was sort of looking forward to a break. Plus I have a good lead on a permanent job with the portrait studio for whom I work part-time so I wasn't feeling too anxious.
Finally, I filed for unemployment two weeks ago. As a part of the requirements, I am to make five job contacts a week. My career field is pretty specialized, and realistically there are probably only 10 companies in this city who could hire me to do what I do. And maybe 20 more on the fringe of what I do. Now let's imagine how many of those 30 companies are hiring.
In the past, I've told the unemployment office official the numbers situation - and they assured me they didn't want me to apply for jobs for which I am overqualified or unqualified, and they reduced my requirement to two a week.
This time, I explained the same thing and I was told that due to the economy and circumstances the way they are - that I can't limit myself to my career field. I have to apply for anything.
Let's think about this. There are 120,000 people in Denver on unemployment right now. They are all supposed to make 5 job contacts a week - regardless of whether the jobs are suitable.
Wouldn't you hate to work in HR right now?
Can you imagine weeding through the 600,000 applications a week flowing in from people who don't even fit the job description?
This rule doesn't do any body any good!
So I should apply for the over-night gig at 7-11, keeping the person whose ONLY option is employment at 7-11 from getting the work they are qualified for?!!!??!
I realize there are plenty of people who are milking the unemployment system and taking advantage... and they need a way to weed them out.
But in this economy, there are also plenty well-intentioned, hard-working people like me who have earned their unemployment benefits and deserve them - whether or not there are job openings in their employment field.
I think - with the vast number of Americans on unemployment right now - that the president should make an offer. If you volunteer to go to Haiti and help the people in need, the US will continue to pay your UE benefits while you are gone, so that you can keep your house and pay your bills. Don't worry about applying for jobs that don't exist. Do what you were put on this Earth to do - and help your fellow man.
That's what I think.