Two months ago, I left my home town and moved to my fiancee’s town. It was March 4th, 2013.
I had a job waiting for me and that made me feel good. At least the job transition was going to be smooth.
But as I shared with you here: Unemployed and depressed? You are not alone , things at my new job were so out of whack that I only stayed for two weeks.
As rewarding it was to march in that office and announce that I quit, soon after that fear started creeping in. I didn’t have another job secured. I could rely only on my savings (and perhaps on unemployment checks), and I had no idea whether I’ll survive until I get a job.
The first few days of unemployment were fun. I had sent out resumes and since there wasn’t much else I could do, I decided to make the most out of this break. I played Zuma, read books, and just… relaxed. I hadn’t had a break like this since… three years ago? Yeah, that’s right. Woah!
It was nice at first, but then it started to eat at me. I couldn’t go on like this forever. From all the resumes I had sent out – like about 10 or 15 – I got ZERO calls. I couldn’t believe it.
After a week of staring at my silent cell-phone, I decided I couldn’t afford to be picky. I couldn’t afford to apply for good jobs only. WE REALLY ARE IN RECESSION, AFTER ALL.
So I widened my criteria and started applying not only for jobs which were a great match for me, but also for jobs that were a looser match. My plan was to start some job and keep looking for a better offer.
Even with “widened criteria”, I was ready to only compromise so far. I needed some job, but not any job. Unfortunately, the job market was nothing like what it used to be a couple of years back. I had to cast a wider net. So how about freelance?
I searched online for writing jobs (my search was “script-writers wanted”). The online search landed me on one interesting ad –new comic book looking for script-writers, all interested applicants to submit one full-story of 40 scenes. I got right on that! It seemed fun and interesting. I got so carried away that I didn’t even ask about pay. They liked the story and asked me to do four sequels. “Four?!”, I thought. “But the first issue won’t be released until September, which means that I won’t get my humble remuneration until maybe Christmas! And that is IF they keep their word and really do pay me.” It seemed too time-consuming and also vague way beyond my tolerance level, so I dropped it. “Maybe one of these days, when I have nothing to do, I’ll write a sequel,” I thought.
I also registered at a bunch of websites for freelancers. Registration took me half a day with all the tests they require you to pass, but once that was behind me, I eagerly browsed the ads. “Hey, maybe God or The Universe or whatever wants me to look into self-employment! Maybe this is my chance to take a new road and make money through my writing!” I was just short of having dollar-signs pop in my eyes.
On those websites for freelancers, there were pages and pages and pages of job-listings, and that was just the writing-related category. I was also looking in miscelanious categories which featured jobs like gathering 1200 contacts online and pasting them into Excel.
Since I was a new user, I had a limit on how many applications I could send. I thought that was going to be an issue.
Actually, there was a much bigger issue. I had picked the ads based on their title, and after I took a closer look, I realized that I didn’t qualify for even half of them. Many ads demanded a native English speaker or only wanted users with a certain user rating (meaning first-time users were off the table), or someone with references.
On top of that, the few ads I could apply for demanded several writing samples of 500 words or more (500 words is about one page) – which basically meant a great investment of time towards uncertain results. Also, there were many jobs for writing unique website content centered around a dozen keywords.
(read next part here: Job hunting during recession)