Recession, Shmecession….Damn It’s Rough!

I am really beginning to hate this recession…it’s been such a long, rough road for my family.  Well, I have hated it all along, really.

Since the beginning of my career (almost 20 years ago) I have worked within Tech companies, always at the admin level.  When I begin to grow and advance within a company, I end up being laid off due to merger, sale of the company, or my position is eliminated due to the person(s) I support being eliminated themselves.  I last, on average, two years at each company.  For the most part, I love the companies and people I work with and sad to see the job and relationships end.  There are an abundance of different people at tech companies and I think that’s why I am attracted to them…because I am different.  A little weird, some would say.  But I’m okay with that.  I know who I am and am very comfortable with it.

However, I have been shoved helplessly into this niche and am finding it difficult to get out.  For one, I cannot seem to move on and up from the admin position.  I have moved on from being a receptionist to marketing assistant to training coordinator…then to general admin then to executive assistant, supporting the top executives within the Southern California tech industry.  And for two, I’m stuck in tech companies.  That’s where my experience is and that’s who hires me.  I loved, loved, loved my last job.  I was so terribly sad to see it end.  However, both of my executives moved back to France as a result of a merger and my position was eliminated.  I was unable to go anywhere else in the company because no other position would support the salary I was earning and I could not accept less money because I had a little baby on the way, thus, we began the most difficult road with difficult decisions in our midst.

My husband and I packed our stuff and moved back to Northern California, as the job market looked much more promising.  At least they had job openings in their classifieds, whereas Orange County had zero and what they were seeking was the rock bottom of the barrel.  The jobs posted wanted a “Jill of all trades”, which described me, but they wanted to pay very, very little…almost minimum wage for these positions.  I could not see staying there much longer or we would be out of money quick.

So, 3-months pregnant, I began my search in the San Francisco area and I found wonderful prospects.  But, being the honest chic that I am, I had to tell the potential employers that I was pregnant.  Several people all told me not to disclose such information, but that’s not me.  I cannot begin a new job with a lie or even the omission of this very pertinent fact.  In the end, as you can imagine, I did not get any of the jobs I really wanted and some really wanted me.  This type of discrimination still exists in this country, but I honestly cannot blame them for this one.  After all, they do have to look out for the well-being of their business…  I am unable to rationalize like that personally, but may have as a business person.  After many failed attempts to land a full-time permanent position, the perfect opportunity presented itself in the form of a temp position with the County of Alameda.  Someone else was on maternity leave and would be returning about the same time I was to begin my maternity leave.  I made enough money to help keep us afloat, along with my husband’s job at that popular restaurant in San Fran…  We were making ends meet with very little disposable income left over.

By the time I had my child and wanted to go back to work, the job market began to tank in the Bay Area.  There were plenty of job listings, but with the tech companies such as Hewlitt Packard and some other techy-big-wig company laying off thousands, I was competing with many more people.  We all went to college, we all worked for tech companies, we were all laid off.  All of our resumes probably looked alike.  To add complications, as my career had gone…my resume appeared to be spotty with two years at each company, I appeared to be an unreliable employee.  I tried to explain in my cover letter, but doubt anyone really read through the letter and most likely went straight for the resume.  I knew it was going to be difficult.  I applied for only positions that were serving the highest executives, since they garnered the most money.  I needed the big bucks to pay for daycare which was a minimum of $500 per week and ran up to $1000 per week.  Yes, I said…per WEEK. Yikes!  My job pool was pretty thin.  I applied for unemployment as soon as I could and it helped quite a bit.  I received it for almost 2 years.  Yep, outta work for two years.

Finally, we made the decision to move to a land full of great opportunity.  Georgia.  There were jobs and less competition and my family.  I had never visited Georgia and my husband and I took a leap of faith.  We packed all of our belongings in a 17-foot truck, hooked up the car tow dolly-thingy and began the journey.  My husband stayed behind to continue earning money just in case.  It was my son (1 ½ yrs) and my two small dogs.  It took us seven days to cross the country.  It was hellish at first, but after we got into a groove, it went smoothly….everything was going to be just fine.

Within three months of arriving in Georgia, I landed a job.  Easy peasy.  I have been at this company for a little over a year now as an admin to a Vice President.  It’s an okay job…I love my boss on a personal level.  Some of the people I work with are pleasant.  The pay is mediocre, it gets us by.  However, in the past couple of weeks I am finding several emails confirming that my boss has applied for positions at other companies…and all over the country…not just Georgia.  Ugh.  So, I guess I will begin looking for another job…again.  If the person I am assisting is not here, I have no place in the company.  In addition, if he does depart, it is highly likely they will close the branch where I currently work.  Hopefully I can be at this job a full two years before I must depart.  At least it will look like I am consistent in staying two years before having to depart.  I mean, really, I think employers should be seeking consistency in their new hires.  Don’t you?  Sheesh!

I hate looking for jobs.  The entire process is pretty depressing…

About smommy

I am a single mom, by choice. I decided to separate from my husband and an unhappy marriage over three years ago. My son was two at the time. I am pretty much raising my kid on my own with occasional support of my family when I need it. (I don't like to admit I need it, ever!) My soon to be ex-husband (STBX) is an alcoholic and after we separated and he moved back to San Francisco, he became a drug addict also. Life is a struggle, but a sweet one since I have this awesome boy and we love each other sooooo much! Now, if I could magically be divorced, that would be great...but alas, I cannot force him to sign the documents. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there are moments when it seems so far away and unreachable.
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