Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Job Search Is Starting to Drain My Spirit

Losing My Will to Keep Getting Up Everyday

My spirit was actually broken a long time ago.... i'm going on fumes at this point. Survival is my only motivation.

I have been looking for meaningful work for years with no luck (that's right, years). I started in 2002 when I earned my Bachelors...but I have really been looking with full determination since late 2006- 2007. At this point i'm ready to just give up.

I have been under-employed (or a member of what I call the working unemployed) for years now. The kind of work I want is in the government sector (State or Federal). But that has not panned out. State agencies are cutting back. And on the Federal level, you pretty much have to know someone. With the economy screwed up, everyone is applying for Federal jobs. And Federal Agencies (who once dealt with worker shortages) have all the leverage now. In recent years, Federal agencies have become extremely picky (even more than usual). Basically, if you don't have substantial experience with the Federal Government (or State government) doing the exact job that you are interested in, then you won't even get an interview. They are only calling those who have several years of specific (specialized) experience.

So someone like me....who has a 17 year work history, has a Masters Degree, is working on another Masters degree....can't even get a foot in the door for an interview. Not even for the entry-level "support" or "assistant" jobs that I am applying for. They always find a reason to reject my application/resume. Usually it's because I don't meet some specific job requirement (usually something trivial..that I could learn or be trained in after i'm hired). But sometimes they tell me that i'm over-qualified (WT_?). Often, as I mentioned, it has to do with not having experience doing the exact work that i'm seeking. But how can I get the exact experience if no one will hire me? And I always have the sinking feeling that being Black is not helping me either (but that's a topic for another post).

In the meantime, I am facing a financial catastrophe. I can no longer survive on what I earn.... I have more money going out each month, than I have coming in. The survival job that I have just doesn't cut it. Now my student loans are all coming due.... I am roughly $70,000 in the hole on those. Add my credit card debt (which has ballooned in recent years because I have to use my credit card to survive) and I am in the hole to the tune of at least $76,000.00. It would take a financial expert to unravel my situation. But within the next few months I will be looking at Bankruptcy and massive loan defaults. Keep in mind, I am someone who is responsible and who always pays his bills. I have never defaulted on anything. So to be in this situation is horrific.

Defaulting on Federally backed loans = Armageddon. Once you do that...you can forget about government employment. You are blacklisted at that point.

I guess at that point i'll give up.

Hear a discussion from NPR about what the job market is like for recent college graduates.


rikyrah said...


I really do hear you. have you thought about something in the teaching area, or social services area. about the student loans, did you see the video that I posted a few weeks back from Baratunde Thurston over at JJP, about 5 things Obama has done for me. this young woman was a PhD, and, of course, had the loans, but she wasn't working on Wall Street. she spoke of a program, a new program, that didn't charge for student loans like someone worked on Wall Street. that tempered the loans to fit your income. go back and find that video.

I know it's tough..MAN, I know it's tough out there, but don't give up. just don't.

ecthompson said...

Hey, I'm sorry to hear about your plight. I'm not surprised. Every month, on my radio show, I talk about the latest economic numbers. Young people are hit the hardest. Blacks and Latinos are hit even worse.

Drop me an e-mail (ecthompson@tdatas.com). Maybe there's something we can do.