Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Journey Through the Highs and Lows of Unemployment

After arriving in New York City last August, I was desperate to find a job. A week later, I had one. Now, 8 months later, I don't. I love it, and hate it. I'm relaxed, but broke. Conclusion: I need to figure something out.

I think it all started when I was younger. I was always eager to be a "grown up". To buy my own things, call my own shots, and even (if you can believe it) have my own bills. My parents talked to me about careers ever since I was a kid. I went from fashion to artist to writer to journalist to lawyer to politician to veterinarian and finally, back to fashion. They stressed to me how important it was to turn my interests into something profitable, because if I hate what I do, I'll have a miserable life. As a result of growing up with my parents, I've been planning my career since I was 5.

At age 15 (March 2007), while everyone else was still in summer camp, I got my first job. It was at Boomers, a theme park in Florida and California. Picture Chuck E. Cheese, but soooo much better. I worked at the prize counter, and I eventually ran the entire thing, from deciding how to display the toys to actually choosing which ones to order. I loved kids, and I had a million friends who worked there with me. It was the best first job I could ever ask for.

Three and a half years later, it was August of 2010, and I was now unemployed for the first time since I was a freshman in high school. Now, a freshman in college, I wanted to be independent from my parents. I didn't want to be a brat, so I went job hunting.

With my insane coffee obsession- I seriously go to Starbucks 5 times a day- I figured it would be best to save money in any way possible. So, I got a job at Starbucks, and saved $300+ a month on coffee. I loved my job, for a while at least. It's true what they say- Starbucks is an amazing company to work for. It's also true, however, that coworkers can either make or break your attitude towards work. From the manager who couldn't figure out what the hell she was doing, to her condescending assistant who was an "actress" ("This is just my day job"), to the power-hungry coworker pursuing a Master's in painting (seriously), it wasn't exactly the best environment. I constantly felt attacked, as well as prejudged- I was a blonde with a high pitched voice, going to fashion school. The only nice person was my supervisor, who I later got accused of having an affair with. It was so mentally exhausting just being there, that I finally quit.

Now, three weeks later, I'm unemployed, and I don't hate it this time. I may be completely Type A, but I haven't actually relaxed, or even had a single day off, in months. I was working 8 hour days, 7 days a week. Some days, I was working for 13 hours straight. Don't get me wrong- I'm no quitter. But working in a coffee shop? Not quite the best use of my time. I work 15+ hours a week for JoonBug, which is far more work than serving coffee, but I have no problem with it. In fact, I LOVE it. If I'm working towards something that will actually help me, I'm completely committed, no matter what the hours are! In fact, I'm one of the only girls I know who is actually eager to work for free- AKA "intern."

The other side of the spectrum, however, is that I'm now completely, totally broke. My boyfriend and I just signed a lease for our first apartment, which is absolutely gorgeous, but it's $2000 a month! Now, I have no job, and he doesn't start his high paying gig at Saks Fifth Avenue until late May. We move in May 1st, and yes, I will put pictures up! :)

Now, we're broke, and little bit stuck. I'm forced to do the most horrid thing ever- Ask for my parents' help. As I mentioned above, what I wanted more than anything when I first got to New York, was to be completely independent from my parents. And for the past 8 months, I was. Now, I'll have to put my ego aside, and ask for help from my mom and dad. It may seem immature, but it's definitely a big step towards growing up.

What do you guys think? Did you have a similar experience when moving out and away from home? Or, perhaps you were less stubborn than I was, and you avoided this problem altogether?


  1. I am with you/ was in the same position two years ago when I decided to quit my teaching Job & not have a plan B. I am a stubborn person who will refuse to ask for any help what so ever. I learned to go out of that b/c I needed help at the end. We all face out challenges & we overcome them, It will just take time to get to where you want to be so in the meanwhile don't be afraid to ask for a little assistance while when needed. Hope this helps..


  2. Thanks Tammy! It definitely does help, it's what I keep hearing from people. You're totally right. But sometimes, my Type A personality won't allow it! But hey, it's a work in progress. :)

  3. Yes it is & I a sure with time & patience you will be fine... you're welcome BTW



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