Evaporation of Employment

by Dual Income No Kids on November 10, 2008 · 0 comments

I have now recently joined the estimated 1 Million American who have faced a job loss in the last year, according to the New York Post. Yes, you heard me right, I’m now unemployed.

I should have been landing into Kabul today. Instead I’m back in DC looking for a job. Just like that, there was an issue with approvals for my position – note that I already had a signed contract – and I’m out of a job.

As you would imagine, the country’s unemployment figures suddenly hit a whole lot closer to home right about now.

While this is obviously a blow in a variety of ways, there are certainly lessons learned already:

  1. Cash is King. Having cash on hand is a relief when the unexpected arises. I’m lucky that I had also built up more of a reserve to pay for three months of rent up front in Kabul. This means that I have a chunk of change that should last me much longer than it will take me to find a job.
  2. Emergency Funds. In addition to my own funds we also have a fall back fund that feels good to have right about now.
  3. Resume. They can take your job but you still have your experience. This gives just one more reason to build up your resume for times when you will need it.
  4. Practice makes Perfect. Having recently gone through the process of submitting resumes and interviewing, I feel that I have a bit more recent experience in the job search realm that will help ease the transition.
  5. Don’t take Anything for Granted. The biggest lesson of the day is that you too are not exempt from the possibility of job loss. No matter how secure you think you are, just know that you aren’t.
  6. Pursuing Opportunities. As they say, when a door closes, a window opens. This is certainly the case for me. Despite how much I wanted to return to Kabul, the security situation has notably deteriorated in the last several weeks since I’ve been in the states. This is an opportunity to find something that has more stability overall, as well as enjoying being back with James and our two fabulous cats.

We’ll keep you posted as things move forward. I should also note the actions that I’m taking now to get myself back on track:

  1. Assessing Finances. This is a first key step to making sure that we can make ends meet while not having an income. Luckily our saving has meant that we are in a good position.
  2. Applying for Unemployment. Next I submitted my paperwork to receive unemployment. Given what I’ve contributed to the system, I’m eligible to receive $359 a week, or $1,436 a month. Even with my portion of the mortgage, this should actually cover most of my expenses without dipping into savings.
  3. Getting a Settlement from my Employer. I’m still working on this step, which may involve legal counsel as well. I’m requesting shipment of belongings from Kabul, my return ticket to DC (as I was on the West Coast for work), payment of my lease in Kabul, and severance. I’m still sorting through the legality aspects of the situation and would love any tips for employment lawyers out there.
  4. Revising my Resume. I’m also updating my resume and attending a networking and job hunting workshop from my alma mater tomorrow.
  5. Communicating with Contacts. I will also be sending out notes to professional and personal contacts to get any leads on positions and so forth. In my field jobs are certainly about who you know to help connect you.
  6. Reflecting. I’m also reflecting on where I want to be so I state my intentions clearly to myself and others. Given my background, I have a great many options I could explore. Reflecting helps to ensure that I’m pursuing what I want.

Wish me luck as I get through this set back.


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