Yes, I’m aware that it’s January 25. I’m also aware that I’ve already slacked on one of my biggest New Year’s Resolutions: Blog more.
So here I am. Did you miss me? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. 🙂
Over the holiday, I began wavering over whether I would continue Miss Pink Slip. I’ve been gainfully employed since March 2009 (by the grace of God!), and I just wasn’t sure how relevant my voice was to the unemployed/ recessionally challenged population.
But recently, after a bottle of Pinot Noir and a conversation with my UPiC (Unemployed Partner in Crime), I realized that we are all still feeling the stings of joblessness, fear and anxiety. Even a year after the hoopla surrounding unemployment seemed to die down a bit. My friend is still looking for full-time employment as are the many women she’s encountering every day. They’re still out there in droves, and they still need our support. So that’s the angle I’m taking with Miss Pink Slip in 2010: Support. I’m not collecting unemployment, but I know how it feels and I’m among many incredible women who are sure to land on their feet this year. And I want to be there when they do!
When I was in the thick of unemployment, I couldn’t afford to go out to eat or have beers with my friends. I was also stressed most of the time and pre-occupied with where my next buck was coming from. I kept hearing people ask, “I know she can’t afford to go out, but we miss seeing her” or “She won’t even let us buy her a glass of wine”. In addition to all that, I often didn’t shower or change out of my pajamas.
When at the mercy of the unemployment office, the jobless can get sensitive about taking money from others, no matter how well-intended. It’s called pride. Pride can also cause them to slowly feel disengaged from their circle of friends. So what can you, a gainfully employed person, do to show that out-of-work pal that she’s not out of luck or out of love?
- Invite him/her over for dinner – An invitation for a home-cooked meal is a low-key way to make your friend get dressed and leave the house without spending money. Also, my UPiC (Unemployed Partner-In-Crime) and I used to make dinner for each other. We got to eat well by sharing the expense, and we had something fun to socialize over
- Drop by with an inexpensive bottle of wine – They may not let you buy drinks while out at the local watering hole, but home is a different matter. And go cheap so they don’t feel like they owe you
- Grab her for a walk or jog – A good gab session coupled with exercise is a great way to socialize, boost endorphins, get out of the house and loosen stress
- Give the gift of flowers – I’m not talking bouquets from 1-800 Flowers. I’m talking deli/grocery store blossoms. And before you think you’re too good for them, I once saw George Stephanopoulus darting across 14th Street in NYC carrying deli daisies (presumably for his fabulous wife Alexandra Wentworth). Brightly colored bouquets can help cheer up any job hunter or the job hunter’s cave (read: home)
- Just listen – No advice. No contacts. No “what I would do if I were you…” (even though I assume you will have gone through that exercise already). Just bend your ear for a while, offer a calming smile instead of tips and end your visit with a big hug or word of encouragement
How do I know these things work? Because my friends are awesome, and they helped make unemployment bearable for me!
Thank you, thank you to the awesome 405 Club, “New York’s Official Unemployment Network”! They kindly invited me to their Sunday Blog Brunch to enjoy some mimosas while waxing poetically about my Miss Pink Slip experience. No, they didn’t get me tipsy. They’s good people.
The Sunday Blog Brunch is a brief, fun interview with bloggers “documenting the recession and unemployment firsthand”. It’s just one feature on this hilarious, addictive site. If you’re in the NY/NJ/PA area or are looking for work in the vicinity, you need to join The 405 Club pronto.
Thanks again for the mimosas and lurve.
PS–Do as I say, not as I do. In the job interview world, two days is way too late to send a “thank you” note. In my defense, I’d just returned from a HUGE SEC football game (GEAUX TIGERS!) and was resting. 🙂 My sentiments, however, remain just as true.
Being let go from your job stirs up all sorts of emotions and makes you feel like the Road Runner is circling your gut. You begin re-evaluating yourself and setting the stage for a massive self-improvement overhaul. Personally, I constantly wondered “What’s going to make someone else hire me?”, “Will they see through me?”, “Do I have what it takes?”, “Can I handle this stress?”, etc. etc. etc. It kept me up at night and created huge distractions.
I don’t know about you, but all those feelings led me to embrace a lot of self-help tools. My magazines became my guide. O The Magazine was always a source of inspiration or deep introspection. Cosmo gave me quizzes. Redbook taught me how to be happy. I also turned to the Bible, The Secretand Joel Osteen’s weekly broadcasts at midnight (I know, I know).
I obsessively checked my horoscope on every Web site I could find. I not only read the daily updates, I read the money ‘scope, the love ‘scope and the monthly and yearly horoscopes. I read them sometimes twice a day. The Web became my virtual therapist’s office, ready at anytime to provide me with endless tips and information on how I can be a better “me”.
Even though I have a job now, I still wake up feeling antsy and somewhat nauseated, and I bring that to work. So when I’m churning like a whirling dervish, I’ve been turning to what I know.
This week, I had an epiphany. After reading one too many articles about soul searching, happiness and the “law of attraction”, I realized that I’m addicted to this crap! I also began realizing that all this “self-help” is making me a more nervous, skeptical person. Am I doing anything right? Will anything ever go right for me? Of course I am, and of course it will, but first I’ve got to return to my senses, trust my gut more than Dr. Phil and go with it! Therefore, I’ve vowed to take a step back from all this betterment and see if it creates the serenity I need. I’m trying. Really, I am.
Do you ever feel like you’ve had enough self-help and self-improvement?
Posted in Sanity Without Salary, Uncategorized
Tagged hire, horoscope, Job, job loss, self-help, self-improvement, stress, The Secret, therapist, unemployment, work
You know how it feels to psyche yourself up for the big interview. You button up your crisply ironed blouse, put on that sleek lightweight wool interview skirt and jacket fresh from the cleaners, don run-free stockings and slip your feet into polished and shined black pumps. Once you’ve slung a tailored handbag over your shoulder, you’re ready to face the hiring squad head on with confidence, poise and style. There’s no way you can lose!
In the midst of all our unemployment worry, we sometimes forget there are gals on the job hunt who don’t have a dime to their name…much less an appropriate interview ensemble that makes them feel like the superstar candidate they are.
Enter Dress for Success. Their mission says it all: “The professional clothing, employment retention programs and ongoing support that we provide our clients symbolize our faith in every woman’s ability to be self-sufficient and successful in her career.”
I love this group. They want women to not only look great but also to feel confident, allowing their true personalities and talents to shine through during the interview process. What an amazing feeling it must be to send all these incredible ladies out into the world looking sharp, feeling good and ready to nab their dream jobs.
If you’re seeking professional polish and don’t have the adequate resources you need, please visit your local Dress for Success affiliate. If you’re blessed enough to have everything you need for the interview circuit, consider donating something to this worthwhile organization…whether it’s a suit or your time. They love volunteers!
See below for Dress for Success affiliate needs:
- Interview-appropriate suits and related separates (the greatest need is for items size 14 and up)
- Solid color blouses
- Shoes that are suitable for the workplace. Our clients receive brown, black or navy shoes most frequently. Please no heels higher than 3 inches and no open-toed shoes.
- Unopened hosiery
- Unused undergarments (Note: Not all locations accept such items; please check with the affiliate closest to you before making this type of donation.)
- Black tote bags, attaché bags or briefcases
- Basic professional accessories (including jewelry, scarves, belts and handbags)
- Unopened cosmetics
- Coats and outerwear (Note: Not all locations accept such items; please check with the affiliate closest to you before making this type of donation.)
For more questions, please visit: http://www.dressforsuccess.org/faqs_home.aspx#faq1
Ever since Michael Jackson died – and oodles of times before that, people have ruminated over the fact that he surrounded himself with shady people who were only out for themselves and Michael’s money (well, maybe Bubbles the Chimp or the odd llama) and could have cared less about the King of Pop’s well-being.
I was thinking about that this morning in the context of unemployment. I’ve said before that one thing we can learn from celebrities is how to assemble a team around you that is there for genuine support and assistance:
“Just like celebs have publicists, agents, managers, stylists, life coaches, etc., you should take their lead and put together your own support team. Call on friends who are great at networking, self-promotion, organization, brainstorming and image. Most importantly, enlist spiritual friends and others you can lean on psychologically and emotionally.”
Take a look around. Who’s there for you? Do you trust them? Do they have your best interests at heart? Are they authentic friends? If you’ve been looking for work or are dealing with other life challenges, you need the smartest, most positive, caring people surrounding you. The others are just wastes of time.
If I could assemble my all-pro “dream team”, who would it be?
- God – Duh.
- Dolly Parton – this star of stage and screen came from nuttin’ and has always remembered her roots. Ironically, she’s the picture of “authenticity” for me, and I can’t imagine anyone more encouraging and supportive. She keeps it real
- Jack and Suzy Welch – say what you will about how they got together, but they’re wildly successful for a reason and seem to be nice people. Plus, can you imagine the business plan they’d put together for you?
- Joel Osteen – OK. You probably just cringed. In fact, I felt it. But, this guy makes me feel good. Yes, I have watched many of his sermons on television, and just as I’m about to turn the channel to avoid the glare of his gleaming white teeth, he says something that comforts me and calms my pulse
- E. Jean Carroll – Again, she’s my hero. No-nonsense, yet classy and sisterly. She gives a sh*t about her fellow woman and always looks fabulous while dishing out the most valued advice found in the pages of a magazine
Who would be on your dream team?
From the MPS archives:
Posted in News, Sanity Without Salary
Tagged celebrities, Dolly Parton, dream team, E. Jean Carroll, Friends, God, Jack and Suzy Welch, Joel Osteen, life coaches, michael jackson, shady people, unemployment
MPS is experiencing a little bit o’ heartbreak today, so I’m digging into my archives to find some advice that could apply to what I’m feeling. Because getting laid off is a heartbreak of its own, isn’t it?
After perusing my posts, I found the following two. I think they’re perfect for the sadness I’m experiencing. None of them includes a tissue or lavender eye-mask…I think. I hope they help you, too. No matter what ails you!
7 Things to Do When You’re Angry
Revisit Your Inner Kid
So, based on the advice, here’s my game plan for the week:
- Run that pissed-off feeling out of my body (well, maybe tomorrow)
- Hug my dog-daughter and play ball with her (Miss SJB, I’m on my way home!)
- Drink some (cheap) wine with my UPiC
- Watch a really cheesy movie or Sunday night’s episode of “Drop Dead Diva“. If you haven’t seen this new show and its star Brooke Elliott, both are precious and uplifting
- Read another chapter of the new “smart girl’s beach book” I bought at the Strand in NYC, Commencement
- Re-read portions of Gigi Levangie Grazer’s awesome new novel, Queen Takes King. Basically, it’s about a woman who kicks ass. Love it. BTW–Gigi is my idol
- Maybe go see “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”for the umpteenth time, but this time at the Fox Theater…with a pre-show wine tasting. Some may consider Holly Golightly a cliche heroine, but her trip to the Five-and-Dime with George Peppard’s “Fred” is enough to lift anyone’s spirits
- Check in with the ladies over at E. Jean Carroll’s Advice Vixens. Those gals will whip me into shape fast. E. Jean: Honey, if ever there was a time I needed you!
- Lie out by the pool this Saturday and recapture that glow I’m missing
- Dive into the pile of magazines I got in the mail over the weekend. Allure, O, Elle, Self, Cosmo—girls, I hope you’ve got something good for me!
Am I missing a step? What do you do to heal a bruised heart?
Posted in Sanity Without Salary, Uncategorized
Tagged 10-step Program, advice vixens, Anger, Breakfast at Tiffany's, broken heart, Brooke Elliott, Commencement, Drop Dead Diva, E. Jean Carroll, feeling blue, Fox Theater, Gigi Levangie Grazer, heartbreak, inner kid, Queen Takes King, recovery, unemployment