Ask Unemployed Girl*

 

Dear Unemployed Girl,

I've had some great interviews, but after the reference check no offer materializes. Could my references be badmouthing me?

- Questionable References

Dear Desperately Seeking Good Review,

Here's what you do. First go to your references house. When you're sure no one is home sneak in and bug their phone. Then go to their office and pretend to be a janitor. Go into their office and bug their office phone. It might be a good idea to also set up an auto forwarder to send a copy of all their emails on to you. And then check yourself into a nice place for a good rest because you're being paranoid.

Look, it may be that one of your references may be badmouthing you. Or it could be that the interviewer wasn't nearly as excited about you as they were effusive to you. If you really think that someone is saying bad things about you, have a friend call your references and pretend to be from a company looking to hire you. If someone says something bad about you, cross that person's name off your list and go on from there. If they all give you great reviews, you'll just have to accept the fact that sometimes interviewers lie either with their words or their actions. It's tough out there, you just need to hang in there.

 

Dear Unemployed Girl, 

I have a chance to work for this company, but the pay is really low. I need a job, but I'm afraid if I take this I'll miss out on something better. What should I do.

- Paid-Less

Dear Shoe Store Wanna Be,

It's really up to you, but I'd say take the job. You need the money, and everyone knows people want to hire someone who already has a job. Besides, you could always  do that whole Melanie Griffith Working Girl thing. Although since I never actually saw the movie I don't know how it ends so perhaps I shouldn't recommend it as a course of action.

 

Dear Unemployed Girl, 

Why is it that some people seem to know what they want to do with their lives and others have no idea. I've spent most of my life wishing I could be one of the ones who know. Do you think that it's possible that someday I'll wake up and just know?

-Wanna Wake Up Wise

Dear Sleeping Search,

It's true that some people knew what they wanted to do with their life when they were young. But think about it. Do you still want the things you wanted 5 years ago or 10 years ago? Maybe that works for some people, but I'd rather do what is right for me now. Not being on a path from birth means that you have the opportunity to follow many paths. 

Dear Unemployed Girl,

I've been out of work for a while and I'm feeling pretty useless. I don't have to worry so much about money because my husband has a great job, but I feel like I'm not contributing enough to the household. I do all the housework and stuff and make dinner, but I feel like that's something even working women do and I should be able to contribute monetarily as well. 

- Cook and Maid

Dear Holder of the Hardest Job,

Personally I would love to have a cook and maid, seriously. Everyone knows that being a housewife is a difficult but relatively thankless job. So I say, VALUE YOURSELF. I also must say that if you couldn't make toast, you would still be worth a lot to your husband. He presumably didn't marry you for your cooking ability (At least I'm hoping that's not why people get married or I'm in BIG trouble). 

The point I'm trying (badly) to make is that your worth is not tied to how much money you make. Your true worth comes from who you are and you'll still be that person even if you never work again. 

 

Dear Unemployed Girl,

Why does it seem sometimes like my interview went really well, but I never hear anything. I mean why are they so nice if they aren't even actually interested in me. 

- Faux Nice is No Nice

Dear Fake People Suck,

Please watch the French. I don't think that these people are necessarily being fake, maybe they really do like you. When you think of it, it's just human nature. After all, haven't you ever met someone and really liked them, but then you met someone else and they kind of made the other person pale by comparison? I think that that's what happens with some job interviews. It sucks because you get your hopes up only to have them crushed, but you get to feel really cool for a moment before you hit the wall.  

 

Dear Unemployed Girl,

There don't seem to be any jobs where I am, should I move? 

-Stuck on the Island of Unemployed Toys

Dear Islander,

My best advice, which might not count for much, would be to stay put. Moving costs a ton and it's the stuff you don't think about that really adds up. Plus at least here you probably have friends and some sort of support system. If you move somewhere else and can't find a job then you'll be unemployed and without anyone to make you laugh. 

That said, if you get a job somewhere else and have confirmed money coming in, then definitely move. After all, life is a great adventure yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah. A good way to know where to look is to pick the most annoying person you know and then try and get a job the farthest away you can get from that person (without leaving the country of course). 

 

Dear Unemployed Girl,

Why is it that people who least need help in the world get the most? Sometimes it seems like all the best jobs go to the well connected, who probably had them sewn up since birth. No one in my family is a III or IV, what chance do I have? 

- Wishing I Knew Someone Who Knew Someone

Dear Knowing No One,

Life isn't fair. I wish it was, but it's not. If you can take some comfort in it, someone who's life has been planned since birth, might end up living someone else's life. I wonder how many of these 'well connected' people wake up one day and realize that they've spent their whole lives chasing a dream that isn't their own. Then again, the money's probably pretty good.  

Dear Unemployed Girl,

Does volunteering really work to help you get a real job. Everyone keeps suggesting I volunteer, but I'm afraid working for free might make me look less attractive to an employer because it will devalue my skills. Also I don't want to let someone down if I do get a job and don't have time to volunteer anymore. What should I do? 

- In Need Of Help On Helping Others

Dear Wanna be Helpful,

I understand your quandary. It would seem like working for free would devalue your skills, but I think if it's for a cause you believe in, volunteering will have the opposite effect.  Instead of sitting at home having a pity party (which are good only when you have chocolate ice cream and you really don't want to have to share it) you will be out in your community trying to make things better.  How could someone not admire that? 

As far as your second question, try to volunteer on the weekends so that you won't necessarily have to stop when you get a job. It won't really affect you right now because when you're unemployed weekends are the same as non-weekends. If you absolutely can't volunteer on the weekends, try finding something that you can help out with on a more sporadic basis. Without a set schedule you can continue volunteering around your new schedule when you get that great job. Even if getting a job will mean the end of volunteering, I'm sure the people you help would rather have your help now for a short time than never have your help at all. Plus as an added bonus you can feel virtuous and use it as an excuse to buy yourself something nice.   

Dear Unemployed Girl,

I just got a new job and since I'm not used to getting up so early, I am finding it hard to stay awake. I don't want them to take this as a lack of commitment on my part, what should I do? . 

- Trying Not to Sleep My Way To The Bottom

Dear Bottom Sleeper,

I know it's tough to sit at a desk all day when you're not used to it. It seems strange that something so non-labor intensive could make you so tired, but it does. There is good news, this should wear off in a few weeks. In the meantime, my best recommendation would be to buy some of those glasses that Homer had when he was on the jury in that one episode, you know the ones that make it look like his eyes are open. I can't help with the snoring though, you're on your own there.

Dear Unemployed Girl,

It seems like everyone I know has some big career thing going on. Even when I had a job I didn't have a "Career" how do I compete with these people. 

- Not Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Dear More Chutes Than Ladders,

The world is filled with people who had careers, and now have jobs they hate. The difference between you and them is that you haven't wasted years of your life slaving away for some company that discarded you in favor of someone cheaper.  A career is only worth having if it's in something you really enjoy. If you spend all your time climbing the corporate ladder and no time filling your life with people and activities you enjoy, you might find out first hand that all those people are right when they say it's lonely at the top.

Although I must admit that all those career type woman on TV do have pretty great clothes. So, from a clothing standpoint in might be worth it.

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*Disclaimer - Some of the advice contained herein is meant to be taken for amusement only. If you can't separate the amusing advice from the real advice your best bet is to follow none of it.  Unemployed Girl is not responsible for anything good or bad that occurs as a result of the advice on this page. 

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Reilly Sheridan
Copyright 2003  Last Straw Productions. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 11, 2004.