Dear Unemployed Girl,

Everyone always says that the best way to find a job is to network. Uh, everyone I know is unemployed. Networking with them isn't really gonna do me any good. What do you think I should do.

- Networking Notworking

Dear No Net,

These people are dumb. Okay so not all of them, but people who tell you the only way to do something is a way you can't do it are just being mean. Come on, every single person who has a job couldn't have gotten it because they knew somebody right. Jus keep at it and eventually you'll find something.

The only other thing I could suggest if you really want to do the networking thing is to try volunteering. Then you'd meet some people who might have jobs or could introduce to other people who have jobs, plus they'd think you were a really great person because you were volunteering. And of course they would be right.

 

Dear Unemployed Girl,

I've been out of work so long, that now that I have a job I can't enjoy it because I'm constantly worrying that I'll lose it. What should I do?

-Dreading a Pink Slip

Dear Don't Wanna Be Pinkie Tuskadero,

I know how hard it is to find yourself at work again. You feel like the other shoe is just waiting to drop. You know what I think? So what. I mean you were unemployed before and you found a job right?

What works for me in life in general, is to imagine the absolute worst that could happen. Well that would be losing your job right? And hey you've been there before and survived, so if you end up there again you'll survive that too.

It may have taken a while, but you found a job. Besides, if you worry too much you'll turn into that weird guy from Office Space who talked to himself all the time. 

 

Dear Unemployed Girl,

 

What do I say to annoying people who make jokes about how my New Year's Resolution should be to get a job? They say it like it's a joke, but I feel like they really think I haven't even been looking for work. Is there any way to let them know how unfunny they are.

-Not Laughing

Dear Resolving not to Be Amused,

The next time they make their 'joke' tell them that your New Year's Resolution is to avoid obnoxious and annoying people who think they're funny. Then pointedly leave the room.  Or as an alternate solution, ask them when they're going to get a... (insert thing they want most in the world here). Of course that would just be mean - Fun, but mean.

 

Dear Unemployed Girl,

I just got another of those awful 'Good News' Christmas letters in the mail. You know the type, 'Johnny is looking into law and Susie is getting married, we can't wait.' I don't have any obnoxious good news to spew at unsuspecting malcontents, what should I do?

- Christmas Bad News

Dear No News is Better News,

First, I agree with you on how annoying some of those letters can be, especially if your circumstances aren't as auspicious. The trick here is really looking between the lines. For instance, Johnny is looking into law, loosely translated means Johnny is being looked after by the law, i.e. in prison. 

Once you realize that these letters are in code (and always for some strange reason in the third person) it becomes easier to write one of your own. Try this; instead of saying you're unemployed, say you're exploring new opportunities. If you just got a job at Radio Shack say you're working in electronics. If you've just moved to a tiny place because you're broke, say you wanted to celebrate the holidays this year in someplace more cozy. See how easy that is? Now get writing. 

 

Dear Unemployed Girl,

I'm just not feeling the holiday spirit this year. It sucks to be broke around the holidays. Everywhere I look someone is telling me to spend money on stuff I can't afford, it seems like even Christmas spirit costs money. What should I do?

- Can't Buy Me Spirit

Dear Money for Nothing,

There are ways to feel the spirit that don't cost so much. You could look at Christmas lights for one thing, I mean they're everywhere and they're free. Besides, some of these people spend more than you made last year on lights and electricity. Personally, I think some of them do this so people will think they're cool, but who knows. And what's with all of these giant light up Winnie the Pooh's in Santa outfits. I know he's wearing a Santa outfit, but come on. What is it about a stupid bear that says Christmas to these people. On the other hand, I really like those light up reindeer who's heads move so it looks like they're eating the grass. Now that's cool. 

Anyway, since these people have spent so much time and/or money on their elaborate decorations, they will be heartbroken if no one looks at them. So not only can looking at their lights put you in the spirit of the holidays, it also counts as a good deed, and face it things being what they are we could all use a bit of good karma. 

Dear Unemployed Girl, 

I've been unemployed nearly a year now, and am getting close to that time where the state government won't be helping with my mortgage anymore. Anyways, I've noticed a lot of these company websites ask if you are referred by an employee. I've been thinking, what if you lie and say you *were* referred by an employee? Make up a common name... Mike Smith referred me, why yes. Maybe then they'll hire me, because they think someone they already employ can vouch for my work ethic? Hopefully, they never manage to reach "Mike"... I'll say he works night shift, just to be safe. 

Love your site! 

Best wishes.

- Another Laid-Off Techie

Dear Tech-nicly Unemployed,

I think you might have something here. The key to success is vagueness. First just give the first name. John's a good one. Say you're friend brought 'John' to play basketball or go out to dinner or something with you. You didn't get his last name, but he just raved about company A. 

Read the website carefully and ad some tidbits about stuff you read, but claim that John told you about it when you mentioned you were looking for work. Act sheepish about not knowing John's last name. If they ask if it's a specific guy named John, Like John Stevens you can say something like hrmm that might be it. Then if they reach John Stevens when you see him you can say, I guess I was wrong, that's not him.

I hope this helps. Just remember, things will turn around just hang on until they do. 

Dear Unemployed Girl,

Everyone I know is talking about Christmas shopping. I have about a bazillion people to buy for but I have no money. Everyone else has jobs but me so I have to get decent presents. What do I do? 

- Who turned Grinch 

Dear Used to be Cindy Lou,

You know that story did get something right (I refer of course to the original cartoon version not that extremely lame live action - what where they thinking - version). Christmas is not about how much money you spend on gifts, but the thought behind them. 

Haven't you ever gotten something really inexpensive that was just so you, you loved it? Put together a fancy gift bag. How do you do this on a budget. You go to my favorite place of course, the dollar store. Maybe get some cute mugs and then toss in hot chocolate and marshmallows (Don't get that crap with the freeze dried marshmallows). The point is that originality wins every time, plus people like your gift better because you put so much thought into it and your snooty relative who bought that it expensive but soulless gift will feel like the Grinch.

Dear Unemployed Girl,

It's hard to keep looking for a job when I don't really seem to get any response at all. I mean I might have better luck going to the Grand Canyon and just throwing a stack of my resumes over the side. What do you think?

- I Have No Response to Those.

Dear Wanna-be Litterbug,

There are some things wrong with your idea. Firstly, what are the chances that someone who is capable of giving you a job in your field would be in the Grand Canyon at the time you tossed your resumes? Then you have to factor in for wind direction and possibility of precipitation. Plus there's always the fact that littering is against the law, so you might end up with work, but it might be on a chain gang. Although that would afford you 3 squares a day and indoor plumbing, I really can't in good conscience recommend it. 

Seriously though, I know it's frustrating to get no response at all when you send out your resume. Just tell yourself that they where probably a horrible company to work for and buy yourself some ice cream. I recommend chocolate.

 

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