HeyZeus.org : Personal Blog of Zeus

Being Unemployed and What It’s Like

Since October 19, 2007 I had been unemployed (I was working for GD as a contractor, a risk Mandy and I were willing to take). Being unemployed is a very challenging experience, but one people should experience (that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger type thing). I hope if you do experience unemployment be it a good time in your life (ie. where you have a good emergency fund, and a time where employment is high). Mandy and I were fortunate to have a good emergency fund.  Also Mandy was still working and taking extra dance and writing gigs, along with being super supportive (she really is an amazing wife/person)!  And I believed I had enough experience to quickly get a job. Nonetheless, it took me much longer than I had imagined to find a satisfying job overall (considering experience and pay together). 3 months of applying to over 180 jobs using Emurse, Emurse Jobs, craigslist, a career fair, and other job boards, I was finally hired by……(you’ll find out below).

At first I was applying to jobs that I was most interested in, because I was over confident with my experience. After not reaching my goal of getting a job within a month, I turned my efforts up quite a bit (especially since Christmas was right around the corner). Total I had around 15-20 job interviews, between the Orlando and Jacksonville area. In addition, I had a number of recruiters at agencies and for specific companies interested in using my experience contact me, but none came through. Finally on November 2nd, I had my first interview with Lockheed Martin, I spoke to a manager who highly recommended me to one of his co-workers. A week later I was contacted by another manager who brought me in for a second interview. One week later they offered me a position as a Systems Engineer Sr. I started January 14th, and January the 19th would have been 3 months of being unemployed.

I really took my experience for granted.  Nothing came through as quickly as I had hoped.  Even using the suggestions of friends to contact companies I wanted to work for directly (even if they weren’t hiring, see What to do after leaving a job) and creating different resumes for different technology businesses.  It was a very challenging time in my our life. Definetely a good experience and life lesson.