Friday, September 26, 2008

My first tri-mester

Saturday, Sept. 27, will mark three months since I was laid off at the Times. It's a milestone for me because it means the end of my severance, the end of my healthcare coverage (unless I want to pay the full COBRA cost), the start of my wife working full-time to pay for healthcare, and is longer than I thought it would take me to find full-time work. Even in this lousy economy.

I guess I was naive or at least hopeful, but three months ago I thought I'd find something by now if I worked as hard as I could in my job search. I joined one of the biggest networking groups in the Bay Area, quickly got my resume together with the help of an HR professional, and attacked the job postings by applying for jobs I thought I was qualified for. I've since learned that my resume needs to better showcase my skills and how they apply to writing or editing for something other than a newspaper. I know in the grand scheme of things three months without work doesn't seem like much time, but time crawls.

I've heard the reality: Finding a job after losing one can take a year, six months, 18 months, whatever. It all adds up to much more than three months. A lengthy study that is at least 20 years old points out that eight months after the unemployment rate peaked during the 1981-82 recession, the mean unemployment figure reached 21.2 weeks, or five months. In October 1986, 47 months into the recovery, time spent unemployed dropped to 15.2 weeks, or almost four months. In other words, today's economy isn't near a recovery yet and I'm only at 12 weeks of unemployment, meaning another two months of looking if this recession is at its peak. So take the poll at the top of this blog and let's see how long blog followers have been out of work; or comment below.

I still want to beat the average, and even if I don't, I think the best way of finding the best job is to continue aggressively looking for a job.

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