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When I was laid off in January I was angry, bereft, and frightened. At 61 years of age the thought of searching for a new job was overwhelming. Then I learned that there were no jobs. Those posted offered $11-$16/hour. I was earning $58,000/year. I am far overqualified and am receiving absolutely no responses to resumes and inquiries.
What seems to be happening is that those employers who are seeking employees are getting bargains because those of us out of work have so few choices (well, none!). Salaries are so low that there is no incentive for me to accept a job.
One of the factors in unemployment, especially in my case, is that the company (organization for me) was unwilling to look outside of the box and do what it could to get everyone to participate in a financial downturn/catastrophe. Is it better for everyone to take a 5-10% decrease in pay in order to provide jobs for all? The First Unitarian Church in Portland is a great example of everyone sacrificing for the whole and closing for a month this summer and reducing salaries appropriately so no one lost a job. Because employers (especially small ones) would rather sacrifice a few employees to retain their own earnings, paying more into unemployment insurance seems only fair.
I am lucky. I have options beyond seeking a job. With unemployment benefits I am able to take a course, get certification in a very recession-proof profession, and begin to build my own practice. Not all are so lucky. The benefits in being able to start up my business while retaining partial unemployment benefits will help me, will help the system in the long run, and actually incents me to begin a new profession that will start off slowly and hopefully grow.
Obviously I am myopic. I am in the unfortunate situation of having to seek benefit that is for me only, and not for the good of the whole. But hopefully, by taking the steps I am taking I will be earning again and those I seek to help in my new profession as a professional guardian will benefit. So hopefully it will be win-win. gotta make lemonade!
Mary Morris, former Parish Administrator of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
posted 4 years, 1 month ago
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