layofflist on August 6th, 2012

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The Importance Of Job Satisfaction

Choosing a career can be difficult for anyone. With so many different types of jobs around, but not a lot of people hiring, it can be hard to know where to start. With only 45% of workers satisfied in their current careers, the task of finding a career that you might actually like may seem like an unattainable goal. You might be tempted to take whatever job you find first. While this might be a good idea for a temporary situation, staying in an unsatisfying career for a long time may feel discouraging and empty, and you may see negative effects reaching other areas of your life. On the other hand, if you find a job that gives you a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment, you will likely feel much better towards life in general. So what is the difference? Is it really possible to find a satisfying career in a difficult economy? The answer is yes.

Job Placement

Many people in a similar situation who have been looking for a satisfying career are finding huge success using a staffing employment agency. Career placement services can be extremely useful, giving many individuals an opportunity to find a satisfying career. As you become involved with one of these agencies, you will be able to share your talents and work experience so that you can be lined up with a suitable career. Career placement services can give job-seekers and employers a mutually beneficial experience, matching up the right person with the right job. If you have been unsuccessful at your task of finding a satisfying career, this might be one of the best places to start. Maximizing Job Experience One of the struggles of job seekers today is the task of knowing how to talk about, and expound on, previous work experience. Just because you have only worked at a restaurant doesn’t mean you can’t look elsewhere if you feel dissatisfied. You just need to know how to talk about your experience. Job placement agencies are often very helpful in this area. Employers are generally looking for employees who know how to work hard and think for themselves above anything else. As you go to interview for a new job, or simply fill out a resume, talk about the specific things you have done, not just the job titles. For example, if you were a waiter at a local restaurant who supervised a small number of employees, you can talk about specific times when you resolved customer concerns or when you helped to encourage employee unity in the midst of a conflict. Providing specific examples can provide future employers with an idea of your actual capabilities, helping you to land the types of jobs you really want.

Get To Know Yourself

As you seek for a profession, it can be very important to get know yourself well. Take the time to figure out the types of things you are passionate about. If you can become passionate about your career, you will likely provide a much better service to yourself and to your employer. Here are some questions to consider: *What types of things are you interested in? *What do you like or dislike in a work environment? *Do you like working with people or alone? *Where do you see yourself in a career? As you come to know yourself, and you learn how to talk about your qualities and talents, you can find greater success in finding a satisfying career.”

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I have written previously about the plight of Alexandra Jarrin and many readers kindly opened their hearts and wallets to help her get through some very difficult times. If you are new to Alexandra’s story, please see, Alexandra Jarrin who organized 99er’s “Letters to Bernie” is nearly homeless and Update: 99er Alexandra Jarrin is Thankful, Yet Fearful and Losing Hope.

I have been in contact with Alexandra occasionally throughout her long-term unemployment and her struggles to find work and a place to call home. She seemed to be turning a corner and getting back on her feet. Sadly, she has run into a major roadblock that could derail her recent successes. Alexandra and her good friend and 99er supporter, Kian Frederick, wrote the following letter that I am posting here.

by Kian Frederick and Alexandra Jarrin

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Originally posted on

With small improvements in job creation over the past few months many are hopeful that the economy is on the mend, however slowly. No group of people are more hopeful than the long-term unemployed. This is especially true of the “99ers”, former working and middle class, skilled and professional labor, and middle management folks who were laid off and exhausted their unemployment insurance before they could find a job during this crisis.

This hope, however, is dimmed by a perverse Catch-22: what happens if, now that a glimmer of hope for work may be emerging, some people won’t be able to get to a new job, even if they are offered one? For those living in small towns and rural areas, a car is a lifeline, without which many will not be able to return to the work force, despite more jobs being created and their desperation for work. Since most laid off people had good jobs and credit while they were working, they qualified for and received car loans from major banks. Now, after struggling through such hard times, many have had their cars repossessed (and credit ruined), because they couldn’t make the payments. Safety net programs don’t cover an emergency car payment and with every charity stretched to its last, scarce dollar, cars are considered a luxury, not a necessity. It’s also no surprise that the bailed out banks who hold these loans could care less.

Here is one example of the Catch-22 many now face. You might remember Alexandra Jarrin, the mother of three and former executive who was laid off in 2008 and eventually became a “99er”. After losing everything, she ended up homeless. An August, 2010, New York Times article about Alexandras’ plight was one of the first to bring national attention to the explosion of 99ers, and CNN has covered some of her efforts to get help for the foreclosed and forgotten. Like so many, in recent years Alex has fought back, scraped and struggled to reclaim her life. Now, however, she could lose everything because Chase bank repossessed her car, which she bought a few months before her 2008 lay-off, financing the purchase with a loan from Chase. Here’s what happened:

Alexandra Jarrin:

“Last September, I finally found a job and, a few months later, I was able to rent a small apartment. I took the first job that was offered to me, selling cable subscriptions door to door at 100% commission. It’s wasn’t great, but of course I grabbed it while continuing to look for a job in my field. It was difficult; I’m not a sales person, but I was out there knocking on doors, happy to have a way to support myself. I also finally found a place to live! After everything over the past few years, I honestly felt some hope for the first time”.

“As I was waiting to move in, I came down with pneumonia. At first, I didn’t know what it was and continued to trudge through the Vermont cold knocking on doors. Finally, I was forced to go to the doctor and learned it was pneumonia. I thought, well, I can’t stop now! I was ready to move into my new apartment and nothing was going to defeat me. I had vowed I would never, ever, become homeless again.”

“Soon after I moved in, sales slowed. I kept knocking, but sales were scarce. I was finding most people where not interested in changing what they had for services, or they were dealing with financial issues just like me. Still, I kept knocking, and even with sales slowing down, I managed to pay my rent, but fell behind in my car payments”.

At the same time, I was finally scheduled for needed parathyroid surgery that had been delayed for months because of the difficulties in finding a surgeon and hospital that took my health insurance. Between the pneumonia and the scheduling of my surgery, the doctors required that I not be out in the cold, wet weather knocking on doors. They were concerned about other illnesses I could get that would prevent the surgery and worsen my pneumonia”.

“I tried to find ways to keep selling cable. Calling people I had met or that other people had given me as leads, but sales continued to drop. There really is no other way to get to people but by knocking on their doors”.

“After struggling through all these hard years to keep up with my car payments, I’ve now fallen three months behind. I’ve called Chase what seems like a thousand times, beginning before I was delinquent, and begged them to renegotiate or somehow lower my payments; anything to help me through this, but they refused. They just didn’t care. We have to bail them out because they are “too big to fail”, but I guess they don’t have to do anything for us because we’re “too small to matter”.

“Finally, they came and took my car last Saturday morning. This has happened at the worst possible time. Jobs are starting to open up and I was starting to have conversations with HR personnel regarding positions in my field. I even started to have some interviews. I am so close to a solid step in reclaiming my life, or building a new life, this is a cruel punch in the gut!”.

“Now, I am stranded without any way to work my cable job, get to interviews or in to town. I live on the outskirts of a small town in Southern Vermont. The walk is way too long to get into town and there is no public transportation where I live. There is no one to ask for rides, no cars to borrow. Losing my car completely isolates me from everything and everyone, but the hardest part is that I can’t work”.

“I had stellar credit, for years, when I was working; in my “before” life. Now, all that’s gone and my options are very limited. Before, I always paid my bills on time and maintained my credit. I believe in meeting my responsibilities. I want to pay off my car loan; walking away is just not an option. Even in the darkest days, when I was homeless, I always, somehow, made my car payments because, yes, I needed the car, but it was also a source of pride for me. I was able to hold my head up about one thing, at least”.

“I have a very limited amount of time to get my car back, about a week. Chase has told me they will put it up for auction on or about March 26th, just after my 51st birthday, unless I come up with $2500. Might as well be $25 million, really”. Before the repossession I owed three payments in total, approximately $1100.00 including a small fee for being late. Now, I have to pay all the late payments, the late fees, one additional payment for April and the repossession fee. They also added on top of everything else a $25.00 miscellaneous fee that no one can explain. Chase told me to stay in touch with them so they can tell me what the total is as they get updates from the repossession company. “Oh my word, how much more can they add to it?”

“Throughout the hard times, I’ve borrowed from every friend I know and have literally been blessed by kindness of strangers. I have searched everywhere but there is no emergency hardship funding for car payments, despite how crucial having a car is for those of us who do not live in big cities. And, since my credit is shot because of everything else, no bank will give me a loan”.

“After everything, it’s so devastating to be so, so close and have it all taken away so fast, once again. I finally have a roof over my head and prospects for a real job are looking very good, but without a car it all means nothing”.

“It is awful to ask for help. I think most people want to rely on themselves; I know I do. But, asking for help is what I’m doing. I refuse to believe that I’m done; that all that’s left for me is a return to homelessness and hunger. Others are worse off than me, I know, and everyone is struggling. There is nothing special about me. I’m just one person who has almost made it through and I’m asking anyone who can: Please consider helping me raise the $2500 I need before March 24th to reclaim my car, and my life. Thank you, Thank you, from the bottom of my heart”.

If you wish to help Alex, or to contact her, you can do both at

Your kindness may not be tax deductible, but it is deeply appreciated. Thank you.

Kian Frederick can be contacted at

Please contact Alexandra and Kian for further details on how you may be able to help.

While the jobs numbers for the short- and long-term unemployed seem to be improving very slowly, the long-term unemployed are still suffering a jobs depression, historically. Currently, nearly two million workers have been out of work for more than 99 weeks and according to a recent GAO report an estimated 5.5 million have exhausted all UI benefits.

Chase bank should try and assist the struggling long-term unemployed instead of crushing the financial hopes of people like Alexandra Jarrin. The American public bailed-out these giant, corrupt banks with trillions of taxpayer dollars, but these same bailed-out banks act in the same deplorable ways that financially harm so many. It’s time the banks to help the people, since the banks were given everything they wanted and more.

This is not the time to abandon the long-term unemployed; it’s the time to help them. While a million Americans may have found jobs over the past year, more than five million long-term unemployed, including Alexandra Jarrin, have not been so fortunate.

Down to the wire again as Congress, especially the GOP, play out their end of year game of threatening the unemployedwith benefits disruption. This was the same tactic used by the GOP in 2010. At that time they forced Obama to extend fiscally imprudent tax cuts for the wealthy by threatening to put an end to extended unemployment benefits. Obama gave the GOP a two year extension of those budget busting tax cuts and the GOP gave the unemployed, at least some of them, an extension of unemployment benefits.

The GOP is back threatening unemployed again, but this time they are also dragging along 160 million working Americans who would benefit from a continuation of a payroll tax reduction. Fortunately, the GOP is playing a much weaker hand this year and may have to fold to the pressures of the American electorate who not only want a payroll tax extension, but also want unemployment benefits extended.

Republicans won’t go quietly into the night without further disparaging the unemployed. Their version of the unemployment extension would promote drug testing the unemployed and it would cut benefit maximums to 79 weeks and then 59 weeks during the summer of 2012.

According to an Arthur Delaney article at Huffington Post, “What evidence do Republicans have that drug use is a problem among the unemployed? None that they’ve been willing to share. Ask a Republican politician’s staff for additional information on his or her anecdote about the stoned jobless, and they’ll tell you it’s just something they hear about all the time back in their districts, and you have to take their word for it.”

While there are anecdotal reports of drug use among some job seekers, there is no qualitative reason to believe that a large majority of unemployed are guilty of taking illegal drugs. Why didn’t any of these congressional puritans drug test the failed bank and corporate executives that they handed trillions of taxpayer dollars without any strings attached? The GOP must believe that the wealthy and connected are angels that are beyond temptation while the poor and financially strapped job seekers are devilish drug abusers.

While drug testing all unemployed is a lousy and expensive idea that should be abandoned immediately, it’s the fact that Republicans want to dramatically cut back on the maximum number of weeks that the unemployed can collect benefits in the face of an economy that still isn’t creating the jobs needed to employ millions of unemployed is appalling.

In an article from The Hill today, “Levin’s support for the two-month deal comes amid his concerns that some states, including his home state of Michigan, would lose upward of 20 weeks of federal extended benefits under the Senate’s short-term bill within the first few months of the year because it doesn’t include a provision to ensure they remain in place.“

So regardless of which bill passes – if a bill passes – some long-term unemployed in some states will lose benefits starting the beginning of 2012. Both parties have their hand in the unemployment cutback plan.

Benefits could be cut by as many as 20 weeks next year — in line with a 20-week cut mentioned by President Obama in his jobs bill, supporters have said.

A House-passed Republican plan called for cutting total benefits to79 weeks in January and eventually drop them to a maximum of 59 weeks.

Hundreds of thousands of unemployed will be affected by reduced weeks of benefits. While cutting the maximum number of weeks makes sense during a jobs expansion, that isn’t the case at this point and a recent Gallup poll confirms that point, “Underemployment, a measure that combines the percentage of workers who are unemployed with the percentage working part time but wanting full-time work, is 18.4% in mid-December, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment. This is up slightly from 18.1% at the end of November and similar to the 18.5% of a year ago.”

It’s no wonder that Congress has a record low approval rating,“A new record-low 11% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest single rating in Gallup’s history of asking this question since 1974.” That rating is probably 10% too high, but it shows just how disenchanted Americans of all political stripes are with the political class.

Although the unemployed as a whole are being used as political pawns, they at least have the attentions of politicians and a nation looking for answers. Yet there is one group of unemployed that has been completely ignored of late, the unemployed who have exhausted all benefits – the 99ers. Over the past two years, millions of 99ers have not collected unemployment benefits or a paycheck. A recent Google search of news stories about 99ers produced this simple statement from the OC Register when discussing recent unemployment legislation, “There would be no additional benefits for the so-called 99ers, who have exhausted their 99 weeks.”

Congress and the president have purposely ignored the millions of 99ers for political reasons. Politicians such as Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and others who once pushed for 99er legislation have grown silent on the issue. And now it appears that the new 99ers will now be 79ers and possibly 59ers in the near future.

The fact remains that when you consider all under and unemployed, there are about 10 job seekers for each available full-time job opening. That is not a jobs situation that is the fault of the under and unemployed. It’s a situation where there are not enough jobs for those who want jobs.

The unemployed cannot depend on their elected representatives to act in their best interests, but they can depend on those same elected representatives continued criticism, belittlement and disregard. Let’s hope that Congress quickly comes to their senses and passes comprehensive legislation that doesn’t punish the unemployed.  Can Congress rise above it’s partisan bickering this holiday season of giving? Time will tell, but that time is short.

Happy holidays from the GOP! Mike Lukovich