The 'Unemployed Again' Thread

Mythopoeika

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Once again, dear friends, I am about to be made redundant.
This must be the 5th or 6th time, I've lost count.

Creative suggestions invited, please - what should I do in 2015? Does a wacky new career await?
 

rynner2

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Sorry to hear that, Myth.

(And sorry too that I have no practical advice to offer - I was always rubbish at job-hunting myself. :()
 

CarlosTheDJ

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Ah sorry to hear that. What's your 'thing'?
 

chris138

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Sorry to hear that.

I was made redundant in 2007 and went off to work on campsites in europe. I don't know if that tickles your fancy but it was a good move for me at the time.
 

Mythopoeika

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What I've done for over 20 years is technical writing - writing user guides, help systems, technical illustrations etc.
 

titch

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i wish i had something useful too say, i was unemployed for just over a year and it was pretty soul destroying, i hope things look up soon myth
 

Mythopoeika

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Thanks, all.
 

Krepostnoi

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Sorry to hear it. Do you happen to speak another language? If so, might translation be an option? It's not everyone who can convey information clearly in their native tongue, even if they speak another one well, and your background as a technical writer would be a big advantage.
 

Analogue Boy

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Sorry to hear that Myth. I've been lucky in that I've only been made redundant once. At that point, the wind was changing anyway but I took time out and thought about what I really wanted to do. I trained up doing the thing I loved and did get some work from that but it actually led onto better things. i've long believed that there's no such thing as a job for life but increasingly there is a greater scope to create new opportunities.

Work out what your ideal job would be and work towards that. Even if you don't get it, it's good to have a target to point your existing skills at and develop new ones with a goal in mind. That's the best advice from personal experience I can give.
 

Andy X

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Yes, rotten luck Mytho. Good suggestion from Krepostnoi: one of my teachers at school had a sideline translating technical and scientific books from English to German and vice-versa. It paid rather better than teaching, apparently.

I think you'd do very well at some more creative area of writing or journalism, don't you? A friend of mine lost his job (redundancy also) in December and has been able to concentrate more on writing some books on supernatural aspects of local history (one already published) and spending more time on his music (semi-pro, a few albums under his belt). Money's a little tight as he has a young family, but he's not been this happy for ages :)
 

David Plankton

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Sorry to hear your news Myth.
Could you do your thing freelance? You seem to have a lot of computer/internet knowledge that might help out here.

When people are in your situation they are often told to 'follow their dreams', and we all know that this isn't usually practical because real life gets in the way. But, as your first post suggests, you might be open to a different course.
What was the first thing you ever wanted to be when you grew up? Well forget that because people on Mars is still a few decades away and they wouldn't have you anyway:p

I'm not being much help I know, but if you have spare time coming up then use it. I obviously don't know you, but from your posts you seem very clued up on sci-fi/fantasy. And you're a writer. Have you seen the quality of writing on some of those Amazon E-books?

Good luck.
 

JamesWhitehead

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I'm sorry to say that I think wacky, creative and quirky things are regarded as delusional and luxurious lifestyle choices now, though a tiny percentage may prove profitable.

Creativity is becoming the playground of the well-to-do and their offspring.

Meanwhile, back in the sweatshop, I find myself urging young people to gain qualifications and experience, fully aware they will later be asked to price-match competitors with neither. :eek:
 

Andy X

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I'm sorry to say that I think wacky, creative and quirky things are regarded as delusional and luxurious lifestyle choices now, though a tiny percentage may prove profitable.

Creativity is becoming the playground of the well-to-do and their offspring.

Meanwhile, back in the sweatshop, I find myself urging young people to gain qualifications and experience, fully aware they will later be asked to price-match competitors with neither. :eek:

Christ, that must be disheartening for you as you try to prepare these kids for a fulfilling, productive life. Most of the women in my family are teachers (and a couple of uncles lecturers) and I've heard all the horror stories.

In all 'industries', including mine, the pressure to get everything done faster and for less money is becoming crippling. If an outfit offering freelance work can get some unpaid interns to do the donkey work to a minimum standard for free, they will. As the precious 'content' is effectively disposable now, it hardly matters.

What was it Mrs T said to some undergraduate..."You're studying Norse (or Anglo-Saxon) literature? Hmm, what a luxury!)??

(sad face)
 

EnolaGaia

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What I've done for over 20 years is technical writing - writing user guides, help systems, technical illustrations etc.

Have you considered transitioning into a self-employed scenario (e.g., consultant) and continuing with the same type of work on a contract basis?

Some redundancies / layoffs represent corporate cost-cutting without regard for maintaining skills in-house. This leaves an open door for replacing necessary services from outside (as contrasted with in-house).

Unless you've got an alternative career in mind, IMHO you're probably best advised to see if you can parlay your experience (20 years is a lot nowadays ...) into some consulting / contractor jobs - at least for the short term.

I was a senior employee with a large company (defense sector), and I'd been an authorized telecommuter / home worker since 2000. Then I got laid off at the end of 2012. Nobody wanted me to go away, but federal budget wrangling had resulted in a gap of at least a year before the projects they wanted me for could resume. I decided to wait it out (a decision facilitated in part by having my residence destroyed in a fire 4 months after the lay-off). After jumping through all the hoops to set myself up as a one-man enterprise I resumed working on the same project when it started up again.

I still work from home, and I'm still doing the same sort of work with the same set of colleagues. There's a lot more paperwork with which I have to wrestle, but overall it's working out OK.

NOTE: I was laid off at age 61, so my reluctance to immediately shift career paths had a lot to do with being too close to retirement age for radical pre-retirement shifts.

If you've got 20 years' experience with good reviews, I'd suggest playing on your demonstrated strengths - at least for the short term.

Good luck with it ...
 

ramonmercado

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What I've done for over 20 years is technical writing - writing user guides, help systems, technical illustrations etc.

Bad news. Are your employment prospects bad in that area of work?
 

Ulalume

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Sorry to hear about your troubles, Mytho. That's really unfortunate. :(
You've mentioned before that you didn't like your job overmuch and I know you're a craftsman at heart - perhaps you can use this time to throw yourself into your craft and perhaps make a career out of it?

You can also sign up at e-lance, something interesting might come your way.

I took the liberty of breaking out the trusty tarot cards for you, and the outcome for finding work in three months was excellent, so take heart. :) Don't be distracted by petty annoyances in the meantime.

I think you'd do very well at some more creative area of writing or journalism, don't you? A friend of mine lost his job (redundancy also) in December and has been able to concentrate more on writing some books on supernatural aspects of local history (one already published) and spending more time on his music (semi-pro, a few albums under his belt). Money's a little tight as he has a young family, but he's not been this happy for ages :)

Yeah, it was a little similar for my husband, after he was bullied out of his long-term job (evil new management shoving out all the older workers and so on) He'd been a news editor for years, then found himself unemployed for the first time since he was 14. :eek: This was scary at first, but it spurred him to try things he'd always wanted to do. He started writing for an alternative magazine (which was really a better fit for him), substitute teaching, free-lancing and playing music professionally. Things are touch and go financially, but not that much worse than they were at his previous job, and it's the most satisfied I've ever seen him with his work. Plus I don't have to worry about him dropping dead from stress - which happened to a number of people at his former job.

It's amazing what a person can accomplish when they actually enjoy what they're doing.
 

Analogue Boy

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I'm sorry to say that I think wacky, creative and quirky things are regarded as delusional and luxurious lifestyle choices now, though a tiny percentage may prove profitable.

Creativity is becoming the playground of the well-to-do and their offspring.

Meanwhile, back in the sweatshop, I find myself urging young people to gain qualifications and experience, fully aware they will later be asked to price-match competitors with neither. :eek:

That is probably the most depressing thing I've read here for a while. I've always somehow managed to make a living out of doing art while watching a succession of 'jobs for life' bite the dust. Is stifling creativity or expression in favour of promoting narrow ambition and drudgery really what we should be teaching kids?
 

Mythopoeika

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Part of what formal education is about these days is the stifling of creativity and whimsical thinking. :D
 

Mythopoeika

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Sorry to hear it. Do you happen to speak another language? If so, might translation be an option? It's not everyone who can convey information clearly in their native tongue, even if they speak another one well, and your background as a technical writer would be a big advantage.
Sadly, I do not have language skills other than for English.
One part of my job is liaising with and managing external translators to get documentation translations done.
 

Mythopoeika

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Yes, rotten luck Mytho. Good suggestion from Krepostnoi: one of my teachers at school had a sideline translating technical and scientific books from English to German and vice-versa. It paid rather better than teaching, apparently.

I think you'd do very well at some more creative area of writing or journalism, don't you? A friend of mine lost his job (redundancy also) in December and has been able to concentrate more on writing some books on supernatural aspects of local history (one already published) and spending more time on his music (semi-pro, a few albums under his belt). Money's a little tight as he has a young family, but he's not been this happy for ages :)
Actually, yes - I had given this a little thought recently. Perhaps I can have a go at doing some local ghost or UFO research in my area, and self-publish a few ebooks.
 

Mythopoeika

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Sorry to hear your news Myth.
Could you do your thing freelance? You seem to have a lot of computer/internet knowledge that might help out here.

When people are in your situation they are often told to 'follow their dreams', and we all know that this isn't usually practical because real life gets in the way. But, as your first post suggests, you might be open to a different course.
What was the first thing you ever wanted to be when you grew up? Well forget that because people on Mars is still a few decades away and they wouldn't have you anyway:p

I'm not being much help I know, but if you have spare time coming up then use it. I obviously don't know you, but from your posts you seem very clued up on sci-fi/fantasy. And you're a writer. Have you seen the quality of writing on some of those Amazon E-books?

Good luck.
I did the 'contract' thing a few years back and had my own 1-man company for 2 years. Unfortunately it died because it was difficult to keep landing new business. I might still consider it again if desperate.

The first thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up? Bingo - astronaut! I'm too old and overweight for that now, and I don't have a science degree.
Yeah. I really should give the writing a try, now I've got unlimited time. Re the ebook quality - yes, even top writers who self publish can get it wrong if they don't employ a good editor.
 

Mythopoeika

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Sorry to hear about your troubles, Mytho. That's really unfortunate. :(
You've mentioned before that you didn't like your job overmuch and I know you're a craftsman at heart - perhaps you can use this time to throw yourself into your craft and perhaps make a career out of it?

You can also sign up at e-lance, something interesting might come your way.

I took the liberty of breaking out the trusty tarot cards for you, and the outcome for finding work in three months was excellent, so take heart. :) Don't be distracted by petty annoyances in the meantime.



Yeah, it was a little similar for my husband, after he was bullied out of his long-term job (evil new management shoving out all the older workers and so on) He'd been a news editor for years, then found himself unemployed for the first time since he was 14. :eek: This was scary at first, but it spurred him to try things he'd always wanted to do. He started writing for an alternative magazine (which was really a better fit for him), substitute teaching, free-lancing and playing music professionally. Things are touch and go financially, but not that much worse than they were at his previous job, and it's the most satisfied I've ever seen him with his work. Plus I don't have to worry about him dropping dead from stress - which happened to a number of people at his former job.

It's amazing what a person can accomplish when they actually enjoy what they're doing.

Thanks! :D
I am going to have a go at ebooks and selling a few items online.
Thanks for the reading.
 

drbastard

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I think there are a number of scientific/technical writing firms in and around Oxford, but you no doubt know this.

I've been out of work for a while myself now, and I don't have a great deal of advice except to keep your chin up and stay focused. What's really doing my head in at the moment is people not bothering to answer their emails-either informal ones or following job applications.
 

Mythopoeika

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Sorry to hear you have been out of work for a long time.
Yeah, the 'not answering emails' thing is a bit of a bugbear of mine too. It seems to be a fairly recent culture, probably not helped at all by the fact that so many people use mobile devices for their email. People on the move look at something, forget about it, move on to the next thing that occupies their time.
I've been to one or two interviews where the boss griped that the younger staff spend all their time on social media.
 
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