I am a college graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. I’ve worked since the summer after my junior year of high school. But now, I’ve been unemployed for almost exactly one year.
When I moved to California two and half years ago, I had an at-home job that moved here with me. Four months later I found out the company could not work with California.
Eight months later I found another at-home job. I hated it! At first, the check made it worth it. But then I started dreading it so much that I would be in tears before I logged in for each shift. I was a college graduate doing a job that had nothing to do with my degree. That, added in with the fact that it was a call center job with no room for advancement and was basically a legal form of harassing customers (ok, maybe harassing is a little bit dramatic), but I genuinely hated that job and felt like I deserved better.
I talked with my husband a lot about quitting. So. Many. Tears. We decided (mutually-ish) that I needed to have another job before I could quit this one. After 8 months, I found another one that I was super excited for. It wasn’t an at-home job, but it was working with kids. Totally worth it in my world – I love kids! I gave my notice immediately and started my new job training. On day 3 of training, I learned some super depressing news. Because of my disability, I have monthly nurse visits. I learned that if I work outside of my home, I am no longer considered “home bound” and would lose these services.
Some tried to convince me that it was worth it. It was an option to drive to the doctor to get the care I needed, but to do that was not a simple task for a number of reasons. I use a hoyer lift to get me in and out of my wheelchair – most doctor’s offices do not have one, so I’d likely have to bring my own. Even if they do have one, getting me in and out of my chair is a process. I would need a care provider to get me up and in my wheelchair, drive me to the doctor, get me out of my chair, dressed again and back in. I should note that my morning routine typically takes 2 hours from start to finish – depending on the person helping me. So, for the average person – no big deal.
You guys, I am not average!
After a lot of deliberating, I decided to not continue with that job. Here I am, a year later, still not working. I am not sure if I made the right decision, but on those days that the nurse comes, I can tell you how NOT stressed I feel and I think that’s worth something.
So, I searched on. When you struggle to find legitimate at-home jobs, get denied because of the state you live in or get turned down because you’re not qualified, it really discourages you. After I didn’t even get an interview for the last job I applied for, I decided I was done. “Sorry hubby, guess you’re my sugar daddy for life!”
Then you do the math for all your monthly bills due, medical bills yet to come, dreams of a new van and a nicer neighborhood… you roll up your sleeves, put on your big girl pants and start searching again!
And then, I got a letter in the mail from a man who works for a company that, in my past experience, solely exists to help those with disabilities find work. I had applied months before and hadn’t heard back in awhile, but he was requesting to finally set up a meeting with me. I went into that meeting super excited that this was my way out of joblessness! He was going to help me become more self-sufficient. To me, becoming self-sufficient means working and helping support your family.
To him, it meant I needed “a reason to get up in the morning.”
I spent most of our 20 minute meeting just nodding and agreeing after I realized he didn’t think I was capable of working. Or maybe he thought working from home was impossible? Either way, I was let down that his only advice was to “go back to school, get some socialization.”
Um, a life time student? No thank you! Socialization? I get plenty.
I won’t share this mans name or the company he works for as I truly believe he didn’t realize what he was saying. I realize I am asking for a difficult thing. I have researched enough to know that legitimate work-at-home jobs are hard to come by. Marketing jobs require more experience than what I have. But, when you ask me, “What do you want from me?” and I reply, “Resources to get me more experience. At-home job leads. Community classes to help refresh skills I haven’t used in years. Help me help myself!” …Please, do not respond with, “We’ll pay for you to get some socialization and a purpose to get up in the morning.”
Needless to say, I am still searching for a job. I wish I had a happy ending and could share with you that I’ve found my dream job, using my degree and am contributing to the household income. But, nope! I search on and rely on my (amazing, hardworking, selfless) husband to keep our household going.
Sometimes the road is long and there are bumps along the way that make it seem like you will never have that happy ending. Even through this situation (though I admitted to giving up for a short time) I realize there must be something amazing I’m being prepared for.
I just really hope I’m almost there!