Still Not Over It...

I write a lot about unemployment. (Did you just grumble, "No kidding!?" I heard that.) Not just here, but for The Muse and other sites as well. 
I draw on my personal experience but I also interview career coaches or other experts who offer their insight on a variety of work and unemployment-related topics. Frequently, my pieces are a combination of both.
Often, when I share content on Twitter or LinkedIn, I imagine readers groaning and thinking, "Jeez, would this woman get over it already?" 
And, yes, I hear you. It's been five years since my first layoff and about 18 months since my second. And, yes, I've moved on, and thankfully, we're in a much better place. I've picked up some new freelance clients, and my husband has a full-time job with health benefits — the holy grail. So, needless to say, we feel extremely fortunate.
But that said, after you've been "downsized," "right-sized," "impacted," "restructured,&qu…



After much deliberation, consternation, and clearing up a few misunderstandings, I decided to attend the writing conference in Italy that I wrote about back in April. (It turned out there were rooms still available at the hotel where the workshop is being held, and there will be group transportation from Rome to Recanati, so I can stop worrying about pitching a tent on a hillside or ending up in Sicily.) 

I've taken on a lot of additional freelance work to avoid having to start a GoFundMe campaign (but thank you, Rose, for supporting that idea!), which is why it's taken me a while to write this post.

Plus, maybe it's that notorious old spoilsport known as "mom guilt," but it feels wildly self-indulgent to leave the country during the summer and jet off in an attempt to recapture the kind of creativity that goes beyond trying a new taco recipe. 

When I tell people I'm going, I hear that imaginary record scratch, like, "Wait, really? Alone?"…

Is It Time to Hit the Restart Button On Your Career?

As I mentioned in my last post, sometimes you can meet some real losers through the Internet. (I'm sure this comes as no revelation to anyone who's tried online dating.) But, on the flip side, every once in a while an interesting opportunity arrives in your inbox via cyberspace.
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the assistant to Kristin Hiemstra, M.Ed, ELI-MP, founder and president of The Art of Potential, about participating in an upcoming Career Seekers Summit she's hosting.
Much like when Elise Runde Voss, chief executive officer of UpScored called me a "thought leader" and asked me to write about the game-changing career platform she'd developed, I once again experienced a looking-over-each-shoulder "Who, me?" moment. 
Of course, I enjoy writing career features for The Muse and hope that some of the hard-won wisdom I've acquired after losing two jobs within four years helps others. Yet, especially after pondering that "losing two jobs wi…

A Weasel Lurks in Boonton

Thus far in my freelance career I've been fortunate to work for people who are professional and trustworthy. While I've tried not to take this for granted, it wasn't until a real weasel came along that I remembered how incredibly fortunate I've been. (Not quite as eloquent or dramatic as Madeleine L'Engle's: "Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light," but same principle.)

It's not that I haven't been approached by grifters, I have. Just recently, a man reached out to me after finding my resume on The first time he contacted me he said he was from one company. In a subsequent email, that company name changed but the role stayed the same. Curious to find out what it was all about, I responded with my rates, as requested, and he told me he could pay exactly half. Um... 

When I remained firm, he began to badger me, sending emails that read: "Just try it! It'll probably take half the time you think …

Eat, Cry, Panic

While typically my inbox brims with rejection emails, several weeks ago I received a message that began with the word "Congratulations!" 

Thrilled to see that salutation instead of the usual: "We're sorry, but we just don't think..." I was elated before I'd even identified the sender. (I'm at a place where if you congratulate me on anything from wearing a clean shirt to not stepping on my cat, I'll graciously accept and momentarily glow with pride.) 

But before I got my hopes up too high, I realized it could be another "Congratulations! You've been selected to attend our 'Combatting Female Baldness & Vaginal Dryness During Menopause' seminar!" email, so, naturally, I had to table my enthusiasm temporarily until I'd read further.

But, it turned out, it was, in fact, good news. My application to attend a small writing conference in Italy this July had been accepted.

I read the email in disbelief but within moments my init…

Expenses That Take a Backseat When You're Unemployed

"And what about you? We haven't seen you in a while! It's been, what, at least a year?" my dentist shrieked last Thursday after I brought in my 10-year-old for a routine cleaning.

I found this only slightly less irritating than dealing with an impacted wisdom tooth because first, no one wants to be dental-shamed, second, I was last there in late June of 2017 (not the mid-1980s as she seemed to be implying), and, third, piggybacking on my last point, I haven't been in because I lost my dental coverage when I lost my job last June.

Clearly, it's not like I walked out of her office that sunny summer day, threw my toothbrush in the gutter, laughed maniacally, and turned my back on oral care, vowing never to brush or floss again. So, needless to say, I found her behavior off-putting.

Now, you're probably thinking, "Liz, you're over-reacting. Surely this woman isn't a mindreader, how could she possibly know you were out of work (again!) and struggl…

Pros & Cons of the Freelance Lifestyle

Rather than return to the grind of a full-time gig, I've been doing a lot of freelance work instead. (What with being laid off in 2014 and 2017, that's one roller coaster I wasn't up for boarding again so soon.)

While initially I was delighted by the work-from-home, make-your-own-hours freedom of this career choice, as I'm approaching a year of it, it's definitely a mixed bag – one that's filled with its share of benefits and shortcomings.

Topping my list of lesser-known perks is the opportunity to sing along to the most depressing Aimee Mann tunes without colleagues suggesting I get myself some Abilify®.

Downsides you may not imagine include me stalking the mail carrier and muttering my daily mantra, "Where's my check?"

(Yes, many publications roll old school and shun PayPal and direct deposit much to the dismay of my beleaguered postal worker.)

Some facets of the freelance lifestyle actually fall into both categories. Exhibit A: I can spend mos…