I'm frustrated right now. Frustrated and terrified.
I've been searching for work in my field for five months (and change), and it's been more difficult than I could ever imagine. I know I'm not the only one suffering in this current economy, and there are those worse off than I here in Fredericton, but my riled nature remains the same. Perhaps I'm just being selfish, that I should acknowledge the current economic climate and take the punch, but that's just isn't acceptable to me. Myself, along with many others here in this great city, need to work, and we're all frustrated.
Is this that “new” New Brunswick I've heard so much about? And, if it is, how can the New Brunswick government expect to retain the population with unemployment skyrocketing? I would like to know what the government wants us, those looking for work in our field in order to stay in this province, to do. What should I do? Wait for opportunities that never come? Take work that won't put food on the table? Be denied government-funded work based on the fact that I'm currently receiving employment insurance (more on that in a moment)? How does any of this make sense? How can I be in this place if I can't find work.
I love this province and I love Fredericton, but it is becoming harder and harder to find a viable reason to stay here, and I know I'm not the only citizen thinking that. Why should we stay here if the New Brunswick government is making it nearly impossible to do so?
I recently applied for a job (multiple jobs, actually) with the Saint Mary's University Business Development Centre, work that I was very much qualified for. However, upon a follow-up phone call concerning my resume, I learned I was not eligible for those jobs because I was on Employment Insurance. Apparently if a person is on Employment Insurance, or has ever been on EI, then he/she won't be considered for work at Saint Mary's University Business Development Centre. And why? It's apparently a stipulation of their government funding. Why is this? Shouldn't these jobs, especially in today's economic climate, be open to anyone who's qualified? Even an employee at the Employment Regional Office seemed befuddled by such a stipulation.
My background is primarily in writing, with experience in Journalism, Technical Writing, Quality Assurance, and a smattering of photography and design work. This is work I love to do, and it managed to keep me employed until just earlier this year. I was laid off twice within the past twelve months, once due to a lack of funding and the other due to a recession-induced work shortage. The first time wasn't so bad, I found work in less than two months. Sadly, that second job only lasted about three months before I was laid off yet again. And since then, February 2009 to be exact, I've been looking for work. I've been sending out resumes and cover letters on a near-daily basis, doing follow-ups, working up any contacts I know, all of it, and yet here I sit. Writing a letter to vent my frustrations.
Am I being too choosy in looking for work? I want to work in my field, or do work related to it. It pays well and keeps the lights on. I have been expanding my search, applying for work that I may not be exactly trained for, but I've had no choice. And minimum wage doesn't seem to be an option for the monthly bills I need to pay. Rent? Payments? An ungodly student loan? All those need to be paid.
My EI is running out. I have about a month to go before it's gone, and I'm terrified. Terrified and frustrated beyond words.