Arlington Heights, Illinois: “I Have Tried Everything”

I lost my position as a communications specialist for a nonprofit health care association in November 2007 after only being there eight months. It took me about a year to find this position; in between I worked a temp job and a “survivor” retail job.

I have been searching ever since. I have lost count of how many resumes I’ve sent out and how many phone and in-person interviews I’ve had. In the beginning of my search I had a lot of interviews, but as the recession got worse, the time between interviews increased.

I am now working a “survivor” retail job, but it’s barely enough to pay my bills. I don’t have a life, really. I’m single and can’t afford to do anything – I just pay my bills and buy groceries and that’s it. Also, my “friends” have pretty much abandoned me during my time of need and support.

I have tried teaching myself new skills on my own since I can’t afford to go back to school. I have more than 13 years of experience as a written communications professional and I never thought I would still be looking, three and a half years later.

This search has taken a toll on my self-esteem too. I just feel totally degraded working retail where customers tend not to treat you the greatest and you’re on your feet all of the time and are just not challenged. I can’t go on like this much longer.

I am deadline-oriented, detail-driven, enjoy research, and consider myself an all-around excellent communications professional. I also have more than six years of experience in the nonprofit arena.

I have tried everything – networking both in-person and online, job fairs, everything. I’m just at a loss. One saving grace is that I have found some freelance writing and editing jobs, but that’s about it.

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