Was your job a casualty of the recession? You’re not alone. First, the bad news: The national unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent in February, the highest it’s been in 25 years. Economists are comparing our current situation to the recessionary depths of the early 1980s -- so far back, most Nesties don’t even have the reference point.
So what’s the good news? Picture what you could do if you were unemployed during The Great Depression in 1929 (wait in a bread line and gripe about Herbert Hoover) or the recession in the late ’70s and early ’80s (churn out new resumes on a typewriter and circle Help Wanted ads in the local paper). Now, think about all the possible ways to promote your recently laid-off self in 2009. Say it with us: We love you, Internet!
Thanks to the wonders that are the World Wide Web and Google, you can be much more than your one-page resume. Recession victims are taking to the blogosphere in droves to rant, share stories, support one another, provide advice, and, of course, create online extensions of their personas and skills for potential employers to find.
Turning your out-of-work frustration and seemingly endless hours of empty time into a successful blog will help you feel less isolated (Google “laid off” and “blog” and you’ll get millions of hits), and you’ll have a place to showcase your writing or illustrating capabilities when potential employers ask for work samples. Make sure you have a link to a PDF of your resume, and be careful not to overshare personal details or burn bridges about your last employer. Allot a specific amount of time each day to blogging so it doesn’t start taking up more time than your actual job search.
Above all, stay positive and focused. One Nestie has been blogging since being laid off in January, and her outlook is inspiring. “I didn't think this would happen to me…Here's the thing, I'm not angry...It wasn't a personal decision; it was a business decision. Yes, it is annoying to have to job search again, but that is not any one person's fault...So for now, I'm feeling optimistic. I'm talented, I'm smart, and I have solid professional experience. I have great recommendations from my colleagues, and I know they were sad to see me go. That in itself is comforting. I've just got to work hard and hope for the best.”