Ducks In A Tub

Taking life's adventures one day at a time.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Chapter 3: 2006 Job Hunt

We will always remember the year 2006 for two reasons. One, our daughter was born – a great blessing. Two, it has been the year of trials. I would like to say the year of trials and triumph, but that last part has not happened yet.

In January 2006, H was fired from his job at the title company. For a couple months we had already been struggling with making our mortgage payments and, to us, the job loss was a sign. We immediately started to sell the house. (Much more on that later…it’s another loooooong story…)

This was our first experience with unemployment. Naturally, H looked for work. His first step was to call all the people he knew and see if they were hiring. H’s uncle manages a sales department of a title company. At first, H did not think he wanted to get back into title insurance. He thought that he would just call it quits and find something else to do. But, he’s not a very patient man and within two weeks he thought he was desperate and he took a job working one of the sales territories under his uncle. My determined husband made the 50 mile drive to and from his territory every day, often times not getting home until it was time to put the kids in bed. The drive was too much, and he missed so much family time that in April we decided to move closer to the territory. (The house had not sold yet, but, remember, that is another story.)

Just a few weeks after we moved, H told me that he was quitting the title company to take a job selling gold. I was quite shocked. After all, we had moved so that we could be closer to his work. The new position he was taking was 30 miles away in heavy traffic. After quite a bit of discussion, I decided to back off and let my husband make the decision. He lasted two weeks at that job. Why did he quit? Because he cannot hard sell. (Title insurance sales is mostly based on having a good relationship with the client. You get the business because the other person likes you. The gold sales were over the phone and it required a pushy, hard sales tactic that H could not muster in order to be successful.)

This was round two of unemployment. H could not go back to his uncle. He had decided that he was done with real estate and that the market would not support him at this time. So, the job hunt began. We discovered a scam company that claims it helps you get a high paying job at the postal service. (Of course, we discovered that it was a scam AFTER they had taken our money.) H decided to go to bartending school thinking that he could surely get a good job, with great tips. The school even offered a placement service. Well, he finished school, learned a lot, and then learned that reputable high traffic bars will only hire people with high traffic experience. No-go on that one. But, the school did place H with a party staffing company. He worked private and corporate parties as a server and a bartender while looking for full time employment.

Once again, H is not a very patient man. After about 4 weeks he panicked again. That is when our landlord called and asked H to work for him selling payroll. H thought this was a great idea, after all, the guy was offering a salary, not just commission like most sales positions. That was in July.

While working for the payroll company, H had to continue working parties on the weekends in order to make ends meet. Even so, we had to take some money out of savings each month to pay a few bills. We feel blessed to have our savings account left over from the “good days” of title insurance.

Four months after starting in payroll, at the end of October, H’s boss decided that H wasn’t cutting it. H tells me (and I believe him) that he and the owner have different approaches to sales. H feels that his bosses approach is unethical and he refuses to adopt this manner of business. Meanwhile, the boss felt that H was not doing everything he could to secure new business.

And, gosh darn it, October was the first month we finally broke even on the income. We did not need to pull out of savings to pay any bills, then the hammer drop of unemployment.

So, that leaves us where we are now. Unemployed for the third time this year. My husband and I have had many conversations lately and I think that now he realizes that a good job will just be given to him overnight. He seems to finally be realizing this and his approach to a career change is looking good. No more sales for us! It is time for stability, regularity, and dependability. If that means that it takes 2 or 3 or 4 months to find the right position, then so be it. Meanwhile, H continues to serve and bartend at parties to make some income. It does not pay all the bills, but it helps enough to keep us going until he find the right career position.

Please pray for us during this difficult time.

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  • At 5:12 PM, Blogger BeachMama said…

    I know it is tough, but good for H for bartending and serving. I did it for manyyears and it is tough, tough work, but you can make very good money and keep a float. The right job for H will be found, patience is more often than not rewarded.


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