I was thrilled when, earlier this week, not one but two readers wrote in with questions!
Q: I started working as an i-banker immediately after graduation in 2007. At the very end of the calendar year, I was laid off. I have now been unemployed for longer than I've ever had a job. Financially I'm squeezing by--bartending and picking up some other cash-payment jobs--but I find myself feeling a little depressed when I wake up in the mornings and don't have anywhere to go. What can I do to with some of my empty time?
Losing more than just a job,
A: JD, first of all, sorry to hear about your extended period of unemployment. On the upside, now you don't have to be one of the douchey bankers that everyone hates! (See Damn, it Feels Good to Be a Banker for more on that subject.) But seriously, I commend you for bartending--I know it is a far cry from the hallowed halls of Goldman et al. Since you say you have a lot of free time to kill, why not volunteer? There are tons of opportunities--everything from soup kitchens to tutoring to teaching afterschool soccer classes. I am sure that a non-profit would love to take advantage of your number-crunching skills, and I'd also venture to say it would make you feel good to be able to help them out. Volunteermatch has loads of options and will certainly have something where you live. Best of luck and keep us posted!
Q: I have been living and working in LA for the past 11 years and am growing really tired of the daily grind here. I am beginning to feel severely burnt out and that if I don't take a break soon, I won't make it much longer. I was hoping you could recommend some sort of guide to working outside of the United States. I would love to get out for a while and try something new.
Looking to tear off my bluetooth,
A: AK, who among us hasn't wanted to just drop everything and leave? After 11 years in LA, I can certainly understand why you would. I recommend picking up the book Getting Out: Your Guide to Leaving America. If you have a specific idea of where you want to go, I would suggest heading to your library and just photocopying the pages that pertain to your places of interest. If not, try Amazon or half.com for a discounted copy. If you want to know how to get a visa, how women are treated in countries throughout the world, which country has the most media outlets, the highest/lowest cost of living, the best infrasturcture system, etc, the book has you covered. Here's hoping you'll be able to find a country and city of interest to you and take a break from your life in LA.
Have a question about unemployment, job hunting, networking, or something completely nontangential? Feel free to leave it as comment here or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
--Posted by Sophie Friedman, Vault Web Content Intern
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