No income, no job prospects, and no possibility of unemployment benefits. Help me.
February 17, 2012 1:33 PM Subscribe
I left a good job to go back to school. Now I can't find a job, but I don't qualify for unemployment. What next?
posted by A neighbourhood park all covered with cheese to Work & Money (39 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Back in 2006, I inherited a little money, and decided to quit the job I had held for four years to get a second Bachelor's degree. I lived on my small inheritance and school loans until I got my degree a year ago December. I have been looking for jobs, but so is everyone else in the world, and I am getting nowhere.
I am intelligent, well-spoken, presentable, organized, reliable, and possess a variety of skills that are useful in both corporate settings and more creative situations. Unfortunately, my resumé is a disaster because I haven't held a job in six years. If I could jump directly to the interview stage for a job, my chances of gaining employment would increase exponentially (I do very well in interviews), but my resumé, as it stands, will never make it past HR.
I don't qualify for unemployment because I haven't had a job in the past eighteen months. I never had any savings, and in order to stay afloat since I graduated, I had to empty the 401K I'd invested in at my previous job. Now that money is gone forever, and I am about to be forty years old.
I looked into Illinois' Public Aid options (I am in the Chicagoland area) but they are all for "low income" (i.e. currently employed) moms with infants, and people with serious medical issues or other problems that prevent them from being able to work, and I am none of these things. They also ask for "household size," and I have a roommate, which puts me at "two," but my roommate has a decent job, and her income has nothing to do with my situation.
I have sold everything I owned that was worth selling. I am about to run out of my university's health insurance (I took advantage of the option to buy an extension after graduation), but I have the one pre-existing condition that every PPO/HMO hates (depression). The cheapest individual insurance plan I qualify for is ~$500/mo., which I (obviously) cannot afford.
I have deferred my school loans, which is a terrible decision in the long run, but it is the only option I have.
I have no money coming in, and the much-vaunted "safety net" in the U.S. has a me-sized hole in it.
I don't know what to do next. I don't know how I am going to pay rent this month. I am willing to take on almost any job at this point: running errands for busy parents; cleaning other peoples' homes; tutoring middle- or high-school or college students in a variety of subjects, etc. I will work days, nights, and weekends. I will work 60-80 hours a week if it means that I will take home a living wage. Other than a job that would require me to wade in toxic waste, I'll take pretty much anything—though a job that offers health care (obviously) preferable to one that does not. I don't need much as compared to the "average cost of living" in Chicago: I can survive on ~$550/wk after taxes.
Any kind of advice will be dearly appreciated. Thank you.