The Underemployed Girl’s Guide to Unemployment

The Underemployed Girl’s Guide to Unemployment

We here at TWR are no strangers to the barren wasteland of unemployment. Having spent considerable time navigating my own way out of the office after the words “your services are no longer required” are uttered, I decided to cobble together this handy guide for those of you who find yourselves jobless. As always, you’re welcome.

1. Come up with a signature move. Football players have their endzone dances in times of victorywhy not trademark a sassy and unique response to the heave-ho in your moment of defeat? For example, my most recent job loss occurred due to “corporate restructuring.” Had I only read the writing on the wall (aka a vaguely threatening and misspelled email regarding productivity from a higher-up with a loose grip on grammar), I would have been able to prepare what I wish had been my parting words: “Restructure THIS!” and then moonwalked out the front door with both middle fingers blazing. Or there was my previous job, when my boss let me go after I told her I was pregnant and she informed me that “this path [I] had chosen” was going to “interfere with [her] travel plans.” Looking back, the perfect retort would have been, “Oh, you’re going on a trip? What time does the bus leave for HELL?”

Comedy Central

2.  Find a hobby. As you can see, I like to write great works of literature. So now is the time for me to pursue all my passion projects, like my third unpublished novel, or finally getting a joke printed in that damn Reader’s Digest column. Once you’ve picked your poison, locate the powers-that-be in that particular field and get the harassin’ started. For me, that means hunting down every literary agent on the North American continent (and some in England because I LOOOOVE Bridget Jones) and email blitzing their inboxes. If they don’t reply, just pick up the phone and call themno matter what their website says is and isn’t allowed. “Hey [So-and-so]: Have I got a story for you!” delivered like Christian Bale in Newsies is sure to do the trick (note: do NOT confuse this with Christian Bale in Batman or Christian Bale-to-production assistant.)

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3.  Start selling stuff. This especially works well if you live in suburbia, where people are bored and will buy anything. Pick a marketjewelry, children’s clothing, cosmetics, and handbags are pretty saturated right now, but I hear fake dog shit is making a comebackand pass out catalogs to all your friends, then follow up by asking them when they want to host a trunk show at their house. You’ll especially enjoy the reactions of your working friends, who will love the opportunity to fork over their salary to sponsor your new quest to work from home. And let’s be honest, can you ever have too many charm bracelets or gingham rompers?

4.  Spend more time with your family. HAHAHAHA JUST KIDDING!

5. Drink.

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6. Find yourself. Remember that semester abroad you never did because you were interning for the job you ended up losing? Well, grab that old backpack and google “hostels” (I recommend spelling it “hotels”) and begin a journey across the world to discover new cultures, different languages, and what happens when you’re in a country that doesn’t allow you to flush toilet paper. You’ll get to know yourself a little better, especially in those European ho(s)tels with bidets.

7.  Stalk the people who fired you. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. Or that living well is the best revenge. Or something. I don’t know, I’m kinda drunk. The point is, your wounded ego can always find comfort in knowing that the people who rendered you jobless are sleeping poorly at night due to your clever machinations. Grab some of that fake dog shit you’ve been selling and place it on the offender’s windshield. Find a Nigerian prince who will email your ex-boss with promises of a reward in exchange for help then REFUSE TO GIVE HIM THE MONEY. Oh oh! And if your boss has a van with one of those family stickers on the back? Shave a person off that sticker daily until she’s the only one left, and watch her pants soak on her way through the parking lot.

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8.  Do the internet. I’m seriousdo the whole thing. Some people use their off-time to train for a marathon, but what kind of an accomplishment is 26.2 miles when the entire cyberworld stretches out in front of you? Now is the perfect time to catch up on your friend’s cat blog, or find out what God will do 3 seconds after you repost that inspirational quote. You can customize your online presence the way you always wanted people to see you: a few glamour shots, some fudging on the resume (“Fake Dog Shit Salesperson” becomes “Novelty Product Account Executive”) and when you’re done, you’ll be the person you always wanted (everyone else to believe you) to be!

Trust me, this season of your life can yield such wonderful blessings if you’re but willing to dig deep to find them. For example, the first time I was let go I had a baby six months later, and I really like him now! And this timewell this time, I’m working on ME. And those cases of wine from Costco aren’t going to drink themselves, now are they?

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