How to Handle Unemployment

It’s been a month since I returned to the U.S. and almost three months since I decided to quit my job. Earlier today, I wrote my 44th cover letter. I also discovered The GOOD Guide to Hustlin’. While I thoroughly enjoyed the completely relevant “How to Move Back Home and Keep Your Dignity” installment, the “How to Know When to Quit Your Job” article was inspiring.

Mostly, it reminded me that I am not alone. It also reminded me that I have control over this period of unemployment—and that’s important. I was not fired. I was not downsized. I was not bought out. I’m very lucky to be able to say that. I chose to leave my job and move back to the States.

Like Kareem, I am taking this time to figure out the next step in my career. It’s easy to fall into the trap of just wanting any job and applying for every job that remotely interests me. But that’s not the point. This article helped me remember that me that:

And you have to remind yourself that the goal isn’t to just get any other job.

I will find a job—a great job—but these things take time. Time to do things I couldn’t do if I had a full-time job—like speaking to my friend’s high school journalism students.

Jose Antonio Vargas Comes Out

I am amazed. Simply amazed. And terrified for the outcome. Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist formerly of the Washington Post and the Huffington Post “came out” as an undocumented immigrant yesterday, and I’ve been following the story as closely as I can from India. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have written quite a lot about undocumented immigrants—winning an award for a story about their options for higher education. I covered the Hispanic community of mid-Missouri, many of whom were undocumented immigrants, during an especially tense time for immigration law in the state.

The story was a powerful example of an undocumented immigrant living the “American Dream.”

There are believed to be 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. We’re not always who you think we are. Some pick your strawberries or care for your children. Some are in high school or college. And some, it turns out, write news articles you might read. I grew up here. This is my home. Yet even though I think of myself as an American and consider America my country, my country doesn’t think of me as one of its own.

But the issue with stories like this is the same reason it’s so powerful: it’s one man’s story. He is one out of 11 million. Policy doesn’t affect the singular, it affects the whole.

Unfortunately due to the nature of illegal immigration, getting accurate information about the group as a whole is difficult. How many have stories similar to Vargas’? How many work low-wage jobs that most Americans would refuse? How many work jobs that the 14 million unemployed Americans are qualified and willing to work? Continue reading “Jose Antonio Vargas Comes Out”