Why am I ALWAYS unemployed?


#1

I was born a Catholic. I became a Protestant later in life. I was taught that God had a plan for my life. I should pray about things they said. Well I do believe that. But sometimes I feel so very lost, like now!

I am in my early 50s. I am unemployed for years. I have a college degree and skills. The field I am in is very, very competitive. But I thought it was a good fit. My whole life has been one big professional struggle. I don't know if I can't focus or just don't kiss but enough.

I thought God was in control of where I go in life. But I suppose that's a wrong teaching. I don't know.

What does a person like me do? I have a family for crying out loud!


#2

Certainly our lives require one's effort and choice, in cooperation with God's grace.
God gives us the gifts to act with the grace God gives.
However you would know that our personal effort is required for the direction of our lives, because I'm sure you've tried many times for employment.

We have free will so we make choices, and as it happened, your career choice unfortunately appears to be excessively competitive. You made the choice according to the talents you received, and your interests, which is the normal reason for choosing a career. It is a very difficult time when many are out of work, but you know that too.

When Jesus spoke in the gospels He didn't say that every aspect of our lives were determined by God. He did say God is acutely aware of us, each hair of our head even, but He did direct us to live according to the commandments, which is God's basic life-plan for us.

I feel concern or you, for your frustration and anxiety for your family and future, and ask God to guide and assist you in your search for work.


#3

First of all, I would like to say that my heart goes out to you. I'm incredibly sorry for the issue that you are going through and I sincerely hope in the grand scheme of things it is resolved.

I am significantly younger than you are, but I am an economics student. You mention that you have been unemployed for a number of years. Disregarding macroeconomic factors at play, the worst thing an unemployed person can do is to remain in a state of idleness. As Fed. Chairman Ben Bernanke said at a conference previously, a bad thing about being unemployed is that skills begin to erode. Employers don't look too favourably upon the unemployed, especially when it results in huge "gaps" on their CVs/resumes. The best thing to offset this is to get into several unpaid internships. Yes, even getting into these is competitive, but by nature of it being unpaid, you'll eventually be successful entering into one. It demonstrates commitment to a prospective employer and it shows to him/her that even though you've been technically unemployed, you've kept your skills up to scratch. That's very important, especially in an economy where employers don't want to spend too much time/effort training their workforce. Another thing I would probably advise is to find some kind of a part-time job on the sideline. I don't really believe the media when it says there are "no jobs". What is actually meant by that is that there are "no good jobs". But they are jobs nonetheless, even if slightly less desirable than what you had hopes for. Keep up the hope and you may be lucky to find one. It's only for the short-run, so it's not something you'll end up doing permanently. For instance, Christmas is coming and employers like to seek temporary employees to satisfy capacity. Try and look options like that. Lastly, if you have spare time, try and learn an extra language. Spanish, French and German are really good, and some would also recommend Mandarin as China's influence on the global economy becomes more apparent. It gives you an advantage over prospective employees.

On a spiritual level, I don't believe in God (like you, I'm a former Catholic), but maybe you should try asking for St. Joseph's intercession? St. Joseph was the foster-father of Jesus and is the patron of workers. Many people ask him to pray for them if they have issues regarding employment. You can also pray to the Divine Infant Jesus of Prague ( jesusiam.com/prague.html ) or pray the rosary, and hopefully you may find the job that you've always wanted to do.

Hope that helps :). Never give up hope ;)


#4

As the OP is Protestant and many of our Protestant brothers and sisters feel uncomfortable about asking saints to pray for them or undertaking devotions, some might hesitate to make such a suggestion to an avowed Protestant. :)]

Jesus Himself is aware of the need for employment. Jesus presumably supported Himself and perhaps also His mother, prior to taking up His public ministry, so therefore I think that you, our OP, as a Protestant might feel more comfortable to ask Jesus directly.
Jesus' concern for His family, that is, His mother, was evident before His death on the Cross. He made sure that John His beloved disciple, would provide for her after His death. (John 19:27)
He is therefore aware of the need you have to support your family.
Have you had a really good talk to Him about your situation?

You age isn't in your favor. Is it possible to retrain or redirect? But in any case I will pray for you also. As scripture says, "nothing is impossible to God." (Luke 1:37)


#5

If you have found that you just don't seem to fit in, that you regularly have difficulty on the job, that you get aid off more frequently than others, and that others with similar qualifications get promoted, retained or hired before you do, then I would look at what messages you are giving off.

There may well be something about your personality that simply does not make you fit in with others. If this has happened over and over again, then I would strongly suspect that the problem is with you.

So, the way to find out is to get into a counseling program and find out what you are doing wrong. There are low cost, or free, counseling programs available in virtually every community. They can help you figure out why it is YOU that gets fired, or doesn't get hired, and help you overcome whatever that is.

You are not that old. Change is possible, but YOU have to take that first step.


#6

Am praying for you


#7

[quote="The_Old_Medic, post:5, topic:257916"]
If you have found that you just don't seem to fit in, that you regularly have difficulty on the job, that you get aid off more frequently than others, and that others with similar qualifications get promoted, retained or hired before you do, then I would look at what messages you are giving off.

[/quote]

I don't know how constructive it is to suggest to the OP that it is his or her fault. I agree that fit is everything, especially in this economy...some opportunities that I've come across recently have literally required a very specific type of personality, like gamer boy or someone who can pal around with the guy doing the interview. And I'm only going to say one word: discrimination. For whatever reason-- not just ethnicity. It doesn't matter what the law says. It still exists. I'm not saying it's definitely the case, but we just don't know. While we can offer advice based on our own experience, making these types of suggestions without knowing the details can do more harm than good. There's already the looming danger of despair whenever unemployment is involved...let's not fan the fire.

What I would suggest instead, OP, is going into counseling with this mindset: I'm going to work out a solution for finding where I can fit in now. Sure, you may have to work through some things and you may discover patterns...but don't let the past get you down. Move forward and focus on what you can do with your new discoveries.

I'm a youngin' as well and I honestly don't believe in this bootstrap hype that the older generation tries to pander to us. Nobody dared say this to us growing up but, yes, you can put every effort in, play hard, play smart, and still come up empty. Anyone who manages to find a bit of success themselves will deny this: no one wants to face the reality that it could have been the next guy just as easily. I don't know how many times I've seen posts responding to someone who is clearly very upset about an unemployment situation going on and on about how they or a grandparent started out in poverty, did this and that, faced xyz hardship and (always in a better economic climate with a lot less competition...always) became CEO of the world. Yes, one can succeed through one's own efforts, but that doesn't mean that a) that person's success can be attributed soley to those efforts (four letters: L-U-C-K) or b) we should blame those who aren't as successful for their situations.

In general, I think that we should be more honest about these things whenever possible. Life isn't fair. There, I said it. It just isn't. But (and I have to remind myself of this one a lot, especially lately) that shouldn't detract from the sweetness of it. The only reason it does is because we expect it to be fair. The sooner we admit that, yeah, some people are going to have an easier time at this and get everything they want even without deserving it, while others may be deserving of all the best things, yet treated like :blanky blank:: in this life (exhibit A: Jesus Christ), the better off we all will be.


#8

Thank you all for your feedback.
The tragic thing is, I have had problems finding jobs and keeping jobs even when the economy was great! I don't know what it is! Am I stupid? I feel stupid right now. I was raised to feel stupid. But I know I am not. My father always made our Jewish friends kids seem so brilliant. And one of them was. They could do no wrong! He called us (or me) stupid, but they were brilliant! I still feel I have to compare myself to them. I can't get it out of my head. Today one is a doctor and the other works in showbiz. And here I am, yet again unemployed and lost. I AM LOST AT 51!!! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.


#9

Dear KindofScared, I'm sad to hear about how you were treated. It's not fair and right. Perhaps you were so deeply affected that you convey somehow to others that you aren't good enough. If we think that way, others pick up on it.
How could you go about obtaining better life skills, a way to present yourself that is more suited to your abilities, and your willingness to work hard?
Would you consider reading books that can help you with greater personal confidence?
And books about overcoming childhood abuse, because you may not see it that way, but that was emotional abuse, even though in your Dad's mind it was probably supposed to make you try harder. Instead if just tore you own.
By the sound of things you haven't overcome that, and you really need to.


#10

[quote="KindofScared, post:8, topic:257916"]
Thank you all for your feedback.
The tragic thing is, I have had problems finding jobs and keeping jobs even when the economy was great! I don't know what it is! Am I stupid? I feel stupid right now. I was raised to feel stupid. But I know I am not. My father always made our Jewish friends kids seem so brilliant. And one of them was. They could do no wrong! He called us (or me) stupid, but they were brilliant! I still feel I have to compare myself to them. I can't get it out of my head. Today one is a doctor and the other works in showbiz. And here I am, yet again unemployed and lost. I AM LOST AT 51!!! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

[/quote]

There is no possibility any of us can know enough about you and your situation to really give you good answers. So all answers just have to be tentative. Might fit, might not.

I will say this, though I have no idea whether it pertains to your situation or not. I have noticed, since this recession has begun, that a lot of people on here say they're unemployed. I have been more than a little surprised at the length of some unemployments, and put to wonder just a little whether some of them are simply in the wrong part of the country. There are places in this country where unemployment is quite low. In some of them, perhaps your skills and experience might not be a good fit for the employment available. But likely some are. Sometimes it's difficult or even impossible for one to move, but people manage it somehow.

But I will also agree with what one poster said about remaining unemployed for long periods. Any employer will look more favorably at an application of a person who is working, almost no matter at what job, than he will at one from a person who has a long stretch of unemployment in his record.

Does that mean, truly, that an employer will hire somebody who, notwithstanding being overqualified, has spent the last couple of years on the line at a window factory or a foundry or a meat processing plant, or even driving a truck? Well, it happens. I have seen it enough times to believe it. Around here, anybody with two arms and a head can get jobs like those.

Would I do that if it came to it? Well, I'm older than you, and I would go on the line at ConAgra or someplace in a heartbeat if it's all there was. Would I go get a CDL and apply at J.B. Hunt for long haul or IBP/Tyson's for short haul? Most definitely. I would be a Walmart greeter if that's all there was. And to be frank with you, I would still be able to look at my classmates who "made good" straight in the eye. Nobody is "better than me" in a human sense, and I don't care what they did or didn't do in life. They'll all have heartbreaks and die, just like me. So why should I value their lives more than mine? One thing a person HAS to do is value what he's doing. Does anybody really think J.B. Hunt, for example, would pay me a nickel if they didn't NEED somebody to drive their trucks? No. They would pay me because they value a driver who will take his truck where and when it's supposed to be there, and THAT'S valuable to them. Therefore, I would be valuable to them. My paycheck would be the tribute they pay to my being valuable. People don't do that lightly.

Again, there may well be things about your situation I couldn't possibly guess at. I wish you the best.

Oh, yes. I don't know why you came into a Catholic forum and told us all, right at the first, that you used to be Catholic and aren't now. Did you think we would think you cursed for that? Did you think we would relate an answer to that? If that's in your mind; some guilt thing perhaps, then that's something you need to deal with in a proper manner; perhaps discussing it with your preacher or a priest. If, on the other hand, you somehow thought the best lead-in was to poke your finger in our eye, then perhaps it would be well for you to talk to a professional about seeking failure for some reason I could not possibly imagine.


#11

Ridgerunner it's possible that he just thought we seemed like a kindly community, and regarding his belief perhaps he was just stating facts. He may consider that mentioning that he is a lapsed Catholic give him more right to be here.
When people don't know who to turn to, sometimes they reach out to someone who seems kind that they mightn't otherwise reach out to. This often happens in these forums.

There is even some vague possibility that God, for His own reason's led him here. You have a point in that he could go for a form of employment that isn't what he's qualified for. He seems kind of stuck, and needs to find new direction, but maybe he does need strangers, who seem fairly kind and welcoming, to suggest that. He does need to take charge of his life and choices and not just let the past still hold him imprisoned, and his aspirations to hold him captive, but to make decisions about growing past these things.

However, he does seem desperate, and a lot of people around his age do feel life's opportunities have passed them by, but I do hope and pray he can seize life here and now, in the most wholesome way to live, and to support himself and his family.


#12

[quote="Ridgerunner, post:10, topic:257916"]

Oh, yes. I don't know why you came into a Catholic forum and told us all, right at the first, that you used to be Catholic and aren't now. Did you think we would think you cursed for that? Did you think we would relate an answer to that? If that's in your mind; some guilt thing perhaps, then that's something you need to deal with in a proper manner; perhaps discussing it with your preacher or a priest. If, on the other hand, you somehow thought the best lead-in was to poke your finger in our eye, then perhaps it would be well for you to talk to a professional about seeking failure for some reason I could not possibly imagine.

[/quote]

Umm, do you have an issue with the fact I am no longer Catholic? Would it make you happier if I said I never joined a non-Catholic Church and still visit the Catholic church sometimes? I don't get your reasoning. Do you think I might be "cursed" because I left the Church?


#13

[quote="KindofScared, post:12, topic:257916"]
Umm, do you have an issue with the fact I am no longer Catholic? Would it make you happier if I said I never joined a non-Catholic Church and still visit the Catholic church sometimes? I don't get your reasoning. Do you think I might be "cursed" because I left the Church?

[/quote]

He simply was pondering why you even mentioned the matter as many Protestants post here.

He did make some other points that are valuable.

There seem to be two main questions:
There appears to be a need to find why you have difficulty in convincing employers that you are a great person to employ, and to change any attitudes that are self-defeating.

...And the remaining question is whether it would work best for you to move from an overcrowded career area to one that is more likely to give you employment to support your family which as you as you mentioned is your goal.

Some of the folk have tried to respond in a way that hopes for a better future for you.
The question is, I suppose, whether you were just venting, or you were looking for ideas to move forward in your life.
Either way, we all sincerely hope that your present questions will promote your own life decisions that will lead you to a happier future.:)

May God abundantly bless you and your family.

Warm regards,
Trishie


#14

[quote="Trishie, post:13, topic:257916"]
He simply was pondering why you even mentioned the matter as many Protestants post here.

He did make some other points that are valuable.
**
There seem to be two main questions:
There appears to be a need to find why you have difficulty in convincing employers that you are a great person to employ, and to change any attitudes that are self-defeating.
**
...And the remaining question is whether it would work best for you to move from an overcrowded career area to one that is more likely to give you employment to support your family which as you as you mentioned is your goal.

Some of the folk have tried to respond in a way that hopes for a better future for you.
The question is, I suppose, whether you were just venting, or you were looking for ideas to move forward in your life.
Either way, we all sincerely hope that your present questions will promote your own life decisions that will lead you to a happier future.:)

May God abundantly bless you and your family.

Warm regards,
Trishie

[/quote]

Thank you. Wow! Your highlighted sentence really made my predicament very very clear! Those are my tow problems! I really have to work on that!

Yes, I am looking for answers. I also vent. But I do want to move forward and find my way out of this unemployment on to a life of success.


#15

[quote="KindofScared, post:12, topic:257916"]
Umm, do you have an issue with the fact I am no longer Catholic? Would it make you happier if I said I never joined a non-Catholic Church and still visit the Catholic church sometimes? I don't get your reasoning. Do you think I might be "cursed" because I left the Church?

[/quote]

I never said anything of the sort, nor was that my thought. It simply struck me that it was an odd way to lead into your presentation, since it didn't relate to anything else in the post. I did wonder whether perhaps you hoped we would have the reaction you now seem to be tempting me to have. It just isn't part of my way of thinking, pardner. Sorry if I disappointed.


#16

[quote="Ridgerunner, post:15, topic:257916"]
I never said anything of the sort, nor was that my thought. It simply struck me that it was an odd way to lead into your presentation, since it didn't relate to anything else in the post. I did wonder whether perhaps you hoped we would have the reaction you now seem to be tempting me to have. It just isn't part of my way of thinking, pardner. Sorry if I disappointed.

[/quote]

I had no intention to stir up any reaction from anyone by my statement.. Oh, and it's partner, not pardner.


#17

Not cooperating with gratuitous arguments when we were only trying to respond to your professed problem as stated by you. :)
God bless you


#18

[quote="KindofScared, post:14, topic:257916"]
Thank you. Wow! Your highlighted sentence really made my predicament very very clear! Those are my tow problems! I really have to work on that!

Yes, I am looking for answers. I also vent. But I do want to move forward and find my way out of this unemployment on to a life of success.

[/quote]

Ah, it appears Trishie is better at these things than I am, and my hat's off to her.

I really don't have anything to add, other than to say again what I said before, perhaps without any distracting chaff attending it.

It has been very helpful in my life to realize what a tribute it actually is for someone to give me a paycheck, however small it might be and whatever I thought about the work itself. Nobody gives up money readily. Nobody. Employers only do that when they feel they are receiving an EVEN GREATER value. (profit motive) Now, when you think about it, that is a major tribute to the person receiving the pay. Major. One should realize that. It really does change the way one might otherwise think about work.

I have also tried to communicate to those I serve that that is the way I feel about it; that they are honoring me by allowing me to provide them with value. It's the truth, so why not let them know? Somewhere in their minds they also think it, so that's a "relationship-forming" attitude.

But again, I would not shun a job unless it was so physically hazardous that I felt myself unlikely to survive it. There's no shame in it. I have, in my time, known people who started out in a very "low" status and at low pay, and advanced quickly if they showed aptitude and a proper attitude. And not just young people, either. But what if a person doesn't advance? Well, he's still giving value, and the tribute that comes with the paycheck.

And, after all, the circumstances of this life are not what this life is all about.


#19

[quote="KindofScared, post:16, topic:257916"]
I had no intention to stir up any reaction from anyone by my statement.. Oh, and it's partner, not pardner.

[/quote]

Around here, it's "pardner". A localism, I suppose, sort of like calling somebody a "good ol' boy". You don't say "good old boy". "Partner" and "Pardner" are entirely different things.


#20

[quote="KindofScared, post:14, topic:257916"]
Thank you. Wow! Your highlighted sentence really made my predicament very very clear! Those are my tow problems! I really have to work on that!

Yes, I am looking for answers. I also vent. But I do want to move forward and find my way out of this unemployment on to a life of success.

[/quote]

Your highlights, not mine! mine was normal text!

Not cooperating with gratuitous arguments when we were only trying to respond to your professed problem as stated by you. :)

God bless you


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