Traci (pictured with her children) is a 32-year-old mother who lives in Massachusetts. She was laid off a year ago from her full-time job as a senior administrative assistant. Since then, she's been looking for a new, part-time role that involves about 20 hours per week, preferably during "mother's hours" (9am-2pm). Despite keeping up a regular job search schedule, she says she has yet to land any interviews. We asked Traci to tell us how she's been handling unemployment.
PONGO: There are plenty of obvious disadvantages, but have you found any advantages to being out of work?
TRACI: The one good thing about not working is being a full-time mom. For many years, I juggled a job plus trying to be a good mom. I think at times I put my work before my child because of how dedicated I was to my job. But in the end, it didn't matter how many years I worked at the company or the dedication because it came down to budget. I was a little bitter about getting laid off, but it is just a job.
PONGO: What's been the most productive day, in terms of your job search?
TRACI: I get excited on the days when I have a chance to submit my resume for a job that actually fits what I'm looking to do. My main goal is to have a career, as well as be a mom. Sometimes that seems impossible.
PONGO: And what's been the hardest day in your job search?
TRACI: My hardest day is when I open the paper or look online and can't find any job postings that I'd be interested in. I feel at times that I will never get the right job that works for me and my family. I worked for 12 years full time while raising two infants; that is not what I plan on doing again.
PONGO: In addition to your job search efforts, how do you fill your days now?
TRACI: I've been volunteering at my children's school and spending time with my elderly grandparents. I have an amazing family that is healthy and happy, and that is the most important thing in life. A job can be replaced but spending time with your children and family cannot. So in a way, this turned out to be a good thing.
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