Sunday, March 8, 2009

Portrait: Boston, Massachusetts

I moved to Boston, MA 5 days after graduating college in 2003. With a small loan from parents, without a job , not knowing anyone and hoping things would just work out. And somehow magically it seemed they did. Almost 6 years later I had a great job at an investment firm, a wonderful boyfriend who I lived with, awesome friends, a brand new car which I financed myself and a rather strong sense of pride that I'd made a good life for myself in not so much time.

I was laid off from my great job at the beginning of December 2008. It was a shock to say the least as my boyfriend and I had planned to stay at our jobs for the following year (2009) and then live out our dream of moving to Florida to be closer to some of my family and finally never see snow again. At first I was ok with no working, then as a month past and we moved into a new apartment I started to panic a little more each day. I was incredibly lucky to recieve a severance package that was very generous from my former employer so I knew I had a certain amount of time before the money ran out. I would estimate I applied for over 300 jobs, anything I seemed vaguely qualified for. 3 people called me back, I went on 2 interviews and was offered just one job. At a hospital, with slightly less pay, more responsiblity, no hope for a bonus, and not nearly the benefits. I took the job immediately because who knew what would happen? I've worked there for about 3 weeks, and the things I'm learning and the people I'm meeting could not be more interesting. It has me considering going back to school to do something in healthcare. Something I would have never considered if I had just lazed around at my former incredibly easy job.

I consider myself extemely lucky to have found employment in this economy but it wasn't easy. 2 months of waiting for the phone to ring to hear about a job you're not even sure you want is never a good feeling. Many of my friends have lost their jobs, almost everytime I go to a restaurant around here there is another one closed right next door. Bars are empty, shopping malls are empty, restaurants are empty. We don't really go out that much anymore, instead we have friends over or go to their house. In times like these you really realize what's important and it certainly isn't how much money you make, what you have, where you live, or how much your bonus will be. It's who will be there to help you and listen when everything you knew is different.

Boston, MA