toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

August 27, 2012

single moms and desperation jobs

Jackie is 49, a single mother of three children, who was formerly earning close to a six-figure salary as a Project Manager when the company she was working for axed her along with several other ‘elderly’ employees three months before Christmas, leaving her in a desperate situation financially.

“I allowed myself two weeks to wallow in misery and then I picked myself up and got on the job-searching trail,” says Jackie. “I networked like crazy, registered with several agencies and applied for suitable positions advertised in the newspapers and online, but when no job materialized by Christmas I was reduced to tears."

“It was the worst Christmas of my life,” says Jackie. “I couldn't afford to buy my children the sort of Christmas presents they had been accustomed to receiving, and rather than hosting my usual lavish end of year parties I gratefully accepted the hospitality of friends -- some of whom were in similar circumstances, but not as dire as mine.”

“Finally, after six months of desperately looking for work, I applied for and was accepted for a position as a clerk - a Customer Service Representative - earning basic wages,” says Jackie. “The only reason I applied for a job that was totally beneath my qualifications and experience was due entirely to the sheer desperation of my circumstances.”

“Gone is the vibrant, vivacious woman I used to be,” sighs Jackie. “I once managed creative projects and supervised anything up to twenty staff, now I’m taking orders from someone who lacks my credentials.”

“Gone, too, are the clothes I used to wear - they are unsuitable for the type of work I do now,” explains Jackie, “and gone as well are the beauty parlor and hairdressing appointments - soap and water and pulled back hair are all I can afford now.”

“Finally, I had to sell my automobile - it was far too expensive to maintain and run on my new wages,” says Jackie. “But, with all of these changes, my kids are missing nothing.”

Read more of Jackie’s story:

  • project manager to clerk

  • overqualified & underemployed

  • project manager to clerk

  • job hunt desperation points

  • managerial slippery slopes

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