Are you one of the many women that made the decision to stay home with your kids for a while? Did you stay home, but now you are headed back into the workforce? You can't talk about modern motherhood these days without hearing about on and off ramping. There are many financial and emotional struggles associated with taking the off ramp and different though equally complex challenges with getting on the on ramp. Observations from the On & Off Ramps contain the personal stories of women struggling with these professional and personal transitions.
I knew I’d been out of work too long when friends at social gatherings stopped saying, “How’s the job hunting going?” and started asking. “What’s your backup plan?” more
Those in the know tell me that all the electronic applications I’m filing are useless. more
Back when I had a full-time job, I remember watching people on the TV news taking about how long they’d been out of work. Top Silicon Valley executives, experienced engineers, municipal water district employees, teachers and bricklayers would preface their remarks with “I’ve been out of work six months” or “It’s been 18 months” or “I haven’t been able to find anything in almost a year.” I’d hear that and think they mustn’t be trying very hard. more
During my entire career as a working-mother, I have been torn, pushed and pulled between my job as a mom and the one that earned me a paycheck. For so long I wished I could afford to be a stay-at-home mom, more
There I stood, frozen in indecision facing a sale rack at Macy’s, as 20-percent-off coupons burned a hole in my pocket and my generous sister urged me to pick out something nice for my birthday. Since taking the buyout, I hadn’t bought any clothes because I didn’t know what I might need in my next job. more
Friends of mine who had left the newspaper in previous buyouts had warned me: Dealing with the unemployment bureaucracy can be a real hassle. My company even offered a meeting with unemployment benefits specialists to explain how to navigate the system. I took some notes, but smugly thought to myself, “How tough can it be? You fill out a form and money comes to you each week. What’s the big deal? more
In the first few weeks after I took the buyout, people would ask me, “Are you enjoying your time off?” I’d I tell them no, because I’m too nervous about finding another job in this terrible economy. I wasn’t on vacation. I wasn’t even going to lunch with friends. I’d spend each day glued to the computer, scanning job Web sites, hustling up and writing freelance assignments. I feel like a shark: I’ve got to keep moving to survive.
During the four-weeks we had to decide whether to accept the newspaper’s buyout, employees huddled in hushed conversations weighing the pros and cons. I remember one reporter told me she was leaning pro, until a friend asked her, “Why would you fire yourself?” more
The day I left the newspaper where I’d worked for almost 25 years, I was so busy I didn’t have time to fall apart. more