By NIKKITA CHUNG LENG
It is a cold and rainy day in North Fulton County, Ga., and the mood of the interview yields to the weather. Laurie Leng of Milton, Ga., is preparing for another job interview and her demeanor is a mirror image of the weather outside.
“I always thought finding a job would be easy,” said Leng.
With unemployment at 8.1 percent, many men and women are choosing to take what jobs they can get. In the United States – a country that averaged 5.8 percent unemployment a decade ago – people are dealing with multiple hardships and must take action just to “keep putting food on the table,” as Leng chose to put it.
“Choosing to retire was one of the greatest feelings in the world, but after the economy took a blow due to the housing bubble burst, our family started seeing the effects behind the enduring recession,” Leng said.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a little more than 1,500 employees were laid off in July alone.
“I can at least be grateful that I wasn’t fired; that I was able to resign from work and still achieve my benefits – not to mention retain my positive career reputation,” Leng said.
Coping with the Economic Downturn
According to Leng, the best alternative to helping her family cope with the economic downturn was “to get back out there and work.”
“Having spent nearly 30 years with multiple banking institutions, I feel that finding an administrative job dealing with accounting would be most suitable,” said Leng.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 10 most common occupations for women since 2009 are secretaries and administrative assistants, nurses, teachers, cashiers, psychiatric home and health aides, retail sales people, first-line managers of retail sales, waitresses, maids and customer service representatives.
Leng has made it clear to many potential employers that working a job in a managerial position is the last possible option she would consider for her next career.
“I spent nine of my 30 years within a managerial position inside the bank,” Leng said, asking that the bank she was employed with not be mentioned. “It is tough being a manager and being the age I am . I want a job where I hold little managerial power.”
As the storm begins to pass, the tone of the interview follows suit. Leng puts her emotions in check and gathers her belongings as she gets ready to head off to her next job interview.
“I’ve got to keep my composure and positivity high. It’s tough when you are constantly sending out applications and resumes and don’t receive even the slightest response from an employer concerning my recent interest in their company,” Leng said before leaving.
With the job market making steady inch-by-inch progress, Leng manages to retain a positive attitude, hoping that of the many applicants like her, she will land that job to help make ends meet.