Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back to the Drawing Board?

So I know it's been a while since my last posting and really it's because I found a job, and wasn't the purpose of this blog to share my experience as yet another unemployed person in this insane time in America?

I keep myself very involved in various activities from church to social networking and professional groups. I like meeting new people, learning new things and making great connections. So from this I had a friend offer me a job at her place of business. She wanted someone to come in and help with Online and Social Media since in the 12 years her company has been around, they have never had any sort of web presence and she knows she must change with the times in order to stay relevant.

I won't lie, it's been a challenge. We work very differently. She likes to micromanage and I like to do my own thing and don't respond well to micromanaging. She has a very specific vision of what she wants and it's up to me to translate her sometimes chaotic verbiage into something tangent. Not really what I expected, but we've been trying to acclimate to each other's styles of working.

The website took much longer than expected since with every page and change she wanted something else change. I feel for the web designer, I really do. But in the end, she's in charge so it goes her way...I give my ideas and feedback, but if she decides not to take them, there is really nothing I can do.

Now, my new job is in jeopardy. Since this is a family business, my "Social Media and Marketing" position has to be approved by "corporate" which consists of her mother, stepfather and cousin. They, unlike my boss, are of the mindset, that a website and social media isn't needed. They've come this far without any marketing, why should they pay someone and start now? Unfortunately, they're not "making it"- they're scrapping by, a long way from being out of the woods if a few clients decide not to pay. So with that, they have given her two weeks to dissolve my department. Two weeks...to get rid of me...

So here I am, trying to pull up as much information as I can to show them that Social Media isn't something that can be measured within a couple weeks, especially since we just went viral over the last week or so. My boss, regardless if our working differences, wants to keep me on as well- she knows that things can't progress as is and must move forward. But...

So here I am- once again, possibly jobless. And since I wasn't making all that much money to begin with, I continued to draw from unemployment the difference in what I was making versus what unemployment paid me. Now, thanks to all the wonderful Republicans out there who thought it best to not extend unemployment benefits- if I can't find a job ASAP, I may be out of my home, my car and who knows where else.

Oh the joys of this economy.

Monday, March 29, 2010

My letter to President Obama

Mr. President,

My name is Jessica Yanez-Perez, but to the United Stated Government, I am just a statistic. In March of 2009, I like many others across the country was laid off and my world was instantly changed.

Regardless of my experience, I haven't finished obtaining my secondary degree so the 100+ resumes sent out have seemed to be disregarded. I decided the best thing to do while looking for work was to continue my education, so I enrolled in my local community college. Thank goodness I was able to qualify for a Pell Grant, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to afford it. I am very sorry to say my rough time was only starting. You see, my parents live in California and I live in Texas. My parents were gracious enough to purchase my home under their name as long I as made the mortgage payments and agreed to help me make the payments when I was laid off, however, within a month of being laid off, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and my parents income was significantly reduced, which caused an additional strain. We applied for a loan modification but since my dad doesn't reside in the home, we were denied, regardless of the circumstances. I am still unemployed, going to school and looking for work which would pay me more than I am receiving in unemployment because although unemployment pay helps tremendously, it still doesn't cover my month to month expenses of mortgage, car payment, gas, insurance and utilities.

My parents are no longer financially able to help me and all my unemployment benefits will be exhausted within two months or so if Congress does not pass an extension soon. Employers are able to be as picky as they want since there are so many people looking for jobs. I pray continually that the people that have been elected to our government see beyond their own interests and get to know the people and faces behind the stories. I would like to not be a statistic to my own government, but a person who is valued and treated as such. I know there is nothing you can do personally to help me with my situation, but maybe my story can be another reminder to those who are constantly fighting , that while they reside in posh residences and have health insurance, many of us are looking to them with disgust and frustration at the infighting that is hurting most Americans like myself, not helping.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Working hard? Or Hardly Working?

As I sit here watching the Olympics, I can't help but be in awe of how much these athletes put into their passion. So many days, weeks, years of training to compete against the world's best. Many of these athletes also hold 9-5 jobs while they are training to go to the Olympics. So why is it that many of us don't fight the same way for our lives?

Why do so many people seem to let life happen to them instead of being alive and taking over their own life? Yes, I got laid off. Yes, I haven't worked in almost a year and yes, I do have my moments of weakness where I am unsure. Instead of seeing these as obstacles, I choose to see these as opportunities. I choose not cry each day but to keep my head up high and know that God is preparing me for what he has prepared for me. I choose to do something each day that will improve my current situation, not hinder it.

I know that I am very fortunate, no make that blessed, to have such a supportive family and not have anyone beyond myself and my dog that I must take care of, but that's relative. Although financially I only have myself to consider, my decisions really affect everyone else in my family and affect the way I see myself.

I was recently asked to look into a mirror and beyond the physical to describe what I saw in it. The woman I saw is a woman who is fiercely independent and proud and someone who finds it hard to let other really help. I see someone who always puts on a brave face, even if I'm scared to death of what may happen. But mostly, I see someone who strives to be a better person each day. I see a woman who loves God and knows that he put me on this Earth for a reason, even if I'm not quite sure what that reason is yet.

I see a woman who works hard at school, friendships, family relationships and most importantly her relationship with God. When I look in the mirror, I see a woman who works hard, not a woman who is hardly working. I am my own Olympic athlete and although I may not be representing my country for the world to see, I am representing God and the woman he has made me. I will fight for my life and not let life just happen to me.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fake It Til You Make It

All of us have a "mantra" or something that we tell ourselves when things seem to be going awry. Something that helps make us feel better or helps to remind us why we are doing the things we are doing and keep us focused. For me the above phrase is THE phrase for me. "Fake it til you make it" is my way of telling myself that I WILL persevere and get through the rough patches that are inevitable in every journey. So when I'm in the midst of one of those rough patches, why let anyone see it?

Ok, so it may sound like I'm just covering up emotions or not facing my fear, but it's actually the opposite. I have my tight knit friends that I confide in and receive much valued opinions from, but what good would I be to anyone else if I am constantly venting my challenges to those who don't know me very well or at all? If someone you considered an acquaintance spilled their emotions to to you each time they were feeling down how long would you want to be around them? How long before you start avoiding them all together? I suppose not too long.

So going back to my "fake it til you make it" mantra. It may sound cheesy but imagine going through a terrible day; another day of submitting countless resumes, trying to figure out how all your bills will be paid on your unemployment check and knowing there are people counting on you. Do you break down, succumb to your moment of weakness and insecurity? Or, do you "fake it til you make it" and push through that moment of weakness until your mind catches up with your words? At that point, you won't have to fake it...because at that point- you have made it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Welcome to my first official blog for 2010! I know there are many blogs out there that you are able to follow and I appreciate the time you are spending to read my thoughts and share my experiences. This blog is really a way for me to express the trials and tribulations of not only a seemingly never ending job search, but for everyday trials and tribulations that I can only hope help me grow as a Christian, women, daughter, sister and friend.

Like many people over the past 18 months, I became a "statistic" of the horrendous financial market in March of 2009 when I was laid off from selling transit advertising in the Dallas area. Although I knew the market was bad, I had the anticipation that I wouldn't be one of the hundreds of thousands of people who couldn't find a job immediately. Boy oh boy how wrong I was. I spent days, nights, weeks, perfecting my resume and sending it out for many types of positions. Positions I was overqualified for, underqualified for, even things I didn't have much interest doing, but knew would pay my bills. I went to interviews which friends recommended me for, including one for the North Dallas Super Bowl Committee, (YAY! was the thought that occurred to me at the time), and it seemed that it was always between me and one other person...and that other person was always the one getting the job.

I spent days, nights, weeks praying to God to help me understand why this had happened. What am I supposed to do now? When I stopped to think where my life was going and where I wanted to go, I realized they were conflicting ideas. When I was laid-off although I was upset, I never had an impending sense of doom or hopelessness. I had actually a feeling of being a bit relieved! Not because I had the utmost confidence that I was going to find a job, but that I didn't have to fake it at a job I wasn't happy at and probably wasn't doing my best at anymore. I knew what I had to do at that moment...go back to school, start over, become...a student.

So here I am, a student once again, trying to obtain the bachelor's degree which eluded me 10 years ago and I must possess now, not only for my own sense of accomplishment, but to compete in this job market which finds many of us at a crossroads. My first semester back is completed, but now I am on the hopefully not so long, but difficult journey back to the gainfully employed.

I hope you decide to take this journey with me.