Laid off from my over six figure job I loved, along with unemployment running out and no job offer in sight, I was forced to look for a minimum wage job to make money. I couldn’t run home to my parents’ house and dig in because they passed away. My friends were not going to take me in and the street was not even a thought I wanted to entertain.
I didn’t hesitate. I wasn’t too proud. I was laid off and need to make money. I decided to look for a minimum wage job nearby. I figured if I could at least get $8.00 an hour and 20 hours a week, I could make $145.00 after taxes. And, if I could get 2 jobs, I could make close to $300.00 a week. Money I needed desparatelyMoney. Not a lot based on what I was earning, but along with pinching off my savings, I could make it. I decided in the AM, I would start my search.
When I was working in my glory job, I barely noticed the “We’re Hiring” signs taped on the windows in the strip mall. Back then, I had no need to notice. Without a care, I would pull the door open, go in and do my unnecessary spending. Once I started looking for a job, the signs became larger and I was on a hunt looking for them.
So, here I was, walking through strip malls searching for those signs. I stopped in the first store I saw with a sign and was told, “The Manager is busy.” and asked if I could come back. I said to myself maybe and kept going. I had no luck the first day out. I didn’t give up. I went out the next day and the next day and the next day.
After a several days, I decided to try a retail store I had frequented when my money was flowing better. They were welcoming and told me my timing was great because they were looking for someone part-time. They knew I had several items from their clothing line and thought I would fit right in. I went home grateful for the chance I was being given to make some money. Especially since I had no retail experience and didn’t know how to run a cash register.
I was more surprised by the hiring process that followed. It was rigorous. I had to go through 2 intense interviews that included answering well thought out questions. Then, they hit me with an online test. Something I have never done for a job. I had no idea getting a minimum wage job was going to be so difficult. Actually, it was stressful.
Two days later I got the job offer. Twenty hours a week at $8.50 an hour (way down from the money I was making) working every other weekend and clothing perks. Needless to say, I was excited. The wait was a nail biter. After a few weeks, my hours went up to 30 and sometimes more, which increased my money level. I never went beyond 32 hours in one week.
I kept that job for a year.
After I found a new job in my field, I started working nights from 6PM – 9:30PM.
It wasn’t an easy job. Especially standing up for a full four hours with no break, walking miles in a few square feet area, wicked personalities, back stabbing, shift changes, putting back all the clothes people tried on, making sure the hangers were all facing the correct way, folding/refolding clothes and pacing to find items for shipping, but I found myself a member of the team and the paychecks were coming in at the end of every week like clockwork. I had nothing to complain about. Having that job was a life saver and nobody in there knew it.
I would do it again. It made me stronger. And, I learned how to run a cash register which is important in today’s real job market.
If you have had a similar experience after being laid off, tell us. It may help someone else.