As many of you know I'm "in between" jobs. I was layed off from my job the week after Christmas. It wasn't a total surprise, since my job is seasonal. Last week, I received a letter from the local employment office. I had to come in for about 2 -3 hours, update my resume and math/reading skills test scores.
I was really upset about having to go downtown. Especially since I had done this class last year. However, this year it changed. It actually turned out to be a pleasant experience. Last year I had to sit in a boring classroom for three hours. I felt like sleeping and it was, in my opinion, a bit of a waste of time. However, this year, I was able to sit at the computer and do the work myself WITHOUT having to listen to someone drone on and on. Then when I was finished with updating my resume and completing the math/reading tests, I spoke with an employment counselor.
I know quite a few excellent resources for job searches here in Oregon. Many of them have links to companion sites in other states. Let me know if you want some links to those sites. In any case, in Oregon, you are REQUIRED to be registered with "iMatch" skills, in order to receive unemployment benefits. Click here to visit the "Working in Oregon" website - the official site for unemployment and looking for jobs. When you look on the right sidebar, there's a link for "iMatch skills". It takes a long time, intiially, because you do basically have to upload a resume on their site. however, once it's on there, it's very easy to update. It is just one tool for job searches.
Another site I use is from one of Oregon's region employment offices. It's fantastic and has links to all sorts of various job search sites. There's links to what the main careers are in the state, what future projections are etc. Plus there are free on-line tutorials to help you build up your skills. It's fantastic, because they really provide a large number of resources. You do need to take the initiative and use those free services. Your tax dollars go to pay for this...so use it, since it's free :) :) Oh, here's another website that is awesome for job searches. My father actually told me about this one. I've applied for a couple of jobs this way. It's called LinkUp. Click here to visit their site. It is a very basic job search engine. When I visit this site, I type in the city,state where I"m looking for work and it brings up a list of jobs.
In any case, this will be my first post on finances etc. I guess you can call it that :) :) It's not a fun place to be. However, I am learning a lot and through this time have been learning to really make my money stretch really far.
Next Wednesday I'll share about how well I was doing financially, got messed up with credit cards, and how I'm slowly getting my financial house and my peace of mind back :) :) I didn't use my first credit card until I was 27 years old. Up to that point, I paid cash for everything. Within the space of a year, through very unwise decisions, I ended up owing money. I have paid it all off...but it took me four years to do it. I do have some medical bills that I'm still paying on...but no more credit cards for me. I literally use cash or my debit card. So for me personally, in addition to looking for a new job, I am PASSIONATE about getting out of debt. This is my personal conviction about what I feel is right for me. I am NOT speaking for anyone else. Fiduciary wisdom/finances are so personal...but I really want to encourage you that there is hope, no matter what situation you find yourself in. Plus, I also hope that as I share my story, I can keep someone from making the same mistakes that I did : :) :)
Pray that God will give me wisdom. I am a bit nervous, but at the same time, I feel it's a necessary step. Plus it will keep me accountable, too. Anyways, I'll try and limit my version of money talk to Wednesdays.
Okay, that's the news from Oregon today. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :) :)