The days leading up to my first day at the new job were full of anxiety. Sure, I was excited to be starting, but at the same time I’ve been putting an incredible amount of pressure on myself. I want to do well at my job, and I want to succeed. I want to save money, and retire comfortably. I want to travel, and live stress-free with that special someone. Turning 32 later this year has really scared me. I’m nowhere near where I thought I would be at this age, and while I know that the chances of settling down and retiring somewhat comfortable are pretty good, I still can’t help but stress out about where my career will be in 5 years, if my retirement accounts will be where I want them to be, and how I’ll know when I’m ready to do all the adult things all my friends seem to be up to.
I think we’ve all felt like this at some point before. It’s normal. And when I get those feelings, I just need to take a step back and evaluate all the positives I have in my life. It’s so easy to get caught up in what we don’t have, or what we want to have… instead of what we do have. :)
As for the first few days at the job? Well they’ve been great so far. It’s weird to be working within a marketing team – I’ve been so used to working by myself over the last few years, and I missed this team atmosphere we have going on. I imagine the next few weeks will be filled with trying to remember the names of people around the office, getting comfortable with the different tasks I’m given, and figuring out how I can best contribute based on my skill set.
I was unemployed just long enough to receive one EI payment, and that actually happened yesterday. So that means I went 40 days between when I lost my job, and when I got my first payment. I was worried it would take a lot longer than that – the first time I applied for EI it took 11 weeks! The $408 I received isn’t a lot, but it’s definitely welcomed. And I’m actually pretty pleased that I got through my entire unemployment without having to touch my Emergency Fund! Granted, I likely won’t get paid until mid-April, so there’s still a chance I might have to use that cash if I can’t make up the difference with my freelancing.
Speaking of freelancing, I’ve had a pretty good few days. I received a $750 payment, and have billed out for an additional $1,450 just this week. I likely won’t receive those payments by the end of March, but at least it’s putting me on the right track for a decent April. :)
Anyway, that’s the update in my world!
Wow, have I been busy at work! The graphic designer quit the day before my first day last week, and as part of my job, for the next year I’m taking over a bunch of someone else’s duties while she’s on maternity leave – so right now I’m juggling 2.5 jobs worth of tasks. One second I’m dealing with sponsorship requests, then I’m editing graphics and uploading to the web, then doing a photo shoot, then putting together spreadsheets and sales reports, then putting together marketing packages. My tasks are so diverse and I have to keep going from one train of thought to another. It’s a lot to get used to – especially in a new work environment, but I like the challenge.
Anyway, enough of the job. That’s all I seem to talk about these days. Which is the reason why I haven’t been posting as much as I usually do, so for that I apologize. I have flashes of ideas for posts at such random times during the day, but by the time I get around to writing them, I’ve forgotten about them. So I’m going to start to try quickly typing them in a memo on my iPhone.
In other news, I did not get a single dollar from my unemployment benefits during my 6 weeks of unemployment. I *should* have gotten 1 week of benefits (according to 3 weeks of severance and a 2 week waiting period). But for some reason, they calculated my last week of pay as an additional week of severance (so they thought I got 4 weeks of severance and then a 2 week waiting period). And for whatever reason I didn’t catch that? I should have. It makes me angry that I missed such an obvious error and now I’m past the 30 day window to dispute. So, that sucks. But it would have only amounted to maybe $450 anyway. Good thing I had my Emergency Fund … and that will be my priority to rebuild once I get my first pay cheque (Friday).
Well I am happy to report that I have been approved for EI. I am still living off of severance pay up until April 3rd. Then I have a 2-week waiting period where no benefits will be paid out. Then starting the week of April 18th, I will be eligible to start earning benefits (I think that’s how it works – will be calling tomorrow to confirm). Meaning, I will be okay. Insert huge sigh of relief now. :) I might have to dip into my EF for a couple of weeks, depending on how prompt the payments are. As some of you know, it took 11 weeks to get my first payment the last time I was on EI.
Anyway, I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off of my shoulders. I won’t need to get a PT job anywhere, and I can focus on my job search. I haven’t applied for any jobs since last week. There just isn’t anything out there right now, but I’m checking the job boards twice a day, so my fingers are crossed that there are at least 3 or 4 jobs I can apply for by the end of this week.
You know, I remember 3 years ago when I was unemployed, I debated whether to even go on EI. There was just a stigma surrounding it, and I wasn’t certain if I was comfortable taking money like that. I had some money saved up, so I didn’t really NEED it. But in the end, I decided to go on it because that’s what it’s there for. I spend my entire career paying into it, so why not use it when I can? And this time around, there was no question that I’d go on EI.
How about you? When you’ve been unemployed, have you applied/received EI? Or did you decide not to, and just live off of your savings? Or … did you get denied unemployment benefits?