Underemployment Is Frustrating (or Trying To Find The Balance Of Flexibility And Work Hours)

I know that I can’t be too frustrated about my employment situation yet. I was just laid off from my one regular part-time job on Monday afternoon. But still, I’m getting really tired of what the trend is like now for jobs.

First of all, let me say that if I could find a “normal” full-time job that was open to letting me take some time off here and there for auditions (which means only having about one days notice about the time I’d need to take off), I’d be more than happy to take that job. I probably wouldn’t love working a job that much, but I would totally do it. But most full time jobs either need someone with a master’s degree or the ads are very specific and say “no actors”. I’m not going to lie about being an actor (and pretend that my auditions are doctor and dentist appointments like I know some people do). I’d rather be up front and honest, and most past employers have appreciated that.

But the situation I’m in now is having so many different jobs but none of them have guaranteed work from week to week. The box office job is the most stable, but even that one might only be 8 hours a week (if I’m lucky). When I emailed the box office about my open availability, they didn’t know if they could even get me on the schedule before September (which is what we agreed upon before).

The survey coder job is also not reliable in terms of hours. Right now it’s pretty decent because I’m in training, but once that’s done, there will only be work to do when they need the help. I have no idea what that means in terms of hours per week, but I’m sure that there will be some weeks with a lot of hours and possibly some weeks with no hours at all.

And that’s kind of what all my jobs are like right now. I guess there could be a long-term substitute teaching job at some point, but in all the years I’ve worked for my school district, the longest sub job I’ve ever seen was 3 days long. While that would be awesome, I need more than that.

And I just got hired with another job, but it’s kind of like an on-call position. There is hourly pay (although it’s pretty low) but it’s independent contractor work. So pretty much 30% of what I make has to be saved and paid during tax time (I’ve been told 30% is as high as I could owe so I’d rather save more money than not have enough).

I’m trying not to be a little crazy about all this. It took me a while to find the assistant headhunter job so I need to give myself time to find another day job that has some stable hours. And I did re-open my unemployment claim so I will hopefully have a little extra money (although with the hours I’m working graveyard right now, I might only get about $20/week from my unemployment claim).

The one thing that is going my way right now is my friends. I’ve been very open about how I need a new job and people are keeping their eyes out for anything that they see that I might be right for. While I’m not applying to everything they send to me (I know some of them either don’t pay enough or won’t be flexible at all), I’m so appreciative every time I get an email/text/tweet/FB message about a job that might be right for me.

There are so many people pulling for me right now, and that’s something that I’ve never felt before. It’s awesome and I know that I can’t let everyone down. So I have to keep searching and applying for tons of jobs and hopefully the next perfect day job will come my way soon.

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