Well, it's been nearly three months since I got laid off. On the plus side, we got decent severance as per company policy -- which I'm told has since been revised downward. So, all things considered, I'm just as glad to have gotten the axe in the first wave, since more waves seem certain to come.
On the downside, nobody I know who's been laid off my old company or elsewhere has been able to find a job. A friend of mine's been looking for over a year -- she's been looking for specific jobs, admittedly, and so have the rest of us. Webbies have been looking for web jobs, librarians for library jobs. None of us have resorted to applying at the neighborhood Waffle House yet -- if Waffle House would even hire us.
There's that whole thing of being "overqualified" that's a sticking point. Employers assume -- sometimes rightly, but sometimes wrongly -- that you'll bail on them the moment you find something "better" (read: better paying). I've applied for jobs I felt I was amply qualified for and which I really, really wanted because the work seemed interesting and the hours were right. And I never even got an interview. It's frustrating. Worse than that, after a couple of months of hunting and not finding, you start to worry that there's something inherently wrong with you, if you've got the Mark of Unemployability upon you. Then the depression sets in, because you feel like a broken thing, a piece of obsolete machinery.
Unemployment sucks even without the added bonus of financial terror.
And I wish we got better feedback from potential employers when we're rejected. When you send a story or article out to an editor, most of them at least send you back a photocopied checklist of things that they felt were wrong with your work ("Show, Don't Tell"; "Too Long" "Plot Problems"; etc.).
Sometimes I wish employers had that kind of somewhat-more-illuminating form rejection:
Dear Prospective Employee:
Thank you for applying for work at BlamCo. We have carefully reviewed your qualifications, but unfortunately do not feel you are a good match with any of our currently open positions. Ultimately, we decided not to hire you because (check all that apply):