As I’ve mentioned briefly, I currently have no job.
This terrifies me.
One day I will explain further how I’ve ended up in such a position, in brief; because I dared to ask to switch to part time hours following the birth of my child as I did not want some stranger to raise him in a nursery,and the company ‘couldn’t accommodate’ such a request.
My previous employer was kind enough to give me 4 weeks temporary work when they ended my previous contract of nearly 4 years. They did so on my previously extremely underpaid wage. I should point out I hold a business management degree, conducted business wide analysis, presented findings to directors and the CEO, implemented and managed projects, and single handedly saved the company £5k a week, but they paid me less that I earned doing data input as a temp. This was mostly because I had a power crazed boss who wanted to block my progression as I was higher qualified than her (this is not an unfounded allegation) but strung me along with empty promises, and partly because I’m just too nice to put my foot down and stand up for myself when I know I’m being screwed over.
Anyway, after doing this 4 week casual work, I got paid yesterday. The day before that I did all my banking as I do (nearly) every month and brought my accounts up to date. I looked forward to seeing some money boosting my balance the next day.
Today I checked my account, I had less than before I got paid. WTF?
Turns out my crappy full time salary equates to a practically minimum wage hourly rate. The amount I was paid fell nearly £100 short of what I pay monthly into our bills account. I should point out that I had been paying the same amount into the bills account throughout my maternity leave, and still had pennies left over to fuel the car and buy little man the odd toy or outfit.
This came as a hell of a shock.
I expected it to be tight, but I hadn’t expected to fall short.
Today, this employer called me back, while I was sat spending hours desperately seeking work online, and offered me another 4 weeks work.
This puts me in a tricky predicament. No job = no money. This job = nowhere near enough money + ongoing screwing over / time spent on that job I could be spent searching for a job that paid me for my skills.
This is the trouble, the search for that job that pays sufficiently is not very fruitful. I’m really struggling to find part time work advertised. Even the agencies are doubtful, informing me that most companies fill their part time posts with internal people, usually coming back from maternity. Jeez thanks.
I really don’t know what to do, we cannot survive on my Husbands wage alone. Hell, we cant even survive on me working part time at my old wage.
Oh, and add to the mix I’m at that “Is she pregnant?” looking stage, and job hunting gets increasing harder.
My photography business is slowly picking up, but that wont be a sole income earner for some time yet. I have further courses coming up that will see some additional income coming in, but even when up and running in a few months, it will be extra money, not only money.
I expected my maternity leave to be the hardest time financially, I was completely unprepared for this.
I’m also very concerned that unless I find work soon, I wont be eligible for any maternity pay when number 2 arrives. This scares me too. I am hoping, however, that by then my self employed income will start to come into its own, and help us tick over.
But the mortage needs paying, and food needs purchasing. I find myself looking at the bank statements working out where I can save even just a few pennies. But that’s another blog post.
My husband is talking about working offshore for a bit. More scary stuff. I know it pays extremely well, but it’s for a reason, working off shore is dangerous and anti-social. I hate the idea of him being away for 2 whole weeks, regularly, especially while I’m pregnant/with a newborn, and that he is working in such dangerous environments, and don’t get me started on the heli journey to and from the rigs. He rightly points out this would see us in a very comfortable financial position, and if he can get a few years off shore under his belt, he can save and not need to go off shore when little man and his little bro/sis are old enough to miss him too much. It makes sense, but I want to keep him safe, here with us.
Oh, what to do, what to do..?!
I’m really feeling up against it; frightened is the only way to describe it.
So, I’m going to do the only thing called for in such a situation, I’m going into ostrich mode. Literally. I’m going to bury my head in the sand. I’m off to our caravan at the coast for a few days where the biggest worry is what time high tide is, and can I make it back from the beach before it rains?
Hopefully it will give me some time to get my thoughts together. Jot some things down, work some things out. Away from the mundane day to day worries of housework, traffic, crowds; with very little signal on my phone, and even less 3G coverage. Some proper time with my little one, out in the outdoors, and not sat alone in job agency waiting room.
In my head I’m there already.