“Unemployment to this Veteran hits home”
by Ken Smith
I was sent an email by a veteran who had lost his job last summer, and has been searching hard for a place to find work. His skills are many and they include experience with start up companies, contract negotiations, team building, strategic partnerships, business managment, lead generation and another dozen or so skills that in my mind made him a quality candidate for any sales position at the very least. This guy has shown me in our email discussions how he has beat the streets looking for work, almost any kind of work and yet he has found nothing.
His prior work had paid him very well for his work (he was earning $150k per year) and it came with a medical plan that cost him $600 or so per month for his family, and he also had a form of a 401k and three weeks vacation. Then the bottom fell out of the job he had, and he and about 15 others were let go. He was a senior project manager and had maybe 50-60 people that he managed.
Now, he gets $550 per week unemployment compensation, has a mortgage of $2900, has a new medical insurance cobra payment of $1350 per month and all the usual bills that we all have. His wife was working up till christmas and now, she too was let go from her job.
What was interesting to me was that the email from this vet wasn’t someone crying on my shoulder about how bad he had it, quite the opposite.
Here is the email.
Ken: I regularly read your stories here at VT and really like your writing style. You write almost like I talk and that makes it easier for me to understand the concepts of your posts. I am a vet like you, (I just turned 60 a month ago) and I lost my job In May of 2011, a job that I loved and now I wake up every day with a new challenge. I wonder if you could steer me to a Veterans group that could use a volunteer to help them with raising money or any kind of unpaid project management work just to keep me busy and sharp. I have experience in grant writing and leadership and I want to help other veterans even as this nightmare continues for me.
Like many other unemployed Americans, I spend a buck a week and buy a lottery ticket and go to bed that night dreaming that I won. Its one of the only things that allows me to fall asleep next to my wife who is crying into her pillow worried about everything. I know your connected to many veteran charities and they are always looking for someone like me who is a doer and not a taker. Can you point me in the right direction?
Now, I am sure that this guy is not alone out there today. I am sure there are thousands of vets just like him and some have it far worse than he does. I think you all get the idea. I was wondering if the readers would join with me in promoting a new linkedin group I started today called “Veterans Looking for Work” and I ask each of you to share that Linkedin group with anyone who is a vet looking for work or an employer looking for quality talent.
We all have to help each other, right?