In an odd twist to our lives, I just spent the past couple of hours tonight job hunting online, wherein I submitted my resume and filled out applications for three graphic design positions: one in Irvine, CA; one in Knoxville, TN; the last in Boston, MA.
Was I looking for those places specifically? Nope. They just happen to be where the positions were available, and the positions were ones I am qualified for. The pay would be excellent.
Is that good? Heck no.
I don’t want to move. We have some great plans for this house and property we’ve only lived in for just over a year.
But, the reality is, as of Jan 1, 2013, it will cost us too much to work & live here. My job at The Californian is very low wage. With the raise freezes and the 5% pay cut that have been in place for 3 years, my pay has been stagnant. There have been reassurances that the pay cuts will not end, & there will be no raises up coming. There are no other positions at the paper that I can move into with better pay.
There are no design positions available in Bakersfield at the moment. And I can’t just go it alone via freelance because that well of client base is tapped out by the few and successful agencies in town. It’s still a small town; not much work to go around.
In January, our health insurance rates will almost double, which will suck an extra large chunk out of each paycheck. There is simply nowhere for us to cut in our own budgets. Well…that’s not totally true. We spend a lot on gas, like everyone. If I just don’t drive into work, we’ll be fine. Of course that would mean not having a job at all anymore.
What a viscous cycle.
So I’ve opened up my range: anywhere. I don’t want to move. My wife doesn’t want to move. My kids don’t want to move. But do we have a choice? So far God has done nothing to really bind us here. There’s been nothing but closed door after closed door, struggle after struggle. I don’t want to give up this farm and this dream (though the dream can go on elsewhere, I know).
Can I just get another job? No. My wife’s health is so shoddy I have to be here when I can. We can’t afford to hire help. There is no community of people around us, supporting us with helping hands in that way.
Plus: should I have to get another job? Is that what the people of God are supposed to be doing, working away from home more than they spend time at home with their families? Why is it that I can’t have or find a job, a source of income, that will cover our needs and expenses?
Some say, “At least you still have a job.” Technically true. In the real world, though, it’s an absolute hell of a situation. The reality is that people who are underemployed by wage (not hours worked but by rate of pay), especially at a full time position, are unable to rectify that problem so easily. We can’t just go find another job. We have to work. And because it’s full time during the day, I have to wait until the wee hours of midnight to do serious job hunting.
So now I need to go to bed, so that I can wake up, get ready, and get to work, to do a job I am very good at. I will smile and I will love my Jesus. And I will come home and send more resumes and fill out more applications.
Just not here in Bakersfield.