Three Keys to Cutting Costs While Waiting for a ‘REAL JOB’
You tear open the envelope and stare down at your horse boarding bill for the month. Your eyes widen, the envelope flutters to the ground, and you put your face in your hands. You haven’t had the strength to announce to the world that you’ve just lost your job, and if you don’t hustle, you’re soon going to lose your horse.
This is exactly what I experienced when I exited college. I’d had a steady job throughout school (one that I loved at the college’s equestrian center), but there were no openings for full or part time positions after graduation. I was doomed, and if something didn’t look up quickly, I’d soon be separated from my horse.
Blue was the star in the dark sky of my teenage years. I can remember many days I didn’t want to do life, but I did anyway. Because there was a horse dependent on me for his breakfast! I rolled out of bed at 5:45, and I went to the barn before school. After school–back to the barn. Blue would lend me his legs to give my heart wings.
Lots of people don’t release their depressed emotion to others because they’re ashamed or afraid of how they’ll be received.
Blue had always been my silent listener for the good and bad in my life. I couldn’t lose him.
Money has a way of controlling our lives if we let it. I was facing a situation where I needed it, but couldn’t get it. Months passed and I wondered why I wasted three and a half years of my life on a college degree when I couldn’t get a “real job.”
In the midst of hopeless things I couldn’t change, my animals kept me going. I decided no matter what, I couldn’t abandon them. They carried me though unemployment depression, and as my thank you, I was going to work my tail off to keep us together.
First, I knew I needed to cut my costs. I gathered my courage to ask for help. Thankfully, I was able to live at home (for free, thanks Mom and Dad). The only thing I allowed myself to buy was gas for my car…and maybe I snuck in a few necessities for the horse.
Second, I offered up all of my extra time helping out at the barn. By nothing short of a miracle, I was able to work off the majority of my board for a few months! Then, if you’re doing a good job, word travels fast that you’re reliable, and I started getting calls to house sit for horses, dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and chickens. This gave me enough to survive with my horse’s cost until I found that “real job” (instead of a survival job).
Third, I searched everything I could find for job leads—newspaper, LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, word of mouth, bulletin boards, walking into stores and asking—until finally, four months later, I had a lead that turned into sustainable employment.
Those four months job searching were some of the longest of my life. I truly believe I would’ve given up if it hadn’t been for those chocolate brown eyes cheering me on. Looking at my horse reminded me that there is one thing I can control—keeping us together. Failure wasn’t an option on the table.
If you’re struggling through a never-ending job search right now, take heart. Find your reason to keep going. Don’t lose hope. That “real job” is coming just around the corner. In the meantime, if you’re truly determined to fight for the things you’re passionate about, I believe you will find a way.
About the Author: SYDNEY SCROGHAM loves creating happy endings. She started writing when she was 12. Her first book, Chase, was published by Koehler Books in August 2015. When she’s not writing, she’s at the barn with her horse Snowdy or catching up on reruns of the best TV show ever – Castle. She is a new resident to the Indianapolis, Indiana area. To learn more, visit her website at sswriter.com.