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'I just want a job'

The job market has just started gaining momentum, but that's of little consolation to these Americans. They've been job searching for months with no luck.

'I would work in the mall, if I had to'

linda norris
  • Name: Linda Norris, 50
  • Place: Somersworth, N.H.

I worked for General Electric as a change manager.

On engineering projects, change managers make sure the drawings and paperwork are all done correctly, on deadline, up to compliance and filed with the right authorities or regulators.

I'm not an engineer, but I can talk the talk. It's a very complicated job. I worked on projects related to software releases, nuclear engineering and the smart grid.

Then the company laid me off. Actually, it was the second time that happened.

I worked there as a contractor, first for five years, and was laid off in 2003. I returned to the company as a full-time employee in 2009, and was then 'restructured out' in May 2013.

I am now eight months unemployed, and my federal benefits ran out last week.

I've been looking for jobs on the entire East Coast, and I'm starting to think I should look further [west] as well. I've applied for positions not just in my field, but also in retail sales. I would be willing to work in the mall, if I had to.

I believe there's a three-fold problem in the job market.

First, the economy is a lot worse than politicians want to admit. Second, when you go to career counselors, they're very nice but they tell you to network. Five of my friends are out of work. I can't network with them!

Finally, the Internet has really screwed up the hiring and jobs boards. Employers keep out-of-date job postings up as placeholders. Job descriptions are not written correctly or accurately.

You're just spinning your wheels, sitting at your computer trying to get a job, and there's nothing. I also go to the unemployment office regularly. I've sent letters to CEOs, and I read a lot of trade magazines. Right now I'm thinking of applying for jobs in Dubai.

People treat you like you're children -- like you don't want to work. Do you really think I would rather sit on unemployment and beg for $400 a week? The humiliation, the demeaning comments -- it's just so frustrating.

Crying doesn't help, but sometimes I do.

  @AnnalynKurtz - Last updated January 09 2014 01:01 PM ET

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