The job I lost
In September of 2007, I lost my job of almost 10 years due to company politics (I received tuition waivers for my kids and was due to be completely locked into my retirement benefits).
The company tried to keep me from getting unemployment benefits as they are a "reimbursement" institution, meaning they don't pay into it unless someone collects. Fortunately the UI office saw through their scheme and awarded me the benefits.
What it's like being unemployed
For almost 3 years I have looked for a job. Probably due in part to my age (55), I haven't even had an interview. There have been gaps in my unemployment benefits that have been quite stressful, the current one beginning April 2010 when I used up my last tier of benefits.
- Cut all costs; don't assume there is something around the corner.
- Don't go out to eat, get rid of stuff you can live without that costs a lot of money like cell phones.