Government-funded job search programs

12:21. I’ve just finished my morning Zoom session with a local work/jobs program. I completely lucked out. Not long after arriving back in my home country, I ached to find a “real” job during the hours the kids are in school. I was walking down the main street of one of the local small towns, and saw the employment office. They were closed due to Covid of course, but there were people inside and I knocked on the door. A masked man greeted me and gave the information of how to sign up online. I did all that and a few months later I am not yet employed but enrolled in a course that has, surprise of all surprises, actually paid me to take part in it. And the other participants also. Which I did not know about until after I had agreed to do the course.

“Um, I’m not really sure I should be eligible for this program? I have this and this and this.”

“We think you are a good fit for the program.”

“But what if I just want to apply for a job right now?”

“You can if you want to, but we suggest the longer more methodical route. Job satisfaction may be higher in the end.”

“Ok. Well if this is what you recommend, I guess I’ll go with that.”

“Great! So by the way as part of the program you will get a free laptop, headset and mouse. And if you already have a computer, that’s okay; you can just keep it anyway, or give it away.”

“Err…”

“Also, you will get free food vouchers every week if you attend classes on time. And we will pay you per session.”

“Uhh…”

*(all quotes are approximate, obvs)

I was a bit skeptical of it at first, and definitely feeling not worthy (cue Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure) but now I look forward to each “class.” It’s a chance to see and meet likeminded people in my community face to face, even if not in person. And in the process, I’m learning how to use online meeting rooms for business. Which will be a big plus in any future job milieu. There are many self-discovery and development exercises to do, and basically the group is as close to a “real-life” career-options support group as I’ve ever gotten in my life.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all got this? I don’t know how I get so lucky sometimes… just have to knock on the right door at the right time maybe.

I’m trying to not feel guilty. To alleviate some of my inevitable guilt, I will attempt to blog about it a little, and maybe share some of the exercises/info, as and if they seem helpful. For privacy reasons (not just mine, but of others also) the info will be general.

Dear friends, thanks for being such an awesome online writer-support group the past couple of years. I know I’ve written some strange things, to say the least, and you’ve all been champs about it. I’ll never forget that. It’s been a good growing experience.

I know I haven’t been reading as much online lately, it’s just been prioritizing time and all. I do hope to visit here and there as soon as possible. Lots of love to you in the meanwhile.

Stay creative, stay positive, stay free. And remember the Serenity Prayer:

“…grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.”

xoxo Nadine/”Lia”

23 thoughts on “Government-funded job search programs

  1. I’m glad you found support during this crazy time. I think many hardworking people feel unnecessarily guilty, but it’s really your money that you’re receiving back. The government spends our tax money on everything but us, you deserve the break. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so kind Judy. 💗 I hugely appreciate it and you. It’s true that many have paid their dues, and then some. And it’s fantastic to know that there is support out there for people if they ask nicely for it. Quite a lot of it actually, in most first world countries anyway. Thankful for democracy, and for social programs that are in place mostly due to hard-workers of the past (also many times within the government itself). Now we just need to get the info to the people who need it most, maybe…
      Huge thanks again. Your comment feels like a hug. 🙏🌷

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re a kind person too Nadine 💖🙏and I’m sure you’ll put the computer and services to good use, you have good karma. We all need support sometimes from somewhere, and it’s great to receive help. But I think some people see social services as charity, they give very little and expect tons of gratitude. I’ll never forget how I was treated when I was a struggling single mom with a new baby. I briefly went on public assistance for just a few months, but unfortunately the social workers seemed to hate their jobs, they treated me with disdain/disrespect just to receive $100/month for food stamps. It was better than nothing but the disrespect made the experience dehumanizing and not worth the attached shame. I believed in social programs, was an idealistic tax-paying liberal for all of my life but I’ve walked away from liberal hypocrisy. I live in California and tons of $$ that’s supposed to be for homeless never reaches the homeless. I think it’s a corrupt system where politicians pocket the money while taxing poor workers. I think democracy is fatally broken in the US and I hope every one of us can get our fair share.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have to agree with you on a lot of what you’ve said Judy. I worked as a volunteer for two different charity organizations when I lived in France; I saw some very interesting things. One of them (the more established) treated the most underprivileged people (immigrants mostly) much like you report of your awful experience when you were a single mom. The other one (or rather, the main worker there) was deeply interested in helping people no matter what. I guess it’s each worker that make the difference in the long run.
          I have been fortunate enough to never have to use social assistance. We didn’t even have basic medical coverage when we lived in France. We paid everything out of pocket but luckily it was not expensive there. Here in Canada we only have to pay for dental as well as medications, the latter of which happily we haven’t needed so far (knock on wood). I believe that where we are there are is some racial discrimination that is not much talked about or acknowledged. There is beginning to be repair between the First Nations peoples and the government orgs, and big changes are slowly being made. The towns now have their original names back on all the highway signs. And places like the public schools each make statements at the opening of any ceremony that the buildings stand on the unceded territory of each particular tribe/first nation. But for the terrible damage to be repaired, which was done to the culture and heritage of the people whose land the Europeans stole, will take far longer. Many don’t get the help or care they need for complex reasons.

          In the US the social system is deeply problematic. Hopefully positive change is on the way. Many thanks for sharing your story. xoxo

          Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely is great so far, and I’m beginning to think the same, Matthew, or at least that I was in fact needful of something like this. I’ve been a right mess lately. So far it’s been amazing…. has helped me gain clarity, and the people are kind and supportive. I feel very fortunate.

      Like

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