UNITED STATES

"Every day I try to make myself more employable"

Alexander Stone Dale, 46, gave up 20 years of cab driving in New York last year to pursue "more interesting avenues". Currently unemployed, Alex is still exploring those new possibilities. And whenever he sees a job he'd like but isn't qualified for, he undertakes his own training. Read more...

Advertising

Alexander Stone Dale, 46, gave up 20 years of cab driving in New York last year to pursue "more interesting avenues". Currently unemployed, Alex is still exploring those new possibilities. And whenever he sees a job he'd like but isn't qualified for, he undertakes his own training.

Alexander's tale is the third of a series of testimonies about unemployment. Read what Michel ("I'm in a hell of mess") and Sophie ("Sacked in ten minutes") had to say about their own experience.

I had a temporary driver's job with UPS courier service in December with a firm prospect of full employment starting in February. The corporation is now panicking and has not hired me yet. 

So I am currently unemployed with a very good future prospect that has not materialised yet - and I don't know when it will.

I've been doing a manual job for more than 20 years. Now, I'd like to sit in a chair and take it easy for the second part of my life."

Any time I see a job I'd like, but for which I'm missing a qualification, I research the qualification to see if I can learn it on my own. If I can, I do it. Recently, I've learned to type and to use Excel, Powerpoint and Photoshop.

A friend even gave me an old office-sized keyboard because they have bigger keys than laptops. That way I can practice on both size keyboards and be ready for either at a job interview. I practise around one or two hours a day by typing speeches. I've just finished typing Obama's speech to Congress. Last week, I wrote 50 words per minute, today I'm doing 60 words. My goal is is to do 90 words per minute.

I've got very few responses. Two months ago, I sent my resume to Vanity Fair and they answered me yesterday! It's otherwise like shooting a bottle in the ocean. But ever since job ads went online there has been a massive increase in the number of scam artists preying on jobseekers. I'm having to treat every return e-mail as possibly criminal until I prove otherwise.

If things get super dismal, I've heard that New York City tries to place people who apply for welfare in jobs first. I'm toying with applying for welfare not because I want the welfare, but because I want the job placement help. But the trick is to try everything and keep trying. I make myself more usefully employable every day.

I've dealt with it by living at the cheapest bare-bones level possible, and hoping for the best. I'm living like a monk. I don't go to restaurants, I don't go to the movies. What I'm doing is walking. I did a 15-mile walk in Queens this week. It was very pleasant. And it's free!"

CV - Free Legal Forms