Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Hamilton- Our Very Own Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

Hamilton seems to be on the upswing. Housing markets are incredible, the music and art scene are picking up steam, but if you are trying to find a job in Hamilton...well...good luck.

I'm not even talking about big business, fancy shmancy jobs. I'm talking about any normal, Monday to Friday, 9-5 jobs. I'm talking about any office, retail, anything kind of jobs. Unless of course you are a student and are looking to work 0-15 hours a week. There are jobs for you folks...until you graduate.

Sadly if you are like me. In a job you don't love that you have to commute to by GO train (which adds almost 3 hours onto the day) and trying to start over in the city that you live in, that you grew up in, well it's probably not going to happen for you. Just like it's not happening for me.

This is SO my train life. Errrryday.

So many people are moving to live in Hamilton because in comparison to Toronto and outlying areas we have fairly affordable real estate. So they are buying here and commuting to other cities for work. So it begs the question. If Hamilton is expanding, why isn't our job market?

Of course some of this is my fault. I have never pegged down a realistic passion. Something that I could love doing for 40 hours a week and never complain about. I've done a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I have a varying post secondary education and employment background. At this point in my life I have other things on my mind. I'm 30. I want to start a family soon. We've been talking about buying a house or condo sometime in the near future. When can these things happen if I'm spending all my time hating my job, or looking for work that doesn't seem to exist?!?!

Maybe at this point I don't care so much about "the dream" anymore, but convenience is becoming a bigger part of my dream. I'd like to work in the city I live in. Less time commuting = more time living. More living = more family time. That is what I'm after. A great work/life balance.

Maybe it was easier back in Audrey's day...

I would be happy working 30ish hours (not even full time...since it appears that no full time jobs even exist in Hamilton anyways). Doing something that I like or that at the very least I don't mind doing. If it doesn't make me dread getting up to go to work and make me stress to the point of feeling ill, well that would be a huge improvement. I would be okay with that. The truth is that that doesn't exist. Or at least I'm having trouble finding it.

After what feels like an eternity of applying for jobs online without ever hearing back from anything (besides jobs that were fronts for door to door sales or worse), I decided to start reaching out in my community. I have applied at malls, independently owned businesses, so many places, so so so many places. The malls were a let down. There were very few non-seasonal jobs. I have yet to hear back from anywhere.

Yesterday I decided to put it out to the people. In this day and age it's all about who you know. I posted to Facebook that I was looking for a job and if anybody had any leads to please let me know. I do have to say I know some incredible people and the support I felt with that one post was huge.

The sad thing was that every single lead I received from that post was not in Hamilton. I got Burlington, Mississauga, Oakville. I appreciate every single person responding to that message but why are none of these jobs in Hamilton?

With every message I sank a little bit lower. I don't want to leave Hamilton. I grew up here. My boyfriend and I have a nice little life here. But I just can't wrap my head around the job situation here.

This past year has been particularly tough and eye opening to me that yes, work is important but you have to have a life balance. I need to have time to see the people I care about before it's too late. When I'm 80 am I going to look back and be like maaan...I wish I had spent more time working and less time with people I love. No. I don't think so.

Last year my uncle passed away from lung cancer, then my boyfriend's mother from the same thing. This year my mother has dealt with breast cancer and had 1 of 2 hip replacement surgeries. My father has health concerns too. I want to spend all the time that I can possibly afford to with them. Maybe that's selfish, but my eyes are open to what really matters.

I want to spend time with my niece and nephew before they're all grown up. I used to see them so much more. I want to see friends. I want us to start our own little family. I definitely want/need to work to live. Not live to work. I just need to find that place. That work life that I can love.

This is so true for me. Also family isn't always blood.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think I have a bad work ethic. When I'm at work...I work, it's just maybe I don't want to spend all of my time at work. Or commuting to and from work. I'm just so confused. I feel like I can't explain it sometimes. I mentally and emotionally have this block that I can't seem to get around. For me I feel like I've always had a hard time with full time, this past year has solidified that for me. Maybe I'm not cut out for full time. Or maybe I just haven't had the right full time job.

I'm getting off track. This isn't supposed to be about my personal work issues. Hamilton as a whole has a lot of employable people who are just killing themselves trying to find something they can call their own.

I can't be the only person dealing with this. Do you live in Hamilton? Do you work in Hamilton? Are you looking for work in Hamilton? Feel free to share your experiences and maybe we can all help each other out!

Good luck!