We’re proud to launch the first book The Underemployed Life has published. It won’t be our last – we have another one coming down the pike from our columnist, Andrea Thompson, but it is our first book, and we want to tell you a little bit about it so you have some background on it.
Previous to the book, I had been working steadily for about 20 years, but then I got fired from AT&T in 2013. They later acknowledged in writing, four months after the fact, that my firing was unjust. (Don’t get me started on that awful fucking corporation.) Anyway, looking online for work and dealing with misleading job ads, never ending online applications, a lack of quality, well paying jobs, and several misleading interviews, I grew frustrated, angry, and depressed. It was a dark time for me.
For whatever reason, most likely to keep me sane, I started writing and sending cover letters for jobs I didn’t want. They were written as a way to lift my spirits. I wrote a lot of these letters too, as weeks of looking for a new job, became months.
Writing these cover letters kept me creatively engaged and were key to keeping me out of a major depression. I never thought about publishing them as a book. I didn’t share them with anybody for quite a long time. Finally, I sent some friends a few of these letters and they kept asking for more. They often suggested I collect the best and put them in a book. After a couple of years of going between terrible jobs, companies, employers, I though there was some value in putting a book of these cover letters together. Especially because the book includes select responses from some of these letters that are pure fucking craziness.
I thought it was important going into the book that you knew these cover letters were never meant to be read by the public. I didn’t write them just to be a smart ass or for other people to see. I wrote these letters when my state of mind was one of confusion and hopelessness in conjunction with looking for a new job. They were a type of therapy for me. I think for those of you that are fed up with our economy and the way looking for work can make even the happiest person depressed, you’ll find a lot to like, and will hopefully laugh and find some of the same catharsis I did when I wrote these letters.
Of note, is that when I was putting the book together a couple of years ago, I started thinking about my chronic underemployment. So I started researching underemployment, just to see if anyone out there was talking about it. The answer was no, even though there were between 20 and 23 million people in this country who fell under the definition of underemployed. So, I thought it was worth starting a blog devoted to the subject. It was just a few short months after that, The Underemployed Life debuted, focusing on the myriad reasons why so many people are wasting away in jobs that don’t pay them well enough or utilize their skills and talents.
It’s now been two years since we debuted, and I’m proud of the writers I’ve hired (and paid – all of them), the work we’ve done, and you, our community of people who read the articles, email us, and discuss them on our Facebook page. If you enjoy and appreciate what we do and want to support our efforts to stay afloat, buying a copy of the book would go along way towards making that a reality. I truly thank you. You can check out the preview and buy a copy, here.
Our Australian readers can check out the preview and buy a copy, here.
Our UK readers can check out the preview and buy a copy, here.
Our Canadian readers can check out the preview and buy a copy, here.