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Lee

Hello Daily Work friends!

My name is Lee Olafson and this is my first blog post as a volunteer web design and social media intern at Daily Work. I am also one of the people being helped by Daily Work and I am using this internship as a way to build my skills so I can find employment in the visual communications field.

Here’s a little more about me: I am a junior at Metro State University working on a degree in advertising, marketing, and business administration. I also have an associate degree in liberal arts and an associate of applied science in visual communications. Despite this, I am still one of many Minnesotans struggling with unemployment.

I recently read a news story on minnpost.com about people who are being left out of the economic recovery: single parents, young people, people of color, and those without a college degree. Spend one day at Daily Work and this will not surprise you at all.

As someone who has been struggling with unemployment for several years, I can tell you that there are a lot of factors that make it hard for someone to find and keep a job…even someone like me, who speaks English fluently and who does have an education beyond high school.

So why do some people struggle more than others? What factors might be contributing to their unemployment? From my own experience, here are some of the things that have made it hard for me to find and keep a job.

  • Physical health challenges
  • No recent work experience due to lay-off
  • Competitive job market for college-aged students
  • Dependence on public transportation
  • Many jobs are not on bus lines…and the ones that are have more applicants
  • No job led to extreme poverty resulting in homelessness
  • Difficult circumstances and lack of success = depression

I was homeless, physically sick and depressed when I found Daily Work…and they found me work! But I ended up losing the job due to many of the factors listed above. This only made me more depressed.

But the staff of Daily Work stuck with me. They helped me find transitional housing, ending my homelessness. They also gave me this communications internship so I am gaining relevant work experience for my career field. Every day, I see Daily Work help many others just like me. It helps to know we are not alone in our struggles to achieve employment. Daily Work is a beacon of hope to not just me, but all of us trying to better ourselves and live a better life.

I have been to the Daily Work Luncheon and the Open House where I met many of you - people who support Daily Work. I know that none of this help would be possible without people like you and I am grateful for your help. The goal of our blog is to give you helpful insight about the jobs in general, the job search process, and to share stories with you about the people who come to Daily Work for help.  I’d love both your feedback about my blog and to learn your ideas for future blog topics. Thank you for your partnership.

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