My greatest hope for the new year is to land a job. I'll take any job that pays minimum wage or better, regardless of how many hours per week it entails. But here is a list of my preferences:
A full-time job that pays better than $10 per hour. I know it doesn't seem like much, but it will pay the bills and will cover food, plus I can put some money away so I can buy a car. Being without a car has been difficult in a city with insufficient public transportation. Our buses run from about 6 am to about 9 pm and don't run at all on major holidays. Getting a car will also mean having a greater chance at better-paying jobs in the future.
A job that offers health insurance. We are lucky to have a mental health and a medical clinic nearby that offer sliding-scale care, but having an income will mean climbing the scale. What I pay now is inexpensive but cash is scarce. I'm very limited in the prescription drugs I can afford, so having the freedom to obtain the ideal medication would make my life more comfortable.
A job that offers dental care. I really need to get some intensive dental work done. I lost a bridge, making chewing on the left side of my mouth ineffective, and the gums on my bottom front teeth have receded far enough that the teeth have become unstable, and I'm at risk of losing them. I don't want to try to find a job when I have no teeth there.
A job that offers vacation time. I know it sounds silly for a long-term unemployed person to be thinking about vacations, but the fact is that sitting around doing nothing but futzing around on the computer due to lack of funds makes a getaway sound extraordinarly delightful. I don't want anything extravagant; a weekend of camping in a national forest campground with pit toilets, nearby trails, a place to pitch a tent, a fire grate, and my spouse and dog at my side would be good for my soul.
A job that isn't involved in food service or other retail operations. I love food and cooking. I even loved my five-year stint at McDonald's when I was a teenager, but it is a dirty business and puts me too close to attractive and alluring snacks. I have worked in retail before and liked it fairly well, but I want to do something outside of the consumerist world. Ideally I would be writing for a living (Ha!) or counseling drug addicts, both of which I enjoy in a deep, satisfying kind of way you can't get from cooking for strangers in chain restaurants or kowtowing to the greedy mobs.
A job that respects same-sex marriage and relationships. Although I am legally married in California, we constitute a fairly small subset of citizens here because Prop 8 took away the rights of others to marry, and most people don't realize that the existing marriages remained intact. But respect for same-sex marriages and relationships extends beyond just basic rights of marriage or domestic partnerships. I'd like to be able to talk about my spouse or take her to gatherings without worrying about who might decide to try to get rid of me because of their beliefs. Yes, it happens all the time.
A job that is supervised by someone motivated by something other than personal gain. I'd like to work for someone who wants something good to come of my work, which is better than having the products of my labor be only so much extra on his or her paycheck. I'd like to feel supported rather than manhandled.
A job that offers periodic overtime. I don't like to feel obligated to work all kinds of overtime, but an hour a day or four hours on the weekend would be wonderful. I have several old debts as a result of my long-term unemployment that I would like to pay down to get my credit rating back up to reasonable standards.