Funemployment. It’s a term for those directly affected by the economic downturn, coping with changing lifestyles and taking advantage of freed time to find creative alternatives while meeting new people and creating a network for the unemployed establishment. While it suggests reckless and irresponsible behavior, funemployment replaces fear and negativity of inevitable changes and substitutes powerlessness with a sense of entitlement, finding and creating opportunities to venture towards directions that one didn’t have the guts or the time to face with a job.
Briana Campbell is a contributing member of the funemployment crew, having founded the blog Unemployed Brooklyn in February after being laid off from a start up cosmetics company. The 33 year old Greenpoint resident “felt like I was annoying my friends with the same stories so I put up a blog to vent,” releasing all personal tensions throughout the blog, whether it be the loneliness of being home all day or frustration with the lack of qualified men in New York. Being unemployed in the dead of winter “was hard and depressing, and I was lonely but with the blog I was able to be personal but also form a network and share advice.”
Under the pseudonym MatchGirl, Campbell addresses the reader as “dears,” resembling the covetous journalistic tones of Sex in City’s Carrie Bradshaw while embracing the role of author Caroline Knapp’s Alice K., a 33-year-old single woman who is “just getting through, day by day.” Dedicated to the single and unemployed, the blog has become an essential tool for finding “tips of things to do when unemployed, going on dates, and just putting yourself out there, because you’d never know.”
There are posts dedicated to dating and its many grievances including advice for men and how they can provide simples gestures such as “hold her hand, buy her flowers, and make breakfast” to impress a woman and for women to hold steadfast and be “active in finding Mr. Right despite how men don’t woo anymore.”
Job opportunities and career camps can also be found on the blog, alongside places for cheap eats and ridiculous job posts on craigslist. Advice on coping with rejection and nearly losing a social life due to unaffordability and having more sex when single are all included in the mix. Meetups hosted by community networking sources such as 405 club and Campbell herself are announced and gives people the opportunity to network, “chat and vent, and meet some cool people with beer and bitch sessions.” A future event might cover how to prepare for interviews in this economy when “you’ve really got to put your best foot forward.”
When not typing away on a post Campbell spends time meandering through Greenpoint and sewing stuffed animals sold on the craft site Etsy.
Some sound tips from the author for the new and gainfully unemployed: “Keep a positive attitude, it’s easy to be depressed when you’re broke and getting no responses from interview. Keep putting yourself out there and count your pennies.” For the boys, “pay attention to the little things and pay on the first date!”
With an exponentially increasing readership for the blog, Campbell hopes to build a community for the unemployed especially within North Brooklyn, providing support and encouragement, with spurts of venting and release.