As I already mentioned 2013 brought a few changes for us. One of them is Flo’s new job that he started about 2 weeks ago. I mentioned last year that we were having a rough patch, but I never really explained why. Now I actually feel like posting about it and giving you guys some information about a situation that you can find yourself in very easily over here. Around July last year Flo lost his full-time job. It was one of those famous “Hire and Fire”-Situations. He got hired by a new company and six weeks later got laid off. We were very shocked by this situation. First, because who would do that? Just hire and fire someone. And second, because it is scary to be in a situation like this for the first time in a new new country.
I have to mention that Flo always had Freelance jobs on the side and I have a really good and somewhat safe job, so the situation wasn’t as scary as it could have been. But still, being unemployed is nothing anyone wishes for. One big concern that everyone brought up was what happens to his insurance now? If you live over here or inform yourself about the insurance system over here, you might know that Flo can join my Health Insurance plan, but you only have the chance to enroll your spouse once a year. And that wasn’t the time he got let go. Flo’s old company though told him that there is a service called Cobra that will offer him a private insurance. They basically offer you the same terms you had during employment, you just have to pay for it yourself. That’s what Flo went with and got insured (pretty good) for 350$ per month. In the state of California you also have the opportunity to collect unemployment, but since Flo had some Freelance jobs lined up he didn’t go that way.
I probably don’t have to tell you how it feels to be unemployed. It is frustrating, it’s heard to keep your head up high and it’s even harder, if you have moved to a new country partly to get a better career. But I have to say, even if the last six months were extremely hard and nerve-wrecking, the new job was worth the wait (as far as we can tell yet).
I wanted to write this post to give all my fellow “aliens” who might be or find themselves in this position the following advice: Don’t freak out too much over this and especially hold on to your dreams! Rough times are a part of life and they make you enjoy the good times even more! Life is good – even if it can be some kind of a bitch sometimes!