Associated Content has undoubtedly changed the lives of a lot of people over the course of a relatively short span of time. However, I’m not certain how many of us have actually stopped to realize exactly what this site has done for us in terms of morale, self-worth, ambition, and yes, even friendship. I’d like to at least give that a try.
When my husband and I returned to Virginia from Oklahoma in 2004, we had been away for more than 10 years. Most of our former business contacts had either moved on, retired, or died. Still neither of us ever gave a thought to our capability of obtaining gainful employment.
My husband had spent about 30 years in computers and another 7 or so years in copy editing at a newspaper. I too had more than 30 years of experience in administrative work from secretarial to business management. We believed that surely someone, somewhere would want to take advantage of our skills. We were not only wrong, we were “dead” wrong. Because dead is exactly where both of our careers went.
Because my husband is stronger than I am, he was eventually able to find general labor jobs; that is, of course, until his recent heart attack. I, on the other hand, couldn’t even get an interview for the simplest clerical positions.
I was told I was “over-qualified” for many of the jobs for which I applied. I was “under-qualified” for all of the secretarial positions for which I applied within educational institutions that I once worked with as a peer. It seems that nowadays if you don’t have a degree, they don’t care about your 30 years of hands-on experience. I was, in short, blocked at every turn. If became painfully clear within a short period of time that the real issue wasn’t my experience or even the lack thereof (which was just ridiculous), but my age.
Just as I was about to throw in the towel and give into a major crisis of faith, I was offered a job as a reporter for an Internet newspaper site. After months of trying to get any kind of information out of them and never being paid for the work I did, I was once again back at the beginning with no job, no work, and no way to help support my family. But luckily another reporter who liked my work recommended that I check out Associated Content. I did, and as they say, the rest is history.
Associated Content has given me back my feeling of self-worth. The site has not only allowed me to do the one thing I love best in the world – -write, but actually get paid for my passion. I can write about anything and everything that interests my readers or me. I can research to my little heart’s content and share that information with a wide variety of people from all over the world, who just happen to love the same things I do. That’s not only a way to earn money to support my family, it’s a way to stay connected and a way to feel useful.
Now, whenever I’m having a bad day or feeling a little down, all I have to do is contact one of my many new friends in AC or better yet go on the community site and post a comment or ask a question. I’m assured an answer every single time because the people connected with AC are some of the finest people it has ever been my pleasure to meet. They are helpful, they are compassionate, and they are talented.
I now have a regular list of readers who support my work. I’m actually writing a book at the suggestion of one of my AC friends. More than that, however, I have readers who offer constructive criticism (rather than destructive hate mail) and give me suggestions for new stories. I am, in short, having the time of my life.
Whether Associated Content realizes it or not they have proved not only a wonderful, intriguing and informative Internet site where millions of people can learn about just about any subject, but they have also created a kind of quasi family. And like a family, we support each other and help each other and even love each other. Associated Content has given all of its writers a truly beautiful gift. It is one for which I will be eternally grateful and I just wanted to say “thank you, from the very bottom of my heart.”