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Posted at 07:52 PM ET, 08/04/2011

What do you miss most about having a job? For the unemployed, a complicated answer

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Job seekers wait in line to enter the San Francisco Hirevent job fair at the Hotel Whitmore on July 12, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan - GETTY IMAGES)
The Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines a job as “a miscellaneous piece of work undertaken on order at a stated rate.” In short, it is the exchange of a task for a payment.

But to those who don’t have one, it can mean so much more.

Jobs provide structure, self-worth and status. They are hubs of social interaction and mutual learning environments. They are a method of classification. Most of all, they provide purpose.

As one man wrote in response to a Post callout asking the unemployed to share their stories, the hardest part of being jobless is “the terror of getting out of bed in the morning without anything to do.”

As part of “Help Wanted: Stories of Unemployment,” a new reader-powered project seeking to explore the real impact of joblessness, The Post is asking the unemployed to leave audio and video messages answering the question: What do you miss most about having a job?

We’ve already received several responses. Listen to the testimonials and find out how to submit your own below.

Help Wanted - John Weber (mp3) Help Wanted - Kimberly Yaman (mp3) Help Wanted - Kim Patterson (mp3) Help Wanted - Greta Houston (mp3) Help Wanted - Marie Milligan (mp3) Help Wanted - Steve Reade (mp3)

To submit your own answer by voicemail, call 888-279-7678 and leave us a message. To submit a video answer, click here and follow the instructions. We will select videos and voicemails to feature on the “Help Wanted” project page. All entries must be your own, and they must abide by our discussion policy. We ak that you identify yourself with your full name and former job in your responses.

To find out more about the “Help Wanted” project, click here. To visit the project’s homepage, click here.

By Brian M. Rosenthal  |  07:52 PM ET, 08/04/2011

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