The Road Back To Work: Annica Trotter

Annica Trotter, 25, of Hazelwood, Mo., has been unemployed since October 2010.
Whitney Curtis for NPR

Hired: March 15, 2011, after 5 months unemployed

Position: Receptionist for a security company, recently took a second job as a valet at a casino

Resumes sent out since job loss: 40

Age: 26

Education: Some college

When not searching for jobs, I enjoy... baking, reading, playing with my children, working out, cooking and volunteering.

Annica Trotter, 26, has two children and the kind of drive you wouldn't want to bet against.

She lost her job in October 2010, shortly after her son was born and landed a new job five months later.

Trotter is now working as a receptionist for a security company, checking people's security credentials.

"I'm so glad to have work to look forward to again," Trotter says after learning she'd been hired.

She started working a second job, as a valet host at a local casino to further help make ends meet, and is now working nearly 60 hours a week. Trotter had to take on a second job after she and the father of her children broke up and she had to find a way to support the household on her own.

Trotter has been working since she was a teenager. Her first job was at a "chicken shack," she says. A series of other restaurant and retail jobs followed.

"I'd say I've had about 14 jobs," she says.

Trotter checked herself into foster care when she was 15 after her grandmother, who was also her legal guardian, passed away.

"I found out who my caseworker was," Trotter says. "I caught the bus and I said, 'I need your help.'"

She remained in the foster care system until the age of 21.

Totter is also trying to build a baking business. She makes cakes, cupcakes, pies and other treats, though with her other jobs she hasn't had much time to find customers. She's calling her business The Bright Oven.

Audio Diary

The six people in our series The Road Back To Work are chronicling the ups and downs of their job searches by keeping audio diaries this year. Updates will be posted here regularly.

Audio diary, Aug. 31, 2011: "I wish I could have a $100 bill just materialize in my hand."

Audio diary, Feb. 28, 2011: "I don’t feel like I’ve been busy because I’m not working."

Audio diary, Feb. 14, 2011: "So, mommy might be going to work like Daddy every day."

Audio diary, Jan. 23, 2011: "I am making a caramel apple pie cake."

Audio diary, Jan. 17, 2011: "Our family is definitely feeling the pinch…"

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