The 5 Most Common Assumptions About the Unemployed and 6 Tips to Silence Them.
Everyone is talking.....
Nearly everyone has been here: jobless. But jobless has a different impact at different stages in life. A jobless high school graduate can comfortably seek employment from the basement of their parents home and not worry about how they’ll get their next meal. Their cell phones will be paid by loving parents, and that car that is likely already paid off will remain theirs. But for the 30+ crowd, it’s a whole new song and dance. Mortgage, children, car payment, groceries, all of these worries plague you while you seek employment. The clock is ticking, and unfortunately—people are talking.
Oh yes, they’re talking about you.
What are they saying?
Here are the 5 most common assumptions about the unemployed:
What do you DO all day??
Oh, just kicking my feet up, catching up on the newest Orange is the New Black series, and enjoying an involuntary vacation while the jobs come to me. Totally not worrying about paying my bills, or finding a career in a saturated market. Seriously, any person who asks this question has not been unemployed after 30. Looking for a job is a full-time job. Hours are spent in seeking employment. Resume writing and revision, creating usernames, profiles, and logins to countless job sites and employer sites. Questionnaires are filled out and background checks are authorized.
Next, if a job match is located, it can take 15 to life to fill out the employer’s application with the very same information on your resume, along with their 50 question personality test, optional questions, and references (names, phones, and addresses, please!)
If you are lucky enough to be contacted for an interview, a series of phone interviews, tests, questionnaires, and personality screens are nearly the norm, again, taking time. Employers are looking for quality candidates, and quality candidates will invest the time in their application.
According to the Washington Post, 35 percent of all unemployed people have been out of work for at least six months (May, 2014). Although this number is down from 2010, the jobs are too.
This means more people applying to the jobs you are, and more work for the HR department to sift through applications. What does the unemployed do all day? Look for jobs. Seriously, it takes all day.
If You Were Smart, You'd Take ANY Job
This is something most apathetic people will irrationally force down an unemployed person’s throat. Yes, forget about your $25,000 student loan debt, your $1500 mortgage, car payment, and other bills. If you are REALLY serious about not being unemployed, you will take a server job, a receptionist job, or even a volunteer job. Because getting any job is better than no job.
Let’s get real. When people are unexpectedly unemployed, they are seeking employment in their field of experience to meet their financial responsibilities. Around this age, the process to obtain a professional position takes time and networking. Applications, pre-screening questionnaires, numerous interviews, and subscribing to 50+ search agents on 30+ job boards. To take a position –any position, simply to be ‘employed’ is counterproductive to the situation. A comparable job is sought so that the unemployed person can still pay their bills, not wait tables while fielding collection calls and dodging foreclosure papers. And again, you need available time to invest in seeking employment. Taking a $10 an hour job for 40 hours a week may get you $300 a week after taxes or less. But it also will take considerable time away from job searching. In order to make this decision, you must review your budget and expenses and determine if you can "afford" this job. Some of you may be getting unemployment compensation, which offsets the loss of income, and some may not. Some may have a partner assisting in their financial contributions, others may not. You must make this decision based on your circumstances, and ignore anyone who doesn't agree with your honest assessment.
Your House Should Be SPOTLESS If You're Unemployed
Although I find cleaning therapeutic, I can say that a clean house is not my top priority when unemployed. During unemployment, I have personally been on a computer from 7:30 am to 3pm searching for jobs. Every Day. The process is meticulous, tedious, and very time-consuming. Many job boards have outdated postings. So when you use their search agent, you may click on a position, be redirected to the employer’s website, required to create a profile and upload a resume—only to find out “this job posting has expired”. Try this mind-numbing experience over, and over. You look at the clock and its 2:30, and you’ve successfully applied to 3 positions.
But don't let the house succumb to dust bunnies with fangs. Do step away from the computer and throw on a load of laundry, make the beds, take a break and make your home a representation of your mental state-in control, organized, and orderly. It can be cathartic to clean, but you don't have to be Martha Stewart either.
There Are TONS of Jobs Out There!
Sure, this is true. There are TONS of jobs out there. But not in specific fields of expertise. If you went to college for marketing. You aren’t looking for a welder position. I have experienced job search agents where for WEEKS the SAME jobs are sent to me. No new ones. I have signed up with recruiters, 27 job search boards, and still have come to a grinding halt on new positions in my field of expertise. Let’s get real: You have a better chance of obtaining a job relevant to your experience than say, operating a forklift. So, while there may be TONS of jobs out there, there are not TONS in your specific geographical location, and in your field of expertise. The best way to ensure you aren't missing out on the "tons" of jobs, is to sign up with job boards and create search agents. (see tips below)
There is NO Justification For Entertainment Spending While Unemployed.
Most people will secretly judge you if you splurge on a movie, or go out to dinner occasionally. “If you were really worried, you wouldn’t be spending any more money than you absolutely have to”. These people are unrealistic. Often the unemployed have children, or their sanity to care for. Being unemployed wreaks havoc on self-esteem and leaves in its wake --depression. Finding a job may lead someone to finding their own self-worth and value, or finding themselves feeling like a deflated balloon with each rejection email “While we appreciate your application, we have found other candidates more closely suited to our needs”. While these long days of uncertainty and fear take a toll on the mental state of the unemployed—going to a movie with the kiddos or going out to eat once in a while can make the whole unit feel ‘normal’.
So we've covered what everyone is saying about you, or to you. Let's talk about what you can do to expedite the process and silence the nay-sayers:
6 Tips for the Unemployed
- Online Portfolio: If you haven’t done so already, ensure you make yourself visible online. Create a LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com and start networking. They say “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and sometimes, you don’t even know WHO you know until you network.
- Search Smart: Create search agents with job boards like www.monster.com, www.careerbuilder.com, www.wullo.com, www.ziprecruiter.com. You can upload your resume, create a search agent for your keywords relating to your profession, your preferred distance, and email preferences to have jobs delivered to you daily that meet your parameters. This is a good tool to not fall off the job search wagon as you will be sent notifications daily with RELEVANT job postings.
- Be Prepared: Get a binder and fill it with sample business writing, or projects you have successfully completed at your last positions, along with letters of recommendations from former colleagues and friends so that you have them readily available for that unexpected interview call. Include copies of certifications and your degree to demonstrate to your next prospective employer that you are prepared and able to represent yourself well.
- Recruit Recruiters! Don’t be afraid of recruiting agencies! Refer to the first tip: networking! They know people, and in turn, so can you by simply taking 30 minutes to meet with recruiting firms, and leaving them with a good impression. They have as much motivation to find you a job as you do to find a job.
- Professional Websites: For Free. Create a professional website. At www.yola.com or www.weebly.com you can set up a free professional website and link your resume, professional accomplishments, and executive summary. It is a good thing when a prospective employer ‘googles’ you and finds additional professional information at their fingertips, as well as a candidate who is seriously serious about finding a position by professionally marketing themselves.
- Take a Break. Finally, accept the fact that finding a job will take time. You are not alone. In fact, there are 9.8 million people just like you (Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 6, 2014). Take a deep breath. Prepare yourself. And every once in a while, go to a movie.
Length of Unemployment
How Long Have You Been Unemployed?
References and Links
- Post Job to 50+ Job Boards with One Submission | ZipRecruiter
Employers, recruiters and staffing agencies post jobs free to 50+ job boards with 1 click. Active resume database. Free employment postings on ZipRecruiter.
Redefining Job Search. Wullo provides job seekers with a comprehensive search engine to find the best jobs.
- Job Search, Employment and Careers at Careerbuilder.com
Looking for a new job? Get advice or search over 1.6 million jobs on the largest job site, set alerts to be first in line and have new jobs emailed to you.
- Find Jobs. Build a Better Career. Find Your Calling. | Monster.com
Find the job that's right for you. Use Monster's resources to create a killer resume, search for jobs, prepare for interviews, and launch your career.
- Free website | Free blog | Create a free website | Weebly
Named one of TIME's 50 Best Websites, Weebly gives everyone a surprisingly easy way to create a unique site. Make a free website, blog or online store with our powerful website builder.
- World's Largest Professional Network | LinkedIn
300 million+ members | Manage your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights and opportunities.
- The odds you’ll join the ranks of the long-term unemployed - The Washington Post
Long-term unemployment is a terrifying trap that, even in the best of times, is difficult to escape.
- current number of americans unemployed - Google Search