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Old 02-03-2014, 05:48 AM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,305,444 times
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I am a long term unemployed but can understand the bias against the long term jobless.

Since I left the workforce I have got lazy and are out of touch with the changes in processes, procedures and technology.

I have also lost my ability to work effectively with others in a team environment.

I had a long talk with a Human Resources Recruiter who has spent over 20 years filling and overseeing over a thousand job openings. He said that most employers give you the matter of the doubt up to 3 months but after about six months you are dead to them (and him). He believes that everyone can get a job in their field in six months if they are any good and aggressive, but if you have not found something this means you are not good and not very aggressive. So you are dead to them.

(I have been out of work for over a year, so I am dead to them!)
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:14 AM
 
1,305 posts, read 1,319,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
When I read his post, I didn't think he meant that everyone who is still working is the best of the best. However, the best of the best can easily gain employment. The industry knows them and they are always receiving unsolicited offers.
Well, in some industries, different companies have to work together for really big projects. And it really does help to get to know people. It is not uncommon for people from different companies around here to get together and get really personal with each other, especially when our companies are doing a joint venture on a major project. Our current project involves 7 different companies, lead by my company. And because my company plays the lead role, I regularly visit the other guys' offices. We never know when we might need to use the connections.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:43 AM
 
Location: DFW
6,800 posts, read 11,779,854 times
Reputation: 5149
Quote:
Originally Posted by move4ward View Post
The same reason, you don't want to be the first patient of a heart surgeon, out of work for a year.
Exactly. It's not fair but it's the way the world works.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:37 AM
 
334 posts, read 467,022 times
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When I worked in HR, we did not care about whether someone was long-termed unemployed. We cared more about their skill set and if it was current. Many times we hired those re-entering the fray after raising kids, trying to have a small business, or years of volunteer activity. We also looked for flexible workers who could possibly wear many hats.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:53 AM
 
821 posts, read 921,708 times
Reputation: 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by I'm Retired Now View Post

I have also lost my ability to work effectively with others in a team environment.
In all seriousness, this statement strikes my curiosity. Can you explain how your ability was lost?

I work in healthcare and I don't work on teams at all. I once did when I worked in my profession in a corporate environment, but that was short lived, and the place as a whole was terrible to work for and they had gone through five turnovers of my position in less than eighteen months.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:56 AM
 
85 posts, read 131,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerebrator View Post
What can a person possibly do that is related to their profession while unemployed other than look for more work. What is someone going to tell you, that they lead a life of leisure at best, or were scared to death that they were going to be unemployed unduly and were applying and interviewing for job after job?

I once had a wiseass interviewer ask me what I was doing during a time of unemployment. He didn't like my answer and later in the interview said, "It would be one thing if you were doing great things during that time off". I know few people who do "great things" in their spare time out of work and I couldn't imagine what kind of "great things" a person can do during three to six months off of work with dwindling savings, mundane and boring days, and a decreased morale.

I am currently in the midst of hiring someone for a position who I will be managing and I am always sympathetic to people's circumstances and never put them through the goddamn ringer with zinger questions such as, "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" and about what greatly ambitious things they were doing during time off instead of getting up at 10 to 12 in the morning or afternoon and doing as they pleased or ridiculing their precarious situation.
It's very encouraging to hear this kind of story because you're right. Unemployment can happen at any time for any reason, and some of the reasons can be rather unjustified.

Those that have the golden parachutes never worry about these kinds of issues, like how you will be buying school clothes for your children, food on your table for next week, paying your mortgage when the bank won't negotiate with you, the strains on a marriage and family, or as you mentioned the decreased morale unemployment causes. A lot of people are unaware that job loss is the number one reason that men commit suicide.

I am very encouraged to hear there is at least one sympathetic hiring manager out there! Only those that have gone through a 6 month+ unemployment truly understand how devastating it is! You continue spreading that ethic into the workplace and maybe, just maybe, it will wake up a few of these corporate heads.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
5,746 posts, read 3,209,496 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerebrator View Post

I can already hear people say stuff like, "What about volunteering?" or "What about getting another certificate, more schooling?" or more of this, more of that, bla, bla, bla, when those things are of little concern to middle or lower class people scrounging to just get back on their damn feet! I am currently in the midst of hiring someone for a position who I will be managing and I am always sympathetic to people's circumstances and never put them through the goddamn ringer with zinger questions such as, "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" and about what greatly ambitious things they were doing during time off instead of getting up at 10 to 12 in the morning or afternoon and doing as they pleased or ridiculing their precarious situation.

I totally get what you're saying, but sometimes these things help to keep one sane in the job search process. And I'm middle class.

For a year after moving to a new city, I sat in front of the computer from morning till night, with short breaks to do laundry, prepare meals, or get one my kids somewhere. My main concern was getting a job, and I feverishly filled out online apps, endlessly tweaked my resume, and wrote "perfect" cover letters.

So, what was the result of all of that? NOTHING (not unless you count a couple of offers for poorly-paid positions entailing all kinds of hours, long commutes, etc). I realized that I was totally wasting my time, and that most of my applications submitted online got sucked up in the black hole of virtual HR, never to be seen or heard from again.

I decided to change my strategy. I focused more on volunteering, and shortly thereafter, got a part-time job elsewhere, which I ended up enjoying. After about a year, the volunteer gig turned into a full-time contract position (where I am now), and I hope to get a full-time position back at the organization where I was previously part-time. Is all of this ideal? No, and if I had allowed myself to, I admit I could have become resentful at having to volunteer and/or work part-time.

But, overall, it was far more beneficial than wasting one more day in front of that computer. Of course, I still apply to positions I'm interested in and that are relevant to my background, but getting out into the world every day, meeting people and developing relationships, and maybe even learning a new skill or two, has been far better for my self-confidence and mental health than the relentless "job search."

Last edited by newdixiegirl; 02-03-2014 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:11 PM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,305,444 times
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So many of us long term unemployed folks (me included) felt like if we submit a hundred resumes online over a course of a week we have done our duty and the only thing left to do is wait for the hiring Gods to call. We think hard work and doing our duty (multiple applications) set us free.

The instructor of the job hunting support group I am going to told us all that just submitting a resume is not good enough. We need to be more creative.

Other students came to class telling everyone how hard they worked on their resume, and how many times they revised it, and they felt satisfied that they had done their part in the very important marketing document. The class told all of us that the resumes that were so proud of were junk and we really had not worked so hard on it. We had not kept up with the times.

All of us in the class had 20th Century Resumes, limited to one page, because an old book written in 1997 told us our resume had to be one page. We also had resumes with a laundry list of tasks instead of accomplishments with statistics. Finally, our resumes had no KEY WORDS so they were not picked up by the applicant tracking software using by organizations in the 21st Century.

Starting today, I am using the 21st Century version of job hunting.

Last edited by I'm Retired Now; 02-03-2014 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:19 PM
 
821 posts, read 921,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olderandprobablywiser View Post
It's very encouraging to hear this kind of story because you're right. Unemployment can happen at any time for any reason, and some of the reasons can be rather unjustified.
Hell yes. Someone can be set up; a private business owner might just get up on the wrong side of the bed and fire people, or decide in order to build that new wing of his mansion he will have to cut down on staff and supplies and technology and maintenance; businesses close; and business falls into slumps.

Quote:

Those that have the golden parachutes never worry about these kinds of issues, like how you will be buying school clothes for your children, food on your table for next week, paying your mortgage when the bank won't negotiate with you, the strains on a marriage and family, or as you mentioned the decreased morale unemployment causes. A lot of people are unaware that job loss is the number one reason that men commit suicide.
I'm glad you brought this up, particularly because one poster put my post "scrounging to get back on their damn feet" in quotation marks, which I believe he did because he wasn't fond of this post. Unemployment can be utterly soul destroying and life altering experience that, like you said, places enormous marital, mental, emotional, and financial strain on the average person who goes through it.

One the hand, there are people who mean well by suggesting academic and professional development and volunteering while unemployed. And yes, there is a limit to how much one can look for a job during unemployment. After all, how many resumes can one send out? If one has a resume written, only tweaks of cover letters are to be made for each job (if necessary) and it takes minutes or less to send out resumes through the net.

On the other hand, there are some people who I believe have some balls suggesting that people who have been scrambling to get a new job while they see their money plummet and have to support themselves and family members take courses, scurry back to school, volunteer (though this is never a bad thing) in an effort to "keep up to to date" or "not lose their skills". Just what skills are lost in 3 to 12 months?! People speak as if America's economic and technological and academic climates are changing so rapidly that an intelligent, hard working person is going to intellectually revert back to the Stone Age have they become unemployed. And believe me, the last thing a depressed, lonely, helpless, desperate and possibly suicidal person is thinking about is scurrying back to school or volunteering; they're thinking of ONE thing and one thing only: get back to work! It is extremely difficult to volunteer (help people) when one is in a weak predicament.

I know several intelligent, young men who tried their damned hardest to get employed--a cousin being one of them, who finally decided to stop looking and work for my uncle's glass business--only to be shunned, dismissed, ridiculed, and not given employment. I myself was asked by that wiseass interviewer I spoke of earlier, "Are you telling me you're rich?" Maybe I should have told him the truth: that I spent some of my days and bed times crying and frightened and hating myself and with a totally lose and disaffected feeling! I'm not sure that would have gone over with today's callous, blame-the-victim mentality that is unfortunately the mentality of many hiring employers (and people in general) these days. I know two men who had suicidal ideation during times of unemployment, men willing to accept paycuts or relatively low salaries. But no, we should treat these desperate and down-trodden people as liabilities or ASSUME that they weren't looking or trying hard enough or "fell behind on skills" and better yet, screw with their heads during interviews by berating and insulting them and asking stupid questions like, "what are your
weaknesses?"

As for doing "great things" during unemployment, looking for a new job and interviewing and applying and trying to support oneself and get back to work and support their loved ones is great enough for me!

[/quote]

I am very encouraged to hear there is at least one sympathetic hiring manager out there! Only those that have gone through a 6 month+ unemployment truly understand how devastating it is! You continue spreading that ethic into the workplace and maybe, just maybe, it will wake up a few of these corporate heads.[/quote]

I will never forget the callousness and flakiness of hiring managers I was subjected to. I have hired before, and am doing so now, and like I said, I choose not to play mental games with interviewees or treat my decision lightly, unlike these corporate hot heads who just love to mistreat people or play with the piece of their lives called EMPLOYMENT as if I were playing a game of chess!
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
5,746 posts, read 3,209,496 times
Reputation: 7190
Quote:
Originally Posted by I'm Retired Now View Post
So many of us long term unemployed folks (me included) felt like if we submit a hundred resumes online over a course of a week we have done our duty and the only thing left to do is wait for the hiring Gods to call. We think hard work and doing our duty (multiple applications) set us free.

All of us in the class had 20th Century Resumes, limited to one page, because an old book written in 1997 told us our resume had to be one page. We also had resumes with a laundry list of tasks instead of accomplishments with statistics. Finally, our resumes had no KEY WORDS so they were not picked up by the applicant tracking software using by organizations in the 21st Century.

Starting today, I am using the 21st Century version of job hunting.
Well, I guess I've been doing it the 21st century way all along.

- 1 1/2 - 2- page resume? Yep.
- Accomplishments and stats? Check.
- Key words? Oh, yeah, those dang key words!
- Good quality, attractive paper; neutral color? Yes.
- A "Summary of Qualifications/Accomplishments" or whatever you want to call it at the top of the 1st page? Uh-huh.

The problem is that EVERYBODY else is doing the same thing. So I say that a person should spend no more than 4-5 hours/day max on the actual job hunt. Then get out and about and keep yourself busy doing anything worthwhile. Get a part-time or contract/temp job. Volunteer. EXERCISE is essential. Read, read, read. Write (posts on CD). Go to classes, workshops, jobs-related meet-ups, etc.

Just get away from the computer!
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