Lost Job? Don’t Panic!

When faced with unemployment–or continued unemployment–it’s easy to panic. Panic can lead you to apply for jobs that really aren’t right for you. Two anecdotes:

Aiming Low (and Missing)

I have only interviewed for one job that I was not offered. In 1998, after a month of unemployment and faced with dwindling savings, I applied to work at Espresso Royale, a coffee shop in Ann Arbor, Mich. I had been previously employed as a team leader (e.g. a line manager) for a technical support company that is listed on NASDAQ.

The manager who interviewed me rightly identified that I was not going to be happy working at a coffee shop for very long, and that my application there was an act of desperation. They don’t want to train someone who is only going to stick around for a month until a better offer comes along.

Indeed, a month later I got an offer from a rising dot-com (and one that is still going strong).

Holding Out Against the Odds

About 5 years ago, one of my friends had been unemployed for at least 6 months. It was a frustrating time for him. One day he revealed that he had an offer for a contract job. The pay was more than I was making at the time, but as he pointed out, the job was only for a year or two, and did not include a benefits package. “I think I’m going to hold out,” he told me, “for a job with a base salary at least $10,000 higher than that, with a decent benefits package.”

At the time, I thought he was crazy. 6 months out of work, he gets an offer with decent pay, and he’s rejecting it?!

A couple months later, though, he did get an offer with higher pay and a benefits package. Although it required relocating, he accepted.

The lesson? Aim high, don’t settle, and most of all–don’t panic.

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One Response to “Lost Job? Don’t Panic!”

  1. […] or selling coffee. Although Ms. Redican’s situation may be different, in my recent article, Lost Job? Don’t Panic, I explain why no one wants to hire a person who is aiming too […]

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