Posts Tagged ‘underemployment’

Lost Job? Don’t Panic!

Friday, September 18th, 2009

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.