8 Challenges Faced By The Unemployed
1. Discrimination against the unemployed.
There is an unfortunate growing trend of discrimination against the
unemployed, simply because they are unemployed.
This story reported that there are
employers / hiring managers that cling onto the old stereotype picture of an
unemployed person: lazy, apathetic, etc. The fact is that
14 million+ people lost their jobs during
the Great Recession through no fault of their own. Regardless, at this point it
would be a futile exercise trying to prove you've been discriminated against
because you were unemployed. Rather, look for ways to avoid the topic. One
possible way to alleviate a hiring manager's "concern" is to use
wingman in order to get the job.
2. Discrimination due to an employment gap.
This problem is similar to discrimination against the
unemployed as mentioned above, but different in
the fact that it is your period of time between jobs that employers are focusing
on. For example, you were laid off in January, struggled to find appropriate
work for 3 months, and finally settled for a
job in a different
industry while continuing to look for meaningful work. The problem? There is a 3
month employment gap on your resume. Some employers will look
at employment gaps unfavorably, falsely assuming you were unproductive during
that time and that this would indicate you are not as hard working as they would
Here is a much better way of dealing with
3. High school and college kids looking for summer
You have to admire
high school and college kids who will work
during the summer. It can bring them extra money for school as well as good work
experience for after their education. Unfortunately, both job seeking adults and
kids lose in this category as both are competing for the work. The unemployment
among 16-24 year olds
4. Baby Boomers who are postponing retirement.
May / June 2011 edition of The Quarter Roll says that starting this year
baby boomers will turn 65 every day for the next 19 years. However, with
inflation fears and retirement accounts still recovering from traumatic 2008
losses many baby boomers have been forced to delay retirement and stay in their
current positions. Those are positions that would have otherwise been open for
5. Discrimination against those who have been bankrupt.
In March 2011 ConsumerAffairs.com posted an article that reported
a federal appeals court ruled that it is ok for a private employer to discriminate
against a job seeker who has filed for bankruptcy. Don't believe it? You can read the whole story
6. A disconnect between skills and available jobs.
Many millions of people who were laid off are finding that the skills that
served them well prior to the recession are
no longer the skills
many employers are looking for. There are industries thriving and
actively looking for employees, such as the information technology and
cyber-security industries, but are finding that many of the
unemployed simply don't have the modern skills
needed for the available jobs.
7. Employers who are simply fishing for a good deal on
"What You Need To Know About The Job Interviewing Process", as seen in the
/ April 2011 edition of The Quarter Roll,
reported that advertising open jobs is some companies' way of conducting
inexpensive market research. They may want to meet you because you have an
interesting resume or worked for a competitor and can share insights. They may
just be looking for a highly qualified person who will work for a much
8. Currently 4 job seekers for every job opening.
The Baltimore Sun recently reported that there are still 4 job seekers for every
1 job opening. You can read the entire story
What you can do if you are unemployed.
If you are unemployed it is important to make yourself as attractive as possible
to potential employers. That means you should eliminate any questions about
unemployment or employment gaps. Regardless of the reason why you were laid off
you should immediately find something else to do. Anything is better than
nothing. Even volunteer work on a regular basis can be put on your resume
in order to fill the employment gap. At the very least you are demonstrating
your willingness to work and be involved in a team. Additionally, a
recommendation from a common friend could be just what you need to thwart any
unemployment concerns a hiring manager had.
Making yourself stand out is more important now than ever before. You have high
school and college kids, baby boomers,
underemployed and unemployed workers, and even dissatisfied
workers competing for the job you want. One
stand out is to have the technical and modern work skills
training that employers are looking for. Don't delay enrolling in some type of
higher learning while you are working a temporary job, volunteering, or looking
for work. Your local unemployment office or community college are great places
to ask for tuition free assistance.
What you should do if you are employed.
Consider the plight your unemployed counterparts are facing. Review the
challenges listed above and prepare yourself now in
the event you find yourself looking for work. If you have meaningful work now
you are in a great position to get a head start by making yourself more
marketable in the workforce.