Let me start by saying the economy is awful…you won’t get an argument from me on this one. Prices seem to be going higher for everyday items and gasoline is once again rising to the $4 levels. And while the cost of living is rising the jobless are still too many. It is putting a massive strain on the individuals, as well as on the country’s infrastructure. I’m not denying that. Just as much as I am not ignorant to the current difficulties the job market places on the average job seeker.
What I am saying is that if you have an opportunity to work then you need to work.
If you were making six figures and are now unemployed, why aren’t you accepting a job for $75k? It is still more than twice as much as you can possibly make on unemployment. Financially, it doesn’t make sense to NOT work. I have seen more than enough instances where a manager was laid off from a $100k+ a year job, (plus bonus), and is looking for the same opportunity in another firm. I’ve got a shocker for you…most of you will not get it. There is a sense of reality that needs to be, and can only be, learned when one is without a job for 6 months or more. In Connecticut, you will max out the take home with unemployment at about $500 per week. How is a $75k a year salary not better than that?
Also, you will feel better about yourself since you won’t have to avoid people to keep from telling them you are jobless. There isn’t any such thing as pride in a bad job market and the most important thing is to get back to work. It’s no one’s business what you made before you were laid off just as it isn’t anyone’s business to know what you are making in your new job. Just take a deep breath, go to work in the morning knowing that, ultimately, things will hopefully get better. Just look around…you’ve got something that millions of people can only wish for…a job.
I have heard another argument…”If I take this job then I will pigeon-hole myself at a lower rate and I may never see my previous salary again.” I have two words for you…You’re right. There is a possibility of that happening but there is also an argument against this line of reasoning. When the time comes that you find the opportunity for a better paying job, who do you think the HR manager is going to hire? The candidate that did everything he could during a bad time and may have even been exposed to new skill sets or the candidate that has been sitting at home for a few years, waiting for the call?
Consulting may be a great way to get into a company and have them take more than a glance at you and your skills. (Read our blog, "The Case for Hiring Consultants") It will keep you from getting stale and out of touch with current trends and paradigms. Furthermore, in some instances, you may actually be hired on a full-time basis. Will this happen for everyone? No. However, if you are still not convinced this is a decent idea, then please reread the previous paragraph.
Employers are partly to blame as they are still hiring with strategies and methodologies years behind the times. It is often we hear of a candidate being put on hold for a few weeks or even months. When the employer finally gets around to finalizing the process the candidate has already been hired elsewhere. The employer no longer has the luxury of keeping the candidates waiting for extended periods of time. Maybe that was true in 2008-2009, but no longer. The market may be bad but it isn’t so bad as to allow for this type of delay to find the right candidate. If the employer takes too long and loses the candidate, then the search process has to begin again and that is very, very costly.
Again, my heart goes out to everyone that has been trying his/her best to find work but has been unable to do so. The best I can do is to tell you to keep trying and use every available resource at your disposal...friends, family, job boards, recruiters, etc… It has been excruciatingly difficult and the economy is recovering much too slowly for any of our liking. I know this rant doesn’t speak to the majority of unemployed but I have seen enough examples to make me scratch my head in disbelief.
The recovery to date is spotty and still not consistent enough to place a prediction on where it will be in 12 months. All the more reason to take the job that is offered.
Nery Leal, joined Ridgefield One as Account Executive in September 2010. Prior to this role he was a Senior Account Manager with Tech Depot, a division of Office Depot located in Trumbull. Leal began his sales career 11 years ago with the Sanborn Map Company, in Pelham, NY where he worked on proposal coordination and sales relating primarily to GIS and CAD based platforms for municipalities to assist in tax parcel mapping and 911 systems. Feel free to email Nery directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nery's on Twitter too, twitter.com/nery_leal
The attitudes and opinions expressed are those of one employee and not necessarily those of Ridgefield One as a whole nor its management.