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Unemployed how long?

I have finally found a position after 7  months of unemployment, that too abroad.Anybody out there  unemployed for more than 6 months?What do you do when EI checks dry out?

John Evans
Sunday, April 13, 2003

If you don't have the money to pay the bills, either reduce the bills or get a job. Even if you're flipping burgers, you'll be able to eat. I know families where both kids are in high school and working full time to support the family because one or both parents won't get a job.

If you can afford to be picky in what job you take, fine: wait for the opportunity. But when it gets down to the line and you need money, take what you can get, or go to where the gettin's better.

If you're in desperate straits and need a job, you have no excuse for not finding one within a month. Maybe this is different where you're at, but in moderately sized cities in the U.S., I've never seen anyone have a problem finding a job who wanted one.

Don't get be wrong: I understand where you're coming from: you are a developer and want a dev position. But if that's not there and you can't pay your rent, go do merchandising on the 3rd shift at Toys 'r Us, or be the fry-boy at the local McDonald's.

Within those 7 months, if you had really needed it, you should have gotten a job. That's what you do when the unemployment stops coming.

Mike Swieton
Sunday, April 13, 2003

Prakash S
Monday, April 14, 2003

Taking a burger flipping job before the unemployment checks run out is a stupid idea - these jobs typically pay less than unemployment does.

Chris Tavares
Monday, April 14, 2003

The two problems I have with the McJob suggestion (which I've thought about when I've been unemployed in the past) are:

1/ McJobs often have shift patterns that make it harder to get other jobs. 

2/ An enlightened individual will look at a prospect and realise that if they're prepared to do a McJob to make ends meet while looking for a real job, they're probably a hard-working, JFDI type without attitude/ego problems.

Unfortunately, there are a lot mor unenlightened types who will filter out the resume on the basis because they're job snobs.

Rodger Donaldson
Monday, April 14, 2003

> Now, working at the Gap at $10 an hour, it takes Jeff two
> and a half weeks to earn what he used to make in a day
> at Rapp Digital, where his annual salary was $300,000
> (including bonuses but excluding stock options).

Didn't it cross his mind to put some money away for a rainy day?

Matthew Lock
Monday, April 14, 2003

> Unfortunately, there are a lot mor unenlightened types
> who will filter out the resume on the basis because
> they're job snobs.

No one can force you to put that you worked at McDonalds on your resume.

If it were me I would work at McDonalds and increase my skill set outside off my shift, then if an employer asked what I had been doing for x months I would tell them about my independant study.

Matthew Lock
Monday, April 14, 2003

I know this might sound bad, but the people in that article deserve to suffer their current plight.  What a bunch of overpaid, know nothing poseurs.

"False modesty aside, my 18-plus years of senior digital marketing experience will likely surpass the aggregate digital experience of the top three individuals in any given interactive marketing agency or consultancy. Translation: substantially more bang for your interactive marketing buck."

Drivel through and through.  This guy is fucking kidding himself.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Got the following 2 links from a post that was made at the Open IT Forum. I am posting them here just in case someone finds the material useful.

I didn't read any of the articles from the diary, but I did read the last 2 discussion web pages on the JOB Hunt Story BBS.  Looks to me like there are a lot of long-term unemployed white collar workers who are having a hard time finding work.

Diary of a Job Search

JOB Hunt Story BBS!skip=0

Monday, April 14, 2003

Why does everyone think unemployment is a bad thing ?

I've never been happier. I haven't worked for years. I spend all day browsing forums and coding for fun. The secret is to live within your means. Brown rice, a bit of tofu, a fast internet connection and a roof over my head is all I need.

Unfortunately, the wife has more expensive tastes and she has had to become a crack whore to afford her lifestyle.

Mr Stayathome
Monday, April 14, 2003

"Unfortunately, the wife has more expensive tastes and she has had to become a crack whore to afford her lifestyle. "

nothing to be ashamed of, these days its perfectly acceptable for your wife to work instead of you.

Ive been looking at the possibility of getting the kids earning a bit as well....seems the local gang is willing to pay for intelligent kids to act as suppliers for various schools...short hours and well paid, so it still leaves them time to do the homework.
....Personally Ive never been happier....

the local takeaways pays good money for pets as well..
Monday, April 14, 2003

After 6 months here in the US, you are not considered unemployed any longer.  You are a "dicouraged worker" or something.  It makes the stats look better for the pols.

Monday, April 14, 2003

What I took away from that article:  Never become management.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Einstein my ass ...

Monday, April 14, 2003

Guess I was lucky.

I graduated with a BS in CS in May of last year. Within 2 months, I had 3 job offers on the table. They were from the government, a financial firm, and a security company. I took the one the least distance away from me.

I have a backup plan, just in case of a rainy day. I plan to keep at least $10,000 in savings at all times, and if my job ever goes away -- it's back to grad school.

S. Gwizdak
Monday, April 14, 2003

After quitting my first professional programming job because of idiotic management I got a job telemarketing to pay the bills.  I had just moved out of my parents house and I would be damned if I let my parents win that one again :)

Since my first day there it was hard not to notice the terribly dissheveled state of their computer network and operations/software that they used.  As an example, everybody in the place (telemarketers included) logged in as Administrator with a blank password and the only means of security was to unplug the Accounting computer from the network :)

Problems were rampant, so I started telling management that I had some skills in the area of hardware, networking, and programming.  Eventually they hired me as an assistant to the only tech guy they had, an aging VB-only programmer.  I was making half what he was and I knew twice as much, but I didn't let it get to me (at first).

3 months after this I had their network re-built, installed their first email/web server, and had even built some new data entry apps for them.  I worked my ass off for $12/hr but at least I didn't have to do boring phone calls.  Then one day a contractor was there to install a new telephony platform and he had to work with me to get it done.  I guess he liked me cause he started offering me side-jobs and eventually I quit to work full-time for him.  Now I'm his lead developer and I'm making like $50k/yr.

The moral of the story is "Get a job if you have to, do your best no-matter what the job is, and something better will come along if you keep your eyes open and know your stuff."

The End.

Monday, April 14, 2003

I was laid off on Valentine's Day this year.

Luckily, I had saved some pennies for a rainy day, but those pennies were severely reduced by the purchase of a home just three weeks before the layoff.  Oops.

When I finally got to the point in my career where I was making good money, my first though was to build up a nest egg.  So after buying the house, I had almost 3 months' operating expenses saved away, and thank God for that!

It's now been two months without a job, although I have been getting consulting work, so perhaps it is more accurate to say I've been self-employed than unemployed.

Tough times define winners and crush losers.  The man is absolutely right when he says you do what you have to do to make it, even if that means taking a job that you feel is below you.  Because the truth is, no job is below anyone who is unemployed.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Well said Wayne.

Prakash S
Monday, April 14, 2003

My advice is to use your [social] network. In this market, submitting a resume for a job posting at a random company is a complete crapshoot. A friend was telling me that they had a position open recently for a developer (here in the San Francisco Bay Area) and they got over 2000 resumes. If your idea of job hunting is or craigslist or the like, you'll probably stay unemployed. Talk to your employed friends. Find out what's going on at their companies. Maybe they need someone, but haven't posted anything yet. Ask your friends if they think their company has a need that maybe hasn't even been officially identified in Wayne's example above. If you think you can help, have your friend put you in touch with someone there (or better yet, have them pitch the project from the inside, and then when the company decides to do something about it, your friend can recommend you).

I think the story is a bit different if you are set on a high-level management position, although there also, you've got a much better chance if you know someone than if you are just a random resume. Still, there are very few such positions available, so if you've been in management for a while, it might be a good idea to bone up on some of your tech skills and do some coding again. Better than flipping burgers.

Also, it seems a lot easier to get consulting gigs than full-time employment. In this economic climate, I think a lot of companies would rather hire a contractor for a specific project than bring in someone full-time. This is what I've been doing for the last two years (with only two clients, actually, and both have come from friends on the inside).

Monday, April 14, 2003

I forgot to add: volunteer. There are lots of worthy organizations that could use your experience, and it's a good chance to keep your skills fresh or learn new ones. It also gives you a chance to network, and, of course, looks good on your resume.

If you're in the San Francisco area, check out The Taproot Foundation (, among others...if not, ask Google what's in your area.

Monday, April 14, 2003

I felt bad for those folks in the NYT article posted, but I thought it strange that all of them were spending money on professional networking clubs and sending out resumes -- in some cases for more than a year.

Among unemployed developers, it seems like unemployment is handled differently, where many take on consulting jobs or start developing their own products when they can't find work.

I wonder if after a year or more of being unemployed and sending resumes and networking, that that whole scene has become their area of expertise and they are gradually loosing their previous skills.

Rather than network and resume for years on end without having a real job, I think a person would get a clue and realize that they are not going to be working in that capacity anymore and they need to do something different. After all - a whole year!

Ed the Millwright
Monday, April 14, 2003

I was outta work and sometimes it has nothing to do with "how good you are" at programming. Sometimes it can just be bad circumstances.

You may not be able to find work, then you finally get hired. You may notice that you run circles around the ' experienced developers' at the new job & do things much more Joel-like than they can ever imagine.

But the funny thing is - they were never outta work. Why?
Not necessarily that they are better developers - just random circumstances.

Don't be so hard on people outta work - doesn't always mean they need to find a new career because they're bad at what they do.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

>> Now, working at the Gap at $10 an hour, it takes Jeff two
>> and a half weeks to earn what he used to make in a day
>> at Rapp Digital, where his annual salary was $300,000
>> (including bonuses but excluding stock options).
>Didn't it cross his mind to put some money away for a
>rainy day?

"Jeff, who is 50, lost his job at Rapp Digital almost two years ago"

How much money should he have put away?
Wednesday, April 16, 2003

A survival guide for the unemployed

A job loss can be devastating, but it doesn't have to be a disaster. Here are 7 ways to shore up your finances, conserve cash and arm yourself for a long-term drought.
Wednesday, April 16, 2003

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