A few days ago AOL posted an article entitled “10 Things HR Won’t Tell You about Your Resume.” The article was condensed from a Reader’s Digest article (April 2011). In it the following quote was attributed to former HR executive Cynthia Shapiro, “Once you’re unemployed more than six months, you’re considered pretty much unemployable. We assume that other people have already passed you over, so we don’t want anything to do with you.” http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/04/05/10-things-hr-wont-tell-you-about-your-resume/
As the spouse of one of the 6.5 million long-term unemployed persons in America today, I was appalled. Our nation is in the midst of one of the worst recessions we have ever faced. Employment figures for March showed that 13.5 million Americans, or 8.8% of the work force, are currently unemployed. They comprise individuals from all age groups, races, and socioeconomic classes.
I would wager that most of these 13.5 million individuals are jobless through no fault of their own. Many, like my husband, are highly educated. Others got their training on the job. Most of them worked hard and did their jobs well until the economy collapsed. Some of them may have been passed over by potential employers, but many haven’t gotten jobs because there simply aren’t jobs in their fields at the moment.
Haven’t Reader’s Digest and AOL heard that you don’t hit a man when he’s down? 13.5 million Americans are down on their luck now. They don’t need HR experts to make them feel worse than they already do. How about giving them a bit of encouragement? Tips on how to stay busy and feel relevant while unemployed would have been much more helpful.
I’m not an HR expert, but I have some tips that I’d like to share.
- Volunteer. Volunteering will get you out of the house and interacting with people. You’ll be helping others and, in return, your self-esteem will get a boost.
- Take a class. Keep up with the latest advances in your field.
- Indulge your passion. Most of us have leisure time activities we haven’t indulged in years because we’ve been too busy with work and life. Unemployment has given you free time—take advantage of it to have some fun.
- Keep up with the news. You need to stay in touch with what’s happening in our nation and the world.
- Get active in politics. Research political candidates whose ideas align with your own and support them, particularly those who might have good ideas for improving the economy and ending the recession. If you can’t give financially, you can help out in many other ways.
- Catch up with family and old friends. Write letters, email, or call. You can’t use the excuse that you don’t have the time.
- Cross some projects off your honey-do list. We all have tasks we’ve been meaning to do sometime. You’ve got the time; you might as well get busy.
- Experiment with new recipes. One of the true blessings of having my husband out-of-work is that dinner is ready when I come home.
I’m praying that the economy improves soon and that Americans who want to work will find jobs. In the meantime, I hope these tips help those of you who are out of work tostay busy and feel appreciated.
Do you have tips would you like to share?