Thursday, September 23, 2010

On the Job--Kinda, Sorta

The Boston Globe profiled several people who have, at long last, managed to find new jobs in this recession. [Yes, I hear the recession is over and has been for awhile. But an awful lot of employers out there don't seem to have gotten the memo!]

What interested me the most was how all of those who were profiled remained active in the workforce, by volunteering if nothing else. It appears to me that one can sit in one's jammies in front of a computer screen and e-mail resumes all day long without many results. It's actually interacting with others that leads to the referrals that lead to employment.

Of course I wondered why the one woman was listed as unemployed when she took a series of minimum wage jobs--umm, hello? She WAS employed during that time--just not at the position she wanted. Her minimum-wage retail work brought in money, and kept her active until an attractive management position opened up to her.

Personally, I think volunteering during periods of unemployment is a terrific idea. I also agree that taking any job for the short term is a good idea.

On the other hand, the article suggests that a positive, sunny and 'can-do' attitude is important as well. Grace would probably bomb out in that catagory. Not that I am easily depressed, but neither am I perky. Cynical? Uh-huh! Sunny? Not exactly!

If there's one thing (Nah! There are a LOT of things!) I hate about this recession, it's what it's doing to the employment prospects of those near retirement but who desperately need to keep working for a few more years.


velvet jones said...

I was laid off in 2001 for 9 months. During that entire time I volunteered a few days a week for an organization that helped adults get out of homelessness. They liked me so much that they wanted to work for them full-time as en employee. But I'd already accepted a job with my current employer. Volunteering could lead to a new job. However that's not why I did it. I volunteered because I wanted something to give me perspective. Working with people struggling to get out of the streets and do anything they can to carve out a life for themselves was humbling and a reminder that we're all one paycheck away from being in the same situation.

I HIGHLY recommend volunteering at any time, but especially when you're unemployed. I don't care what anyone says, looking for a gig is NOT a full-time job. You can lend a few hours a week to a charity while you're unemployed. You'll be helping your community and yourself.

Nicole said...

Man, they should have interviewed me! Some of my research shows that volunteering helps you get a job.

Barb said...

I agree that volunteering is a good thing to do. I certainly do not think thanks a professional who takes a minimum wage job should be considered "employed". Thats why long term unemployed people like me choose to stay on unemployment. I've been unemployed since 1996-those times when I worked for six dollars an hour for fifteen or even thirty hours a week should not be considered employment. Thats how the government gets such good figures.