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Philosophy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 01:36 PM
Original message
I've been unemployed for three years
Every job I apply for I'm told I'm unemployable for no other reason than because I have been unemployed for so long - it's an automatic red flag to hiring managers, which by some system of unbendable rules that no one can explain to me, instantly trumps my 6 years of IT experience and magna cum laude bachelor's degree in computer science. I have been surviving by raiding my retirement savings, which are now completely gone, plus I'm about $20,000 in debt. If I stop posting here in a couple of weeks it will be because I will be living on the street.

Any sympathy or job leads for me? Or is my post count too low for anyone here to care?


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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Holy sh*t! 3 years???
That's a long damn time. Can you at least get an income by doing ANY other kind of job? F*ck being homeless - I'd do just about any job to avoid that.
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Philosophy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
30. I've dabbled a little
I've been trying to get some independent contracting work, but even they consitently balk at the three year gap, so far I've only done tiny projects for friends and relatives mostly unpaid just to keep my skills up. I had a just above minimum wage job at a hotel reservation call center for about six months, but eventually they fired me for refusing to lie to and rip people off. And putting that job on my resume just makes it look like there is even more wrong with me.
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. You can email me
if you would like me to post your resume with my company. I know there are jobs in the Washington, D.C. area, you may have to relocate.
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Philosophy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
31. OK, I sent it
Thanks for any help.
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private_ryan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
3. the post count doesn't matter
as the previous person said, why not work anything so at least you can pay rent and eat (McD's, landscaping, construction, bus boy, waiter)? If you become homeless getting a decent job will become 100 times harder.

Also, did you just take off for three years or you were trying to get a job?

sorry to hear that and wish you the best of luck
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Lady President Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. I wish I could get those type of jobs
I don't know about the original poster, but I have in the past applied for many "anything" jobs and was turned down over and over. Finally, some nice woman in HR for a call center explained that they would never hire me because I have too much education. There is an assumption that I would only stay a few months and leave for something better. I explained that I would be more interested in moving up within a company, rather than job hopping, but my resume was placed in the "no go" pile immediately.

It is scary out here in unemployment land...
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Can you lie about the education?
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private_ryan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. exactly
now you're over educated, now you aren't. It's a lie but the bad one...

I am extemely lucky I can go and wait tables at anytime I want to, it not glamorous but it pays the bills.
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Philosophy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
34. I've run into that too
They look at me like I'm hiding something or insane.
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Philosophy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
33. I'll probably have to file for bankruptcy
Before I can give up and settle for an unskilled job. My debts are so high that the pay from a McD's job wouldn't even make it to my rent. And most of my debts are owed to my relatives, so that wouldn't be pretty.

I was a little burned out from my previous job, so I did take almost a year off to explore some other career options, so maybe it is my fault. I didn't realize at the time that such a hiatus would be enough to ruin my computer career. That was already too much time off to ever get hired according to all the HR people I talked to when I started applying again.
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Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #33
39. Okay...I just have a question
and I'm NOT being flippant or anything----but you say you've been employed for 3 years, have tapped out your retirement, are $20k in debts to your relatives---I can't imagine you're receiving any more unemployment benefits.

But you say you can't get a McD's job because the $$ wouldn't even pay rent----how are you paying rent now?

If you're taking it from your retirement---get the McD's job so you don't have to take it from your retirement anymore, or not as much...

I have to believe that making $400 a month at McD's is better than making $0 a month---

And again, please don't think I'm being critical---I really am not. I know that it's hard as shit to get a job in this economy---we're not in the Booming 1990's anymore :-/ That's why I'm going to school to be a nurse---guaranteed job for the rest of my life right there (and plus I think it's cool...).

I'm just unsure why you're not willing to take ANY kind of work--I mean, you're not a fresh-out-of-highschool kid---get into retail management---I know the work sucks ass, but it's work and if you're a mgr, you're looking at at LEAST $22+k a year....again--not grand salary, but much better than nothing, and it's much better than being homeless....

I wish I could help you with your job search. I wish you the best. Please keep your head up.

Heddi
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radwriter0555 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. Tell them you're a freelance consultant. NOT that you've been
unemployed.

Presentation darlin, package it all up real purdy.
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. exactly: You can be proud to have been "on your own" for 3 years
spin baby!
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radwriter0555 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. stick a pretty ribbon on it and make it look GOOOOOD, it's
real easy to do!
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Philosophy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
35. I've been trying to do that
But then they ask for a list of my "corporate clients", and it's kind of embarrassing when the top name on that list is my mom.
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. my sympathies ...
I was laid off October 1991 and didn't get a job until June 1993. I almost lost everything. I had to fight my way back up the computer industry.

Was a Senior Systems Engineer, laid off Nov 1 of last year. Last week, I got my last unemployment check. Had an interview July 28 and a phone interview last Thursday, and I'm hoping.

That's the big thing, "If you're such a good employee, why were you let go?". I have to defend myself as to why the company, due to budget cuts, laid me off.

Good luck.
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Lady President Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
6. Much sympathy
My post count is even lower than yours, but as someone who is also unemployed, I have tons of sympathy for you. I wish I had a suggestion on how to find a job, but I have no idea for myself either. I don't know your status, but because I'm single without kids, so there is no safety net for me and homelessness is not out of the question.

Unfortunately, I've worked for a company that went under and two that had massive layoffs, so my work history looks awful. I would love to work for the same company for years and years, but my resume looks like I'm completely undependable. Not hiring for this reason seems to be another unbendable rule.

I don't have much to offer but, I'll wish you all the luck in the world. :)
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Demobrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. I don't know where you live, but
many, many of us have had to relocate for jobs in order to survive. I did the last time a Bush was in office. I know it's daunting, but there must be some place better than you are.
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Lady President Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. How did you manage to relocate?
I've been told that I should think about relocating too, but I don't see how I possibly could. Obviously, I can't just pick a random city and move because I couldn't rent a new apartment without a current job. Actually, my finances are in bad enough shape that I don't think a credit check would approve me even with a new job. Were you able to find a company who handled transportation to an interview? I'm not sure I'm brave enough to risk a month of rent to fly and stay somewhere for just a chance at a job.

Would I move? Absolutely, but as a practical matter I don't see how I could.
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sujan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. not a job lead but
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nedlogg Donating Member (294 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
11. Tell them you've been trying your hand at other things.
Daytrading for example. Tell your prospective employer you've been trying your hand at trading stocks at home and wheras you've had some successes, it wasn't working out.

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MUAD_DIB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. We care.

Many of us are, have been or know some people that are in the same position.

Your post count does not matter.

I know that this may not sound like the best medicine, and I am having to look at the same prospect, but take anything that you can: even if it is part time.

We're all feeling it, and we do care. Don't give up hope.


God I hate that pretending fu@ker in Washington. May he choke on a pretzel.
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molly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
14. It's been 2 years for me.
some people lie on their resumes - I don't. They pad the dates - especially if you have been a contractor or consultant. Are you mainframe - web -what is your skill set?

Everyone here cares! We are potentially all in the same sinking boat - even those that have a job today may not tomorrow.
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Philosophy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #14
36. I'm guilty of padding dates
Up until a couple of months ago I wasn't, but I'm willing to try anything now.

Mostly my experience is in developing custom business PC applications and databases for with Microsoft tools, and I've also done a little web stuff. I even have a few certifications that are kind of out of date but I can't afford to get certified on new stuff any more.
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northernsoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
15. where are you and what skills do you have
I don't know of anything in particular, but I can put the radar up for the Twin Cities area for you.
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
17. Just curious as to why you think your post count is the measure of
compassion.

Of course there is sympathy for anyone who is without work who wishes to work and provide for themselves. Heck, I even have sympathy for Freepers out of work and am simply amazed that they would still continue to vote against their own SURVIVAL interests.

The only thing I would suggest is taking your tech knowledge to smaller businesses rather than larger ones. I don't know where you have looked exactly or what you are expecting to make so it is difficult for me to comment.

I do wish you the best at finding acceptable work just a bit perplexed at the presumed slam at the compassion of us based on post count.
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zekeson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. I don't think its a matter of a slam
I think the poster is probably a little depressed and is used to no one caring at all. Its obviously been a hell of a ride and he is looking for a little support and compassion - might not have asked for it very effectively, but I sincerely doubt it is an indictment of the board in general.

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Philosophy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #25
37. Sorry, I'm just grumpy
Although I have noticed that the people here with very high post counts tend to be a little cliquish.
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. No worries. If you walked into a room where everyone knew each other
it would be the same. Mostly we're pretty welcoming to anyone who chats with us from what I noticed. Anyway, I do hope things turn around for you...I know you've heard that one before, but not being in the tech sector, I have a poor understadning of what you are up against. All I can do is wish you the best.
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NicoleM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
18. I hear you
In May of 2001 I had to quit my job because the stress was making me physically ill. I didn't think it would take very long to find another job. Ha! A year later, I took a god-awful crappy job because I really needed the money. It was the only offer I'd had in a year of applications. I don't even remember having any other interviews.

So in March I quit that crappy job because I couldn't take it anymore. I knew it would be hard to find another job, but the situation wasn't as urgent as it was the first time. The job market was so much worse this March than it was two years ago. I couldn't get interviews for part-time jobs that I was well-qualified for, let alone full-time jobs.

My point is, people who haven't been unemployed in this economy have NO IDEA what it's like out there. If you're over 20, you pretty much can't get McDonald's-type jobs because they figure you'll quit as soon as you find something better (which, of course, you will). I applied for an entry-level secretary job once. I didn't get an interview, because they had so many applicants that they threw away the resumes of anyone who had less than four years of secretary experience.

I have no answers for you. I know that it doesn't help to say "hang in there, something will come along." People DO care, though, even if we can't help much.
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Philosophy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #18
38. Helps a little to know I'm not alone
Thanks. :toast:
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
19. some ideas
armatt, people are quite familiar with the rocky nature of American businesses in the last decade so I would not hesitate to point this out if it indeed becomes an issue. Unfortunately with so many people in the job market you may not even get that chance but it's only a problem if there are very short periods of employment.

well, I have some suggestions for both of you:

1) contact some very successful people in your industry and offer to handle the overflow on a freelance basis. In time, you might become their right hand person and work yourself right into a good job. The key thing is they only pay when they need you; this makes it almost risk-free for them (which means an easier sell for you).
2) get a p-t job doing ANYTHING to bring in some cash (even waiter work gives you lots of contacts). Around here there are lots of jobs open for drivers, of all things, but even that gets you out and around and you see what's going on.
3) be imaginative and come up with some p-t or f-t project which you can promote inexpensively and that appeals to people when times are tough. Example:

I got my car back from the mechanic and the taillight was broken. I was going to buy a new one but that's over $100. Then I got the idea to call those car junkyard places. They wanted $50. Then you have to add the installation of the new taillight into that. I did a little research on the I'net and found a product that I can repair the taillight with AND it will pass safety inspection. And I don't even have to take it out of the car!

In thinking about this, I noticed lots of broken taillights out there. So some enterprising person could make up a flyer offering to fix it with this product for a fraction of what a new or even used one would cost. Just stick the flyer under the windshield and wait for the calls to come in. Go out every morning looking for broken taillights and leaving flyers (they're out there, I promise you) and soon you will have a regular business. The cost for the product would be something less than $10, maybe even less than $5, so you can see there is plenty of room for profit in there. Now this is not a glamorous business but it is a way to make some money until we get rid of * and times get better. It could also be a cash business easily enough and we all know those are the best kinds of business.

The company that makes this product also makes a product that touches up bumpers. You could even do a second sale once you do the taillight and offer to do the bumper.

This is just an example; I'm sure you can find an opportunity like this in your own area or another related area.

I'd like to do this taillight thing myself but I already have a job--a job which pays a fraction of what I was making during the dotcom boom. But I do like my job so I'm happy.


Cher

p.s.

Tell your prospective employer you've been trying your hand at trading stocks at home and wheras you've had some successes, it wasn't working out.

No, say you've been successful and want to quit while you're ahead!
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leftyandproud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
22. swallow your pride..
Go out...RIGHT now..to the grocery--Pick up the 1-2 employment rags they have sitting near the front. Mark down at least 20 of the help wanted positions you are capable of doing..even if they pay $7.00 an hour.

Tomorrow morning, your duty is to call every damn place that wants help and get 2 shitty jobs by the end of the day.

You need to survive..and that means doing work that anyone can do...entry level...until something better comes along.
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Philosophy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #22
41. At this point unskilled jobs only hurt me, though
A lot of the HR people I talk to only are interested in my last job, and ignore everything else on my resume. My resume is getting pretty convoluted trying to hide this. If I do anything else unskilled I'm afraid it will finally ruin my career.

I guess it does beat living on the street though. :(
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
23. Hey folks, come out my way
I live in Missouri, where the state unemployment rate is 5.8%. Look a little further into that and go to either Columbia(2.5%) or Springfield(3.9%). While the state and University of Missouri aren't hiring(for the most part, there are however ways to weasel your way in), the commercial base in these two cities are doing well. Come on down! God knows, we need more Dems and liberals in this state. Columbia is the home of the University of Missouri, and is a pretty liberal town. Springfield is much more conservative(heart of Ashcroft country), but there is a small liberal core there, and hey, they could always use more.

Here are the sites of Columbia and Springfield newspapers, check out the classifieds and come on down!

For Columbia
<http://www.showmenews.com />

For Springfield
<http://www.showmenews.com />

Hey, I know it may not be perfect for you, but Missouri is a beautiful state, and there are jobs available.
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Philosophy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #23
42. Thanks
I have been finding and applying for some promising looking jobs in St. Louis and Kansas City in the last couple of days. Maybe I'll intensify my efforts around there.
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sangha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
24. Lie
Tell them you've been running your own business but with the economy so bad, business is too slow to support yourself, and now you want to go back to the security of a steady paycheck.

It makes you sound as if you'll be grateful to have a job. Potential employers eat that up.
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ursacorwin Donating Member (528 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. i second the university thing
we're always desparate for new IT people, and even with a budget freeze you can go to the web page and look at the job listings, which change daily. universities usually have endowments, which means they can weather economic storms.

to all you unemployed: let me strongly recommend you get ready to get serious ('cause it's only going to get worse) and stop thinking about yourselves as if the world is as it was.

(i'm not trying to accuse anyone of anything)

but the facts are plain: bush is ruining our economy, and not DK or HD or jeebus is going to save it, even after they win. the jig is up for outsourcing, and as more companies have smaller bottom lines, which will continue to happen as middle america spends less at wal-mart, the situation for white collar and college educated workers will continue to suck.

i'm one of those super-over qualified types, but i didn't get on the bandwagon (consulting) when it was hot. i'm not sorry today: my modest car is paid off, i've no recent debt to speak of (i have no credit) and i'm happy with my simplified life and living habits. sure, i don't eat at 100$/plate resturants and my clothes are pretty regular, but once i let go of the consumerist dream, i realized how much of my life was directed at the pointless pursuit of possession.

when you just don't care about your (clothes, car, zip code) a whole new world opens up for you. there are exciting and interesting cities/centers to live in (detroit is so much more fun than many of you have heard, for example), jobs that make you happy and make a difference but pay poorly (stumping for liberal issues, managing a non-profit center), situations that can grow and be the seeds of global change (barter economies, recycling consumptive habits) the list goes on and on. people in countries with nothing live off of no money with no "skills" as we think of it- just how do you think they get by? and don't fall for the line, 'you can only be happy in a western nation' that's bunk!

there are countless resources out there for the Simple Living movement. if you're truly down on your luck, break free from the system that has turned you out. don't play the game anymore and eventually, you'll find yourself in a new world with new values, one where hope and compassion still thrive. but chase the other rats in suburban lego-land for the rest of your life, and i promise you you'll die with regrets.

just a bit of radical rhetoric from someone who feels free, even if she is poor.
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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
27. I'm going on almost a year now. Thank you George W. Bush.

People here are so helpful, I always download threads
like this because the tips people give really help.

Thanks!!
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
28. Try temp agencies
Apply with all of them. Of course, emphasize that you have computer skills but are willing to take anything even if it is only a day job. One of them should be able to get something for you within a couple of weeks. If you do well on a short term assignment, you will be more likely to get recommended for a better assignment. I think most of them will keep on looking for you if you say "I'll take that job right now to pay the bills but I'd really like something more in the (fill in the blank) field. Soon would be the best time of the year to apply for the fast food type jobs. Since the teenagers are going back to school, they'll need people to work those hours. Tell them that you are interested in being a manager if they question why someone of your education would want such a job. Of course you don't really want to be a fast food manager. Trust me on this one, but if you need the money, whatever works.
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TheBigGuy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
29. Yeah...the DoD is hiring...and this is NOT a joke.
The DoD is looking for civilian computer geeks..BIGTIME!

My office has been trying to hire one for three years now, and never seem to be able to get anyone.

Of course we don't pay as much as the private sector, and are in unfashionable and unhip Ohio, and this is the military....so.....
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indigo32 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-12-03 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
32. Hey Philosophy
it's a jungle out there. I feel for ya. These days... really the best way to get a job in this fields is to get someone on the inside to vouch for ya. Who do you know in your area who works for any Co you'd be interested in. Cold resumes just aren't gonna do it. Also... apply with any contracting agencies you can. Wish I had a lead for you. I don't know where you are though...and we aren't hiring in my Co.
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