Advice for the unemployed

Discussion in 'Money, Investing & Precious Metals' started by GroovyMike, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. GroovyMike

    GroovyMike Well-Known Member

    I keep hearing about people who can’t find work. I know that it is more difficult to generate an income when the economy is sluggish but I have been blessed to find work pretty quickly when I needed it, so I thought I might offer some tips to anyone who is having a hard time making enough money to survive.

    I am sure that there will be some replies that disagree with me so I am going to put my most controversial idea out front.

    If you want to work, there is work to be had. This does not apply to you if you feel that you are too good to work for under $XX,000 per year or $XX per hour. My advice will do you no good if you are too lazy to WORK.

    Some will argue that they make more on unemployment than taking a minimum wage job. Shame on them. They are thieves stealing from you and me because they are taking aide when they don’t need it. They can get a job and just choose not to while we are forced to pay their bills. That is wrong.

    My advice it to take the first job you can get and start supporting yourself with dignity, WHILE you look for a better job instead of taking welfare. Welfare is not intended to keep you at your comfy lifestyle. It is supposed to be a bare safety net to keep you from starvation, that’s it.

    If you are out of work, your FULL TIME job is finding a job.

    Assuming that you WANT to work, I’ll proceed. If you disagree with what I said above, just stop reading now and go to another thread.

    Ideally you can find work in your chosen field at a convenient location for the hours that you want and for more money than you earned in the past.

    To reach that goal you need to be better than you were at the last job. Brush up your knowledge of the field and especially the employer(s) you hope to work for. Study for the interview even before you have one.

    Look for job postings in the printed classifieds and online. Ideally your future employer is so desperate for help that they are willing to advertise for strangers to come in and apply. But this is not always the case. If there is a company that you want to work for, ask everyone that you know connected with it if they are hiring. Express an interest. Ask who to talk to about any potential opening.

    If you don’t get any leads at all bring a copy of your resume and references to the work site and ask if you can leave it with their Human Resources department or other appropriate contact. Thank them for their time and ask them to call you if anything comes up. To the extent possible in the brief meeting, try to make friends with whoever you meet. If you do, they will call you when they have an opening.

    Put out DOZENS of resumes. I figure 12 resumes might generate 1 interview. 12 interviews might generate 1 offer. So that’s 144 resumes to get an offer. It might take more. Don’t stop trying.

    When you get an interview, show up 15 minutes early. Be clean. Wash and brush your hair. Consider getting a hair cut if needed. Wear clean clothes. Be honest. Don’t try to fake knowledge or experience that you don’t have. Never lie on your resume or in the interview.

    Bring a resume and written references plus a list of phone numbers to reach at least three references. Make sure that the phone numbers still work! Bring multiple copies – you may interview with 2 or 3 people in one sitting. Make sure that nothing is spelled wrong! I have had candidates bring in resumes with spelling errors. They are immediately out of the running. If you can’t be careful enough to have a resume spelled right, I don’t want you making mistakes with my equipment or books! Spelling errors on resumes and references sends the message that your work is sloppy and that you are lazy.

    Ask your references ahead of time if the potential employer can call them. The best references are former supervisors. When I hire someone I want to hear that they are a hard worker, show up on time, and are pleasant to work with. Their last boss is the person I want to hear it from.

    Be prepared to explain why you no longer have the job you are leaving.

    Thank the interviewer(s).

    If you get offered a job, take it. Don’t try to leverage a better deal. Be grateful for the offer. You can work your way up the ladder from inside.

    What if you are doing all of the above and still can’t find work? Enlarge the area. Be ready to commute a little farther and start again. Shut up, I’ve been commuting over 100 miles a day for 18 years. It’s worth it. If you can’t handle it, move closer to wherever you land the job.

    What else can you do? Lower your expectations. If you can’t get that job you had last or the next promotion up from there try for the level one step down. If you can’t get work as a supervisor, hire on as a laborer. Seriously. Then work your butt off and get promoted within 6 months.

    Ok what if you can’t find anything in your industry? And you just need income to put food on the table. Again – check the help wanted adds in the newspapers, online, and on bulletin boards at the unemployment office. Answer ALL OF THEM. Tell every restaurant within 50 miles that you’ll clean after hours, prep cook at 4 AM, or wash dishes during the day.

    So you made $75k at your last gig. Big deal – go deliver pizza to put food on your table while you keep looking for the next big thing. Deliver newspapers at 4 AM to free your days up for looking for work.

    If NO ONE is hiring, the help wanted ads are empty, and unemployment is 25%+ in your city – put up signs on every free bulletin board in town offering to SERVE your neighbors as a babysitter, dog walker, handyman, trash hauler, landscaper, errand runner, painter, etc. etc.

    Then knock on EVERY door on EVERY street and ask if you can mow their lawn, walk their dog, clean the garage, paint a fence, rake the leaves, bathe the cat – whatever they need done – for minimum wage or less. Offer to haul away junk / clean out garages and attics etc for FREE. Sell what you haul away as scrap metal or in classifieds to folks willing to buy it for half the retail value. One old book or plate of the right kind can sell for $100 if you connect it to the right buyer.

    If you knock on 144 doors and offer to do yard work, painting, dog walking etc. (and don’t look like a thief trying to get in to rob the place) you WILL get work. If you do good work they will ask you back and refer you to their friends and neighbors. ALWAYS deliver more than promised. Come on time or early WHEN YOU SAY YOU WILL BE THERE, and charge less than expected. Be honest. If you do this, in a month you will have more work than you can handle.

    If you need more money to keep the lights on, look for things to sell. Chances are good you have stuff someone will buy if the price is right. Put it on Ebay or Craigslist or both. On trash collection day look for big metal items on the curb for free that you could haul to the scrap metal buyer.

    If a storm blows down a tree, offer to haul it away for free, then sell it as firewood. Heck if there’s a big trunk make a chainsaw sculpture and sell that!

    Even if you are not in top physical condition, there are services that you can offer. Day care for kids is an issue for some folks. When I was a toddler my Mom cleaned businesses after hours and took care of elderly people and I went along. It can be done.

    I hope that I have offered a tip or two that helps you. If you try any of the above and it helps, let us know to encourage others who are still looking!
    Good luck and thanks for reading 
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  2. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    there are thousands out of work now who will not look for work long as Obama keeps extending unemployment benifits.

  3. GroovyMike

    GroovyMike Well-Known Member

    I know. I have some in my own extended family. Drives me nuts. It's not that they can't find work. It is that they just prefer to have us pay for their extended vacation.
  4. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    Yeah, too many people looking for that free ride along the easy road.

    Great advice, GroovyMike. I wish more people had that kind of work ethic.

    lotsoflead, you're right about the unemployment benefits and the extensions. It's spreading the disease of hand-outs and "entitlement" mentality to an even wider group of people who may never again have the kind of work ethic they once had.
  5. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

    You are absolutely right, lotso.

    If you pay people to make babies, they will make babies.

    If you pay people not to grow crops, they will not grow crops.

    If you pay people (foodstamps) to not prepare food and instead buy prepared food, they will buy prepared food.

    If you pay people not to work, they will not work.

    We all know this instinctively, but the government has spent trillions of our dollars paying people to do the wrong things; but they still wonder why people do the wrong things.
  6. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    politicians way of buying votes with tax payer money
  7. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    I concur!:cry:
  8. truthismyname33

    truthismyname33 Member

    Should they go hungry?

    Tell that to a mother of three crying, hungry babies, who is out of work for whatever REASON, that can't feed her children. Every situation is different. All I'm suggesting here is, don't be so quick to judge someone because they now have to ASK for help, for assistance! Until you have walked a mile in Mr/Misses Jones shoes......
  9. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    I think attitudes rub some people wrong. Yes, the food stamp program is a wonderful program, it's put food on the table of many families who really needed the assistance.

    A lot of them are grateful for it, and have respect for those whose incomes have helped pay for the program.

    But there's a growing number of "entitlement"-mentality people who demand these things and have no respect for the people who work hard and pay taxes (as if there's a choice!) to support these programs!

    I was on food stamps for a few years when I was left alone to raise my children, and I taught my kids to be grateful we had that assistance. Then I was able to get a job, and then to remarry, and then we were the ones paying taxes into the system again.

    My children are grown and employed now, and paying into that same system, but who's to say they won't someday be in a position to need governement help.

    But if they do, they'd better appreciate it, and be doing what they can to find employment/better employment, and showing respect for those out there working.

    I'm fed up with the whiners and the "entitlement"-mentality of a growing segment of society. That is not all-inclusive of people receiving assistance.
  10. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    Please, show me the "mother of three crying, hungry babies, who is out of work for whatever REASON, that can't feed her children" and I'll show you ten others who are living with some guy and have all the cash they need to buy cigarettes and booze.

    I have nothing against those who need help getting it but seriously, why should someone take a job that pays less than their unemployment? And if their unemployment never runs out, why should they work at all?

    If the government wants to help maybe it should be a little more business friendly. We have a son who is self-employed and is working alone. First, he can't find anyone who actually wants to work. Second, by the time he pays all the stuff the government requires above and beyond what he pays his help he can't remain competitive.
  11. nj_m715


    I watched a show on PBS about why other people in other countries work/study much harder than us. It followed an Asian teenage girl working and going to school. The program mentioned something along the lines of: Why does she put in long hours at work and study so hard at school? Because if she didn't she would starve. There is no government hand outs, she has no choise.
    Just a little food for thought.
  12. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

    MMM. Very well stated. :congrat:
  13. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

    Good point, NJ. Those are the countries (think, Red China) that are gonna whoop our a$$es if we don't get our heads out of ours.
  14. testhop

    testhop Well-Known Member

    i was in a super market yesterday .
    andb was offerd food stamps at 1 /2 price for cash.
    i turned them down and reported them to the manger.
    i dont think anything was done.
  15. GroovyMike

    GroovyMike Well-Known Member

    I just did.
  16. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    Due to my lifes experiences, I will never give anyone money but will gladly buy them food or a meal.
  17. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    I can relate!
    If "work" involves anything other than sitting in front of a computer screen, it's hard to find people that want to do it. I'm not even going to get into what is taken from the self-employed by the various taxing agency's.
  18. vfourmax

    vfourmax Member

    Even that course of action is a crapshoot in todays times. I know of one female that will try to hit up those she knows for money and many will do exactly what you are talking about and buy her and her child something to eat rather than give her the cash.

    Sad part she is on the government dole and receives foodstamps which she will take and trade those at a fraction of their value for prescription narcotics which she is addicted to rather than buy food with them to feed her child and herself.

    Sad part is it her child that pays the price. Last year I felt sorry for her child and took her out and bought her school clothes, shoes and school supplies so she would not show up her first day of school not having what she needed.

    I did not even hear a thank you from the child or the mother. Not sorry I did it but not even a thank you sort of left a sour taste in my mouth. I have known this person for 15 years or better and she has always been from one vice or addiction to the next, have finally figured she is just a lost cause.

    I know that one year she got a free brand new window A/C unit in the box through some government program and did not even take it out the box before she sold it for cash.

    For every one person that is trying to do better I agree there is 10 that considers the government teet a way of life and just continues to work the system for everything they can get.
  19. Jeani

    Jeani Member

    Even in the Bible, God's welfare was 'working.'

    God bless those who had fields,and they were to leave the four corners of the fields, for the poor to pick...

    Entitlements is 'buying votes' today....

    Our government is not our God....

    Family 'used' to help families,but now, family helps families to draw welfare....

    Heck, why should we blame them, when our government is 'encouraging' them to laid up to draw welfare....

    Now it is true that 'some' in American society do need help...our truly disable....

    They say our 'poorest in America' is consider the 'middle class' in most coutnries today...

    We have 'homeless shelters' that help...

    I can remember a time when I was younger that I just got divorce with a child,and there was no government help.

    There was no one to help pay for 'child care' or 'food stamps' or 'housing' so I lived in my parent's housetrailer,and went to work to pay my child care, food,and rent...

    It's during these 'hard times' that teaches a person how to become stronger because we are now a nation that will steal or rob when times gets hard..

    America is in a very sad condition....:cry:

  20. truthismyname33

    truthismyname33 Member

    We must learn to help, to love people, regardless of their situations. Regardless if they receive food stamps, housing, whatever from the government. I think we'll need the help of each other before too long....I have a feeling. Let God be JUDGE!
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010