Article 43


Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Scars Of The Long Term Unemployed


A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune’s inequality exhibits under this sun.
- Thomas Carlyle

In a world of increasing inequality, the legitimacy of institutions that give precedence to the property rights of “the Haves” over the human rights of “the Have Nots” is inevitably called into serious question.
- David Korten

The major economic policy challenges facing the nation today - pick your favorites among the usual suspects of low public and household savings, concerns about educational quality and achievement, high and rising income inequality, the large imbalances between our social insurance commitments and resources - are not about monetary policy.
- Tim Geithner

By richm
Rich’s Management Blog
June 24, 2011

After starting my own successful consulting business I have decided to try and give back and help people who have lost their jobs in this recession.  I share tips of what to do, how to stay up to date and lead some Twitter chats where people can come together and vent and share information.  However I am starting to notice that a lot of the long term unemployed are developing EMOTIONAL SCARS that are not going the heal quickly.  It is the scar of feeling like you are worthless and of NO LIGHT at the end of the tunnel.

I met Karen via a connection on LinkedIn.  She had an impressive background of actually providing value and results for every company she has ever worked for.  She was laid off from her job almost 2 years ago not and when I hadn’t heard from her in awhile I got a very long email mixed with dispair and frustration.

“I have given up really looking for work,” she said, “I mean how many times do I need to send out a resume and never hear back from anyone.  Even though I have an MBA and am doing some consulting I just don’t think there is any opportunity for someone who wants to really make a difference”.  Ouch.

She told me of going to job fairs which she described as a “humiliating and humbling experience” but what really took the wind out of her sails was the last position she interviewed for.  The job was perfect for me, a strategy interactive job that fell right into my strengths.  “I interviewed for almost 2 months and as they were getting ready to make me an offer.  I was told the job was put on hold due to current business conditions. After that no word from them or the recruiter, it’s like I didnt exist anymore.  To get so close only to have it taken away from me underfoot is really demotivating.”

Welcome to a buyers market.  The truth is that employers get hundreds of resumes for open jobs and that its not about finding the perfect person to add value its about getting the right person who can DO THE JOB AT A ROCK BOTTOM PRICE.

The long term unemployed do not show up on the unemployment numbers.  They spend their days looking over job boards trying to network and doing everything that “experts” tell them to do but they are not finding the doors open when they knock. Some say that in the current state of the economy we will not get back to prerecession employment levels until 2016.  That means that a lot of people are going to take a big hit to their self esteem.

Karen has been quoted on Mashable and some other great marketing BLOGs and you would think that somewhere someone would reach out her and ask her if she is looking to join their company, but alas that has not happened.  She is single and her 40’s and can relocate for the right opportunity but the silence of people not calling back is deafening.

Believe it or not this economy WILL turn around and when it does a lot of employers who laid people off to make numbers are going to find that a lot of their current employees are leaving and that candidates are now saying no thanks because there are other options. When businesses learn to treat their employees as people not number on a report they will become a stronger organization.  Until then a lot more people are going to be scarred by long term unemployment.


Posted by Elvis on 04/12/12 •
Section Dealing with Layoff
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