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Unemployed? This May be of Interest

August 8th, 2010 at 09:32 am

About 7 years ago the office where I worked was closed, and I found myself unemployed for the first time since I was 14 years old. I immediately started looking for a new job, and started collecting unemployment benefits. Didn't have much luck at first, but then I found a job that I knew I could be hired for. It was a company looking for a large number of temporary workers. The commute would be long, and the pay would be less than what my UI benefits were, but it never crossed my mind not to take the job. I would be able to extend the length of time I could collect unemployment (in case I did not find a permanent job), it would be an interesting experience doing something new, it would keep me "out there" in the work force. Also, call me old fashioned but I could not imagine not working if I had the opportunity.

I got the job. During the long commutes, I did quite a bit of soul searching, thinking about what I wanted out of life. By the time the temp work ended, I had decided to start my own business. Never went back on unemployment, and ended up taking only a fraction of the benefits I could have received.

So, you might be thinking that taking the job that paid less than unemployment "cost" me a lot, right?

Well, almost 3 years ago we moved to Austin where that same company I had temped for has a larger presence. Once again, I found myself looking for work and knew that working for this company was something I could do and would quickly be hired for, so I started temping for them again. I started getting more & more work, and I've now been offered a supervisory position.

If you are unemployed, if you have the opportunity to work somewhere but you think you may not want to do it because the pay is less than your unemployment benefit, please reconsider. You never know what is going to happen down the road. You never know when the experience you gain and the connections you make on that "low-paying" job are going to pay off.

10 Responses to “Unemployed? This May be of Interest”

  1. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Yay! Congrats on being offered a supervisory position. Good to hear from you. Smile

  2. rob62521 Says:

    What an uplifting blog...you show wisdom and common sense!

  3. sharmanl Says:

    Really good advice and insight. Thanks for sharing!

  4. homebody Says:

    You are right. I am considering a different line of work, realizing I may not do the exact job, but it could lead to that area of work.

  5. baselle Says:

    Exactly. I understand the "I can't because what its less than x" and the "it shows you are desperate" arguments, but you really risk getting stale sitting at home. Also, this tactic shows initiative and gives an employer a glimpse on how you handle change. (Do you hold your breath and see if you can find what you had, or do you get on with it? People who show that they get on with it are less risky hires.) I know that sitting on an interview panel you can tell the person who has something going on - a job, a temp gig, a craft gig, even a lemonade stand - from someone who has been unemployed for awhile.

  6. whitestripe Says:

    one of the most annoying things I hear all the time (from my mother - and a couple of her friends) is that they 'can't earn more than X' or 'can't work more than X hours/days a week' because their benefits will decrease. Excuse me? Isn't the point of the benefits to get you through until you get the opportunity to earn your own money?! gah!

  7. Tabs Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Congrats on the promotion!

  8. -Jerry- Says:

    That is a great piece of advice, and I love how your experience leads to a new, supervisory job many years later. People often will stick with receiving government money over working, and it is the exact opposite of why unemployment insurance exists. As whitestripe points out, it is a bridge, not the end goal!
    Jerry

  9. LuxLiving Says:

    Just stopping by to catch up and say howdy!

  10. lartiga Says:

    Thought I'd check in on you to see how you're doing... you've given excellent advice. Congratulations on earning a supervisory position, no doubt a well-deserved promotion.

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