Handling job search desperation

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When you really want to — need to — work, is there anything worse than being unemployed? How about being long-term unemployed?

The number of long-term unemployed  people (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) grew to 6.1 million in December 2009, according to the most recent BLS data. That means that four-in-ten unemployed workers were jobless for 27 weeks or longer. That’s means of all the people who are unemployed in the United States, 40% of them have been looking for work for six months or longer. Looking at those staggering numbers, it’s not difficult to see why so many people are getting desperate or simply giving up on their searches.

A word of caution: While you might be willing and able to do just about any job, it unfortunately could backfire on you if you admit this to employers or are constantly hammering your contacts for leads. Watch this video from CareerBuilderTV to learn more.

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  4. I am on the internet reading stories about unemployment and giving adivice to these people yet you are employed and I don’t think you realize the real challenges there are when you are in the long term category. I have a Masters degree in Health Care, what you reported an increase in jobs doesn’t seem to be reaching me. I am either over qualified or under qualified. I have been told that I am a jack of all traits and they wanted to hire someone that had a focus in particular area. I was told I had more operational experience and not project management despite matching qualifications to the posted position I was not picked again. I fall in the grey area for all services proposed by Obama. I am a divorced woman with 2 kids and paid my health insurance out of pocket when I was employed. What does that mean, it means I don’t qualify for Cobra breaks, I don’t qualify for Medicaid nor food stamps. I can’t pay all my bills yet have been told by govt agencies that I make too much, since I am getting some child support. But what I really want to stress that I have only scene one article about this written in the UK is severe depression associated with being unemployed for more than 27 weeks. When you add this profound diagnoses to the picture of trying to get a job and not sound desperate it is very hard to resist making promises to potential emlployers of how bad you need this job, not only for your bills but your mental health as it is starting to be a change reaction to not working. Once you are in this state it is very hard to come out of it alone. I have medicine I started taking BEFORE I got laid off because I knew how it would affect me and the meds are not working the longer I go without a job. I have been to several interviews where I thought I was going to be offered a job. 2 days of interviews with VP, HR Mgr and subordinates and even took a management test I scored above average. 4 1/2 hrs of interviewing and I still didn’t get the job. I can no longer get excited when I go so far in an interview as this has happen to me 2x recently and just put me in a deeper depression. I am also trying hard to find jobs, real jobs I can do from home. Anything I can (desperate) to make money to pay my bills with no luck. So going back to my point of the people the fall in the grey area and the mental health affects of long term employment is what concerns me as I am that person and my life is falling apart at almost 40yrs old and there is nothing I can do about it. My life,, my future lies in the hands of these hiring managers and not knowing how much power they have over my future makes me sick. So many applicants, I feel I need to play the poor me card to get a sympathy vote when I already know I can do the job. More articles need to be written about the afffects of depression when you lose your job long term and how to prevent getting into a deep depression that will affect your job search and interviews as well as the people that fall in the middle category of either over qualified or no enough experience. I have wanted to lie on my resume many times to break this cycle but too afraid of getting caught. At this point in time, more than a year uneployed I feel i do need to make desperate choices like maybe lying and see if I can get away with it if it means I could land that job. By the way, my 800 credit is now ruined as well and I depleted all my assets (funds) to carry my this long. I went one yr making all my payments then I had to give up in December. I was fighting a losing battle and had to accept that I may have to file bankruptcy and my credit will already be ruined when I do that. I am very depressed of this unemployment situation and when these extension end (god orbid they do when I need it) I will be unable to make my house payment despite getting the loan modification. Like I said, I am in the grey area. Single parent and there is no spouse to help put money in the pot to cover me until I finally do land that job. So I am networking here. I will take any job in any state as long as it pays my bills and means I am employed.

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  6. this reply is to Brenda. Brenda I am not an expert but I am employed in the healthcare field and due to my husbands health and in laws had to find a job that was more flexible. And since the economy has not been good I started my own company. It’s just a small business, I networked with the local community college, went to small business training (one day), they linked me with other resources and I went on contract with two other companies as a way for them to save money, no benefits are paid to me and I set my rate based on msn money, and career builder.com when I researched what other jobs would pay. It took me a little while to get everything in place but now because of work of mouth I have 40 other healthcare contractors working for me, two office assistants, one typist who works from home due to small children and we aren’t making a profit yet but everyone is paid, me included so I don’t know if that is something you would be interested in but it sounds like you have the skills that most companies would be looking for unfortunately they can’t see it. I hope this helps.

  7. I too have been looking since I graduated from LPN school June, 2008. Can’t find anything, I have been so desperate. I am completely clueless where to look now. I am applying at some jobs twice. Get interviews and couple days letter reject letters. States I didn’t get the job. It has taken a hold on me. How do you go about starting your own business. I am interested in starting Home Health and doing errands, plus helping elderly with insurance questions since I have 20 + years of health and worker’s compensation insurance. I finally went to school for something and would love to continue, can’t afford to go back. Please advise!

  8. Dear Brenda,
    I found your blog on Monster.com and the Health Care administration caught my eye. As I too was in your situation and continue to be for the most part.

    I too am a professional with as B.S. in Health Care Administration, and after a layoff in 2006, I can not believe that I am still even trying to break into the field again still. I too get calls from recruiters “thinking” I have an R.N, or BSN. As I see it, if you do not have this nursing degree the chances of getting into the market are 0% at this point. ( or are a MAN )yes this is still true to some extent.
    You have a Master’s Degree and I too thought if maybe I had my Masters I would be more marketable, but not so. It is the technical degree that is wanted so they “big business” can get their moneys worth. Thank God I do not have small children to care for, but only have myself. I tried taking a position below my skill level in health care that did not work out and a couple survival jobs to pay the bills after I too used all my resources the first year to keep on top of things. Not to get you down with no hope but to relate to your situation.
    We never know what lies around the corner or what the future holds. Right now any decent job with a paycheck and benefits will do.
    That is why I took a job at a call center just over two years ago with a major company but now scared to leave at the moment. I had moved from my
    home town to pursue a health care supervisory position at the time it was better than unemployment and though it would lead to something to better fit my skill set in administration…WRONG !!..but only to another unemployment check. And the beat goes on.!!!
    Brenda the only thing I can advise to you from my experience….maybe for the time being…down play your resume ( as I too have been told over or under qualified in certain ares) and get something that has benefits for you and your children and brings home enough for rent and groceries…that is the most important thing right now….and stop beating your self up….I try not to myself most days!!! relax with it…..as the future may open new doors…we do not know…..Have faith and one day at a time…God Bless and Good Luck….Jeanne

  9. I too have a masters degree, but mine is in Corporate Communications. I graduated in Dec 2007. I work at a call center. Its okay but I went on 20 interviews with various employers before I got this position. The calls I do receive are not from companies hiring but from these for profit schools. I am now in the process of just going back to school to go to pharmacy school, medical school, or be a clinical scientist. I have had it. So maybe you could do that. Seems extreme, but I can only get let down many times. Job market/job search reminds me of going on blind date….necessary for procreation but highly annoying.

  10. Brenda, Hold on. I have been in same situation and still am. I know what you are saying!
    For what it is worth, connect with a group such as Crossroads http://www.crossroadscareer.org/ , do volunteer work however small. I really do understand and know you are not alone. Today someone told me to practice my interviewing skills because i know they sense my state of mind which affects my self esteem. Having kids , being a single mom and broke is so hard . Hang on and try the group!

  11. I have been unemployed for over 1 1/2 years and down to the last of all my available unemployment monies.
    My employer started a downsizing process but told me that I would be there until the doors closed. Even started training someone else to lighten my load …By the way I was a Senior AR/Billing Specialist for 8 + years…..lol. One shocking day I was called into the conference room along with 6 other employees and informed that we were being laid off. They kept the employee that I had trained!
    So, here I am after losing everything I had worked for over the years. I am down to my vehicle and will lose it soon if I can’t find employment. My credit is ruined. When I found out that my daughter was very sick I would drive back and forth to help her and my grand daughters….now I can not even do that.
    In my job searches I am told that I am either over qualified or under qualified. I am 56 years old and I am beginning to believe that age is the problem for me. I honestly know why people give up or commit sucide. I am 3 checks away from being homeless….what choices do I have left?

  12. For Brenda Pagano,

    My name is Mario, I know exactly how you are feeling, Same situation when I have gone to interviews and yes it sucks when all you want to do is work , for me Ive gone from depressed to having ADD. I just want to work, but not at Mcdonalds. First time I have been out of work in my life and it is humbling. Despite situation, get out of the house with the kids get some air , do some excercise and “think” dont panic. Whats the worst that could happen? Faith is the key and sacrifice is the gate and paradise is the destination. I may need to work at wendys and taco bell to support the family, but I must do what I must do. God bless.

  13. Hi Guys,

    I have a masters degree in Political Science & Sociology. I quit my job in 2006 in healthcare and have worked temp jobs ever since. I am so very over qualified, I have to modify my resume for every job.

    Temp positions do not get you references, unless you know how to work that end of the business. Without references, one doesn’t stand a chance of landing a good job.

    I am now battling the fact I am a senior and must work to survive and the ignorance of the hiring managers.

    I still have a hold on the biggest lie…HOPE…; without it we would simply give up and die. While HOPE is the biggest lie it is the best one. This concept was taken for a movie by Speilberg called “Taken.” Dakota Fanning said circa what I have just written, in that Science Fiction movie series of 10 episodes.

    Jobless in Seattle

  14. I have 2 bachelors degrees and I have never found a good job. Always had to settle for a convience store b/c there are no where else hiring unless want wal mart or food places

  15. If you know you are overqualified for a
    position that you are interviewing for then
    tailor your experience to the position. Omit
    What is necessary. Read the job description carefully and give them what they want. hope this helps someone. By the way I have gotten jobs by researching the company before I go on the interview. I start my interview by acknowledging or congratulating the company on achievments etc.

  16. Why does everyone think that one’s financial situation remains stable when one is employed long term ? As time goes on with no money coming in, it becomes ever more difficult to even GET to a job interview.

    I have been unemployed since 01/2009 and NOT eligible for unemployment. The State believes I can get by on $48.00 a month for food stamps and my bills keep coming and coming and coming.

    During this time, I have completely exhausted my savings, completely exhausted any financial help that my family can give, and lost my car. When it comes down to car payments vrs eating – well don’t think I have to elaborate. Each of these factors has limited my job searching options. I now have to WALK to any job interviews meaning I have to apply for jobs within 3 miles of my home ! Talk about limiting factors !

    No one however, seems to understand the financial burdens of even looking for work. Somehow it is assumed that all of this going to interviews and sending out resumes etc is all free or something. Well its not; and, I think that somewhere along the line state unemployment bureaus or some agencies must begin to realize that it might just be cheaper to give people free bus passes than it is to keep paying unemployment, medicaid and food stamps.

  17. I am too laid off and depressed for a year for not being able to get a job.
    I applied everyday and submitted 20 resumes per day that I never even got a chance for an interview. Temp agency are worse! they make you sit through tests and say they call you back! I wonder are companies HR department short staff or they wanted to make themselves look busy so they decided to keep a position open forever.
    I am also behind with my bills and also don’t have health insurance because unemployment medical security program are facing high volume of applicants. I will of course be facing a charge of state tax $500 to $1000 next year for not having health insurance from this year. My Cobra went up to $500 a month and since I am behind with my other bills I can’t afford anything. The credit collection agencies calls me everyday and suggest I file bankruptcy. But filing Bankruptcy would effect my background check when applying for any jobs with any employer. I live near a pond and look at it everyday I would like to drown myself and end all this depression. I know with my luck I will either be saved or floating. I really don’t want to be in the ER and be slapped with a bill I can’t even afford gas for my car. HELP!!!!!!

  18. Brenda and anyone else without a job,

    I have recently joined the list of the unemployed. Luckily, I don’t have many expenses and I got a roommate to help with the cost of living. That may be something you could do. Also, there are numerous drug study trials going on all the time. You might want to see if any are offered in your area. They don’t pay a lot but any money is better than none and I don’t believe you need to report the money. I don’t think the government has a way of knowing about the pay but I am not sure. The studies can be for 1 week or 3 months, etc. Example of one recently was for 2 weeks. One day you would spend 8 hours at facility just hanging out and they would give you some shots of vodka. I quess they are studying the effects. Then a couple other short visit follow-ups. They were paying $225. Many years ago I did one for a month live in and was paid $3500. Met a lady there and that is all she did. She traveled all over to different studies. They are all different. Check the web site for the studies, http://www.wakeresearch.com to give you an idea of what it is. The address is for my area. I would bet they offer things in your area but not sure how you would locate them. Good luck and hope this helps some.

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  22. The somatic symptoms of depression (eg, fatigue, insomnia, diminished appetite, diminished sexual interest, excess weight change, and constipation) causes lots of people to visit their primary treatment medical professionals. When a person has five or more of these depressed symptoms for 2 weeks or longer, that individual is probably depressed.


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