How to Give Advice to Job Seekers

HBO did a series last year called Unemployed in Long Island, the new reality is many people who did the "right thing" such as go to college, get an advanced degree and get a "good job" are still struggling.

This HBO series showed a 50 year old unemployed VP, who went to look for work at Best Buy as a entry- level employee, and was instantly rejected and was humiliated in the process, at the end of the show, he did find some employment.

Some people looking from the outside looking in at his or millions of other Americans, see the following:
1. He/She is well educated, he must not have a job because he is lazy.
2. If he/she would just take anything maybe he would have a shot at advancement.
3. He/She is taking advantage of their parents by moving back home.
4. Why doesn't he/she just go on welfare?

Truth is many unemployed Americans are not lazy, there are some real barriers to employment that highly qualified Americans face.
Employers stance:
1. Too much experience equals higher pay and higher benefits.
2. They may not fit in the corporate culture of a younger generation, some adults may be reporting to their children's friends.
3. Bad credit due to having to live off of credit cards, when the unemployment ran out, and there wasn't any mean to provide for food or essential living items.
4. Welfare DOES NOT last forever, when you are on the welfare rolls and you find a job through welfare and lose that job because the company went through another round of downsizing, then that person has to wait to apply for welfare all over again. This process can be extremely timely and I believe there is a certain amount of times that you can be on welfare.

How to help people you know that are unemployed:
1. Ask open ended questions: " How are things going on the job front?" "Did you check out classes at the local library?"
2. Offer realistic assistance: " If you need to use my computer to print out resumes or cover letters, just let me know.  " If you want to video  yourself doing a mock interview, let me know I can give honest feedback." "I don't know if this may or may not help but, here is a free class for job seekers I came across."
3. People just need to a buddy to vent- "Hey, I'll pick you up around .... just so we can get some dinner or appetizers.
4. Accountability- Some people want someone who provide them with accountability. So, if you know your buddy needs this type of help, then by all means suggest every Wed, I am going call you to see how you are progressing in your job search.

Most people need our patience and unconditional love, not judgment or unsolicited advice, because you never know what situation you and your family may face.

Cheers to getting all Americans back to work!

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