The Unemployed Have Advantages Too

I promise I’m not nuts when I tell you the unemployed have advantages in the job search process. Yes, employed individuals have the appearance of being in demand and are less likely to receive offers below their true value, but being unemployed has its perks. Let’s talk about some of them so those of you clinging to obstacles can refocus a bit.

First and foremost, the employed often have the burden of keeping their job search confidential. That means there are limits to who they can invite into their effort to secure employment. The unemployed aren’t bound by the need to be discreet. Many jobs are landed through word of mouth and networking. If you’re not working, shout it from the mountain tops. Make sure those you’ve connected with in the past, personally and professionally, are aware of your search. It could be professional contacts such as former supervisors, co-workers, subordinates, board members, vendors, clients and instructors. Personally, you could reach out to your banker, insurance agent, barber/hair stylist, neighbor, extended family and the like. There are people who know you who are aware of job openings or who could get you connected with those in the know.

Another advantage is availability. There is no need to pick and choose what interviews to pursue. Last minute scheduling isn’t an issue. Should the company benefit from an immediate start, it’s an option without any concern of burning bridges.

Next, is the ability to dedicate 40+ hours a week to job search. The employed have the responsibilities of their jobs to address in addition to their search. That’s no simple task. If the unemployed make their search a full-time commitment and use their time in a strategic and productive way, the advantage is clear. Sitting in front of a computer trolling websites doesn’t count, by the way. Too often, this advantage is squandered.

The final example I’ll share is the advantage of forced self-reflection. Losing a job is often the catalyst people need to take a hard look at their true interests and abilities. Most of us stay in our professions because it made sense to keep building on a path we chose, or fell into, at a young age. With all of the time in the world to devote to a job search, time can be found to explore dreams and passions in addition to options inline with past experience. Why not go for it and see where you end up?

1 Comment

  • Anonymous says:

    These are good points Lisa, I am glad you shared these with me so I can make sure to continue to practice them.

    Bill Nurmi

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