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Archive for the ‘Unemployment’ Category

April 9th, 2012 by Linda White   Posted in Career Advice, Unemployment

Handling the Ups and Downs of a Job SearchThe New Year’s gloss is off the year: the resolutions are broken (or mostly) and the time is zipping by. When you are job hunting, it’s hard to look at a blank slate and fill it with promising dreams. If you are feeling beat up by the job search and thinking that blank slate is a bad thing, read on.

Keeping yourself motivated during any job search can be difficult. But this is especially true during a very long, protracted job search in a bad economy. The ups and downs can be as difficult to handle as finding the jobs to apply for. You’re buoyed by each new call for an interview, apprehensive when called for second interviews, and crushed when the call comes that you were one of two finalists - and it didn’t go your way. If you feel as though you are marked with a big red L on your forehead, or you are frustrated by jumping through all the hoops only to be told no, you are not alone. What you need are a few coping strategies, and a little dose of reality.

Don’t bank on one opportunity

Even if it’s the job of your dreams - especially if it’s the job of your dreams - do not stop applying for other jobs. Keep your foot in the game and continue to be responsive and enthusiastic about other opportunities. We all know not to count our chickens before they’re hatched, but it’s so tempting when things seem to be lining up. Remember, you don’t have the job until an offer has been made, and sometimes, not even then.
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March 6th, 2012 by Linda White   Posted in Unemployment

Three things you need to know about unemployment benefitsThere are many different rules that apply to unemployment benefits. The laws vary state by state, and the interpretation of the laws is open to human prejudices and opinion. Before you do anything, you should check the laws where you live, based on your own situation. And if you have an open case, talk to your case worker. They are there to help you.

Having worked for the office that ran the unemployment program in Minnesota, I facilitated the processing of hundreds of claims. Literally. This was during 2002, when the economy was bad. But not as bad as it seems to be for the unemployed right now. I did what was called “adjudicating” claims: making decisions about a claimant’s eligibility based on unemployment law and the evidence provided.

There were many common misperceptions that I saw, and many mistakes that I watched people make over and over again.

First of all, in most states and in most cases, if you are laid off, you are eligible for unemployment benefits. Pretty cut and dry. You are out of work through no fault of your own. But many people don’t know that if you are fired due to incompetence, you are also considered out of work through no fault of your own. That is, if you were trying to do the job and simply couldn’t cut it, you are eligible.

Most people take this as a point of pride. Don’t. You may have had an incredibly unreasonable boss. Communication may have been abysmal. You may have gotten mixed signals, or had one of those bosses who expected you to read his or her mind. Whatever the reason, even if you know that you are a good worker and that you were capable of doing the job, if the employer states that you were incompetent, take it. They know the laws too. They are fixing it so that you can collect unemployment benefits. I can’t tell you how many people argued against that, potentially hurting their own case, simply to save their own pride.
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January 24th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice, Resume Writing, Unemployment

Write Your Twin's ResumeOne of the difficulties to overcome in getting a new job is crafting a resume that will float irresistibly towards the top of the applicants pile. This is important because in today’s job market, that pile is larger than ever.

The awkwardness of writing so glowingly about yourself, as well as the difficulty of finding just the right words to convey your competence and skill set to a hiring manager, are two reasons that professional resume-writing services have become so popular: they lift from your shoulders the demanding job of crafting an accurate, compelling resume about yourself.

But another school of thought says that no professional resume-writer can do a better job of telling your story, describing your skills, and presenting the golden needles in the haystack of your employment history better than you can, yourself.

Fortunately, there’s a seldom-used strategy that helps you combine your in-depth self-knowledge with the emotional lightness that comes when you’re not writing or speaking about yourself.

The strategy builds on the existence of freely available, professionally-written descriptions of particular tasks, responsibilities, and accomplishments. All you have to do is pick a winning set of descriptions, then adapt them to fit your own resume.
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January 4th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in On the Radar, Unemployment

GigwalkPicture this: you go out with friends, using a new app you downloaded on your smartphone to find a restaurant to grab dinner and drinks. You whip out your smartphone and take a picture of the restaurant’s menu as you leave, then stop off at the electronics store on the way home and take a picture of an advertisement for a particular cell phone.

This may not sound like a job, but if you were using Gigwalk, you could have just made about $40-50. How? Those pictures you took were jobs or “gigs” that companies posted on Gigwalk. “Snap a picture of my competition’s menu.” “Find out if Tim’s Electronics Store is really advertising our phone the way they said they would.” And the app used to find the restaurant? Why, you were getting paid to test it out.

Gigwalk works by using the GPS locations and home addresses of smartphone users so that they are shown gigs in their area. After you accept a gig, you’re typically given a couple of days to finish it. When you do, you submit it for approval and then get paid through PayPal. Do a good job completing your tasks and you’ll have a better chance next time at landing one of the better-paying gigs.
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What to Do If You’ve Been Wrongfully TerminatedAlmost everyone, at some point in his or her life, will be fired or “let go” from a job. Oftentimes, we share in the blame for this, but not always. In fact, experts estimate that a quarter of a million people suffer wrongful termination each year.

That number may seem high, but keep in mind that wrongful termination includes firing for any kind of discrimination, loss of employment due to complaining or whistle blowing, or for refusing to do something illegal for your employer.

In any of these cases, you may be able to sue your former company and - if you win - receive back pay, damages, attorneys’ fees, and even reinstatement at the company. But before you take that big, difficult step, there are some ways to look into whether or not you really have a case without emptying your bank account.

U.S. Department of Labor - Not only can they give you information on every law that regulates employment, you can learn where and how to file a claim.
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