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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Unemployment is a state of mind

Crew commented, correctly, on the fact that many managers and executives are unwilling to hire people who are unemployed. Their reasoning is pretty straightforward: if you were any good, then surely in this time of near-universal incompetence, you would have a job.

And, let's face it, more often than not, they are correct on the average, even if that is not true in the case of the special, highly skilled snowflake that all of the unemployed readers of this blog indubitably are.

This is nothing new. It has been this way for at least 25 years. So, one can either cry and complain about the situation, or one can accept it and figure out a way to utilize it to one's advantage. Utilize it? Yes, precisely. Allow me to explain.

20-something years ago, one of my best friends was fired from the small, but elite law firm where he worked, because he had too tender a conscience to simply invent billable hours out of nothing, as they required of their associates. He spent over a year fruitlessly applying to various law firms around the city and got absolutely nowhere, as he ran into the same "if you don't already have a job, we don't want you" problem that presently plagues so many unemployed individuals today.

I advised him to get a job, any job at all, even if it was sweeping floors at a fast-food restaurant. When he asked, puzzled, how that would help him find a job as a lawyer, I told him that as a small business owner, if I see a lawyer who is willing to get his hands dirty and do whatever he needs to do in order to get by, that's exactly the guy I want working for me.

So, still somewhat dubious, he took my advice. He got a job at CompUSA selling computers, mostly because he wanted to be able to talk computers on par with the rest of our social circle. Within six months, he was the store's best expert on computers, and had become the go-to guy for all the other salespeople. He continued interviewing, to little avail, until a year after taking the CompUSA job, he interviewed with a growing technology consulting company. His legal background was unexceptional compared to all the other candidates, but they were blown away by his in-depth knowledge of computers, particularly when he was able to point out some strategic mistakes they were risking on the basis of their failure to understand where the consumer market was headed.

They were also impressed when they asked him about his strange resume, and he had a ready answer for them. He explained that after being let go, he had plenty of free time on his hands and figured that it was a good idea to get paid to learn something new.

He got the job. Then, when their company was bought by a much larger competitor, the acquiring company was so impressed with his performance in the negotiations and the contract-writing that they not only hired him, but named him the successor to their outgoing lead attorney. Following a second acquisition by an even bigger competitor, he was made a director and the head of the legal department of a $1.5 billion corporation.

Don't quit. Don't cry. Don't complain. Do something, anything. Volunteer for an Open Source project. Become the volunteer IT guy at a local organization. Get a job doing anything. All of these things not only create the possibility of new opportunities, but send a very strong message that you are a professionally ruthless doer who isn't afraid to work and is reliably going to get the job done.

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174 Comments:

Blogger dh August 31, 2017 8:42 AM  

VD, if you pass Snidley my contact information I'd be happy to check in with him. I am often hiring remote IT person.

Blogger Phat Repat August 31, 2017 8:43 AM  

Sounds like well-reasoned advice; thus it will be ignored.

Anonymous veryfunnyminion August 31, 2017 8:51 AM  

"many managers and executives are unwilling to hire people who are unemployed. Their reasoning is pretty straightforward: if you were any good, then surely in this time of near-universal incompetence, you would have a job."

Boy howdy, doesn't this sound like female pre-selection. If you were boyfriend material, you'd already have a girlfriend.

Anonymous FractionalSense August 31, 2017 8:55 AM  

Used to be, fathers (and older brothers) gave this advice to EVERY guy growing up. If you don't have a job, make it your job to go GET a job, starting your day at 5am, your only luxury being a cup of coffee before you head out the door. My father's advice was always that simple, coupled with, "(if you) work today(you will have money to) eat tomorrow".

Nowdays, all these "kids" (18-32 years old) sit around and whine. I still think there are young folks out there doing what the subject of this posting did, fortunately. They are called "successful" people, and the left (esp women) HATE THEM.

If you get out and hustle, at nearly ANY job, you will eventually be too good to ignore. The other thing this younger generation doesn't get is...every job "sucks" to a degree. Every job has things you don't want to do, difficult bosses, or peers, or whatever. This isn't public schools where you are coddled daily.



Blogger Timmy3 August 31, 2017 8:59 AM  

That's good advice. I was unemployed as an engineer during a major downturn in the aerospace market 25 years ago. I took a job as a drafting intern for 1 year in the same company. A year later, they called me back doing my original job as if I never left.

Blogger Orville August 31, 2017 9:00 AM  

Another similar story; when I started 15 years ago at my current job, another person was hired on just after me. He had done temp work before at the same company and stood out for his work effort doing mindless data entry. His background and training were in a completely different field, but he worked his way up the ladder and became CEO.

Anonymous Jim Scrummy August 31, 2017 9:04 AM  

Simple. It's called hustle. When I graduated college, I didn't have a "job" in my career field. So I took whatever job I could get while I still was looking in my career field. Same thing happened when I finished grad school.

Two neighbor kids last year graduated from college. One kid immediately went to work after graduating as a waiter while he was looking for work in his career field. He found the career job, plus has another two part-time seasonal jobs. He's not afraid to hustle and work. The other one sat on his butt, doing nothing acting if someone owed him a job. The second one did find a job eventually...as a dog walker.

Anonymous Bellator Mortalis August 31, 2017 9:06 AM  

In today's tech world it is best to seek employment as a contractor rather than as an employee. Sometimes the employer will make you an offer after they have observed you for 6 months. But being an employee today offers no more security than being a contractor. The only advantage to being an employee is paid vacation, benefits, and 401K. The salary is normally lower than what you will earn as a contractor though so it is pretty much a wash.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer August 31, 2017 9:09 AM  

This might belong more on the other thread but the other thing to be said is have a good attitude at work. You never know who your co-workers/ vendors/ customers may end up being in the long run. My company was recently acquired and due to not wanting to relocate I will likely lose my job at the end of the year. 2 of the contractors I work with have already made me open offers for when the inevitable occurs, which was nice of them since there are retention bonuses and severance involved with my current employer. Both of these contractors work with one of my colleges as well who has 10 years experience on me. They both commented that they really like him but would never hire him due to his negative attitude. I came to my current job through a former co-worker and I have several other former co-workers who have offered to help me find a job with their companies or through their contacts.

The moral of the story here is being smart or skilled helps, but it isn't enough. Showing you are willing to get your hands dirty working on things outside of your expertise and remaining positive, will pay dividends when you end up in a bad situation.

Blogger Demonic Professor El August 31, 2017 9:10 AM  

Excellent advice here. A person who's willing to work anywhere is a person willing to work period. I'd even take a job at Walmart stocking shelves or slinging computers. A benefit of big box stores too - often overlooked - is you can certs for stuff like forklift and baler which help get other jobs.

Some of my learned experience is the year - working at a crummy job for a year is better than no job. You get some money and perhaps a reference or two. If the boss/manager sucks, use your coworkers. If they suck, use your boss.

While many of us passed the McDonalds phase of our careers long ago, sometimes the economy sucks (I'm from Michigan...that should say enough). But if you can dig a ditch or count change, there's a job somewhere.

And freelancing. I've done freelancing a bit between jobs - tutoring, writing resumes and cover letters, editing manuscripts, ghostwriting. There's stuff out there.

Plus, private security firms or security for larger organizations are always looking for people. Sometimes we've got to move the box around to look for a new angle.

Best of fortune to Snidely.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan August 31, 2017 9:13 AM  

I've explained underemployment as if I'm earning money I'm not spending money, that clicks with employers.

Even though I'm a glass half empty guy when it comes to work I flip that around.

Anonymous JamesV August 31, 2017 9:13 AM  

I know a guy who has been unemployed (living off is parents and girlfriend) for close to 15 years now. He simply wouldn't take a job beneath him and now is completely unemployable. Any suggestions about getting any kind of job are offensive to him because they suggest he isn't good enough for professional work and he won't accept that. He was fired from the one volunteer-to-hire job he got years go for arguing with the owner about the best way to do business. I cut him loose years ago because he was exhausting to be around. None of his friends try to help him anymore because he has snowflaked himself into a secret king that is unappreciated by the dumb masses.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) August 31, 2017 9:14 AM  

This is outstanding advice. Doing something is better than nothing.

Anonymous stop being a dumb boomer August 31, 2017 9:17 AM  

Vox this is ridiculous. You wouldnt tell a chinese peasant under mao to just work his way up. The modern economy is soviet.

If you are looking for a way to completely alienate young moderates with spoiled rotten boomer talking points, you just found it.

Blogger Demonic Professor El August 31, 2017 9:22 AM  

@14

Communist countries also had extensive black markets. Look at the USSR and Eastern Europe. Somehow, a million businesses sprang up overnight when the communist governments fell.

Blogger GraceIronwood August 31, 2017 9:24 AM  

VOXIVERSITY TOPIC SUGGESTIONS: "NATURAL LAW" & "THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION"

Hi Vox there's no blog post as yet where we can leave topic suggestion so I'm going to leave it here.

1. The question of how the Christian doctrine of Natural Law got taken up by Enlightenment thinkers and, somewhat secularised, made its way into the US constitution and contemporary "Human Rights" that so mesmerise SJW's.

is an interesting area that fills in the contribution of Christendom to the liberties of the modern West.


2. Why isn't the principle of the right to self-determination promulgated by the UN, used more by Nationalists in prosecuting their case??

Blogger VD August 31, 2017 9:25 AM  

Vox this is ridiculous. You wouldnt tell a chinese peasant under mao to just work his way up. The modern economy is soviet.

If you think I am telling people to "just work their way up", you have completely failed to understand my advice.

If you are looking for a way to completely alienate young moderates with spoiled rotten boomer talking points, you just found it.

I am always pleased to completely alienate midwits, gammas, and others too short for this ride. Go somewhere else. We don't need you here.

Anonymous patrick kelly August 31, 2017 9:27 AM  

My last major employment downturn lasted six years.

I worked at Fry's took any temp or contract job that would come my way mostly help desk and support positions until I found my current Code Monkey job at a small local company.

I was used to flourishing and frankly becoming soft from a time when if you could spell "C" someone would hire you as a programmer.

My income is still less than what it was 15 years ago but I try to stay grateful and thankful for my steady employment.

I still struggle with bitterness and despair and ask the ilk to say a prayer for me please.

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 31, 2017 9:28 AM  

Snidely,

The other day I made the statistical case in favor of Omegas who would be Deltas in another world. That's the world of policy. Now I'll square the circle with what Vox is saying.

Employers know the Pareto principle, and they're aware that 80% of people are not worth the cost of employing for any job or purpose because reasons. The job of hiring is about stacking their team's deck with as many of the 20 percenters as possible, and minimizing the cost of hiring those 80 percenter duds. They know that a lot of the 80 percenters are going to slip past their radars and become part of the cost of doing business, but there's a buyer's remorse each time they realize a new hire is disappointing.

If you want to get hired, forget about policy-level stuff. The main thing is to virtue signal that you're a 20 percenter. That means high energy, opportunity mindset, smart enough to be effective but not too smart for your own good, and above all a determination to get the job done.

Get off the internet for a while if you can't keep things separate in your head, the internet is humanity's raw id and it's good for your heart to limit exposure.

Blogger Balázs Varga August 31, 2017 9:31 AM  

I can vouch for this method, it had worked for me, breaking 5 years of unemployment. A month after a dirty dead end job, and I got hired for a better one.

Any job shows that you can do a few things, like follow orders, have some discipline and put in the sweaty hours your boss requires of you.

Before having a job, I had an interview call every 3 months. After getting the job, they call me once or twice every month with me being employed.

Anonymous FractionalSense August 31, 2017 9:33 AM  

JamesV: You just told the story of probably HALF of the so-called "single mothers" who have been living off their children's child support for however many years. Many of them make or have arrangements with family or boyfriends (off and on over the years) to where they basically never work, or work very little (part-time).

When the child/ren finally emancipate and the woman has to actually go WORK for a living, she is in today's demographics, anywhere from 40-55 years old, and being laughed at by OTHER WOMEN even..like "what have you been doing since your youngest child entered public schooling, some 15 years ago? You had all day to get a job, LIKE ANY PARENT DOES.

We have an entire generation or two of single moms (and I am just speaking of white women here, not the obvious black welfare queen) who somehow feel like it still has clout to pull the old "single mom card", completely unaware that EVERY PARENT, including those in intact families with 3 kids, has to get out and work every day while their kids are in school.

Blogger Yemi Fawehinmi August 31, 2017 9:35 AM  

This is very encouraging Vox. I took up a side gig as and independent contractor while working my full-time programming job. I did this because I needed to remain marketable as I approached 40. That as paid of significantly for my me and my family.

Anonymous Ned Gunt August 31, 2017 9:37 AM  

I agree. Quit with the self loathing. Its what led to "anti pc" culture

http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2017/02/23/p.c.-culture-vs.-the-big-joke

Anonymous Faceless August 31, 2017 9:40 AM  

I have made the mistake in the past of hiring the unemployed. I've found that they have a view that certain work is beneath them. It didn't end well. Like the Quakeress showed Booker T Washington, all honest work is commendable.

Anonymous BBGKB August 31, 2017 9:43 AM  

Vox this is ridiculous. You wouldnt tell a chinese peasant under mao to just work his way up. The modern economy is soviet.

I meet a white girl who had a bachelors degree $50k in student loans & was stuck working at a grocery store, most people hit that work to eat unless they find a way to scam benefits. Whites can't get away with things like spending 3 months going up/down the coast looking for the best sect 8 house you can buy. It really is being a slave to Latrina's 21 crack babies.
http://isteve.blogspot.com/2011/06/from-blue-state-to-red-state-via.html

I have meet white people denied food stamps while Project Veritas did the hidden camera video of a buss full of illegals being helped get them

Blogger Phat Repat August 31, 2017 9:45 AM  

But VD, muh feelz!

Anonymous dp as you like August 31, 2017 9:47 AM  

Your advice in no close way approximates the new reality of unemployment. You can say I am a puny small brain because you only want to talk about the strong aspects of your argument, but this is silly.

Reality does not conform to the situation in this story any longer. I am not a moderate. But a large strength of the left is galvanizing young bitterness against this very narrative of yours.

Blogger Student in Blue August 31, 2017 9:51 AM  

It just occurred to me that the same advice in the topic might be applicable to dating -- I think I recall that a guy with a girl is more attractive than a guy without. I am not the socio-sexual meister however, so a second opinion is appreciated.

Blogger Bryant August 31, 2017 9:53 AM  

I've gone from working a low-end tech job making 15 dollars a hour and now I'm one of the top managers at a bank. Its not fair, but its still possible to get ahead if you know how to demonstrate your value, show ambition, and network ruthlessly. Help others who are redpilled too, if you can. The more of us, the better the world there will be.

Anonymous boomer nationalism August 31, 2017 9:54 AM  

Older white boomers love beating up on their own children while they worship minorities. Its got to be one of the mist disgusting virtue signals I have ever seen.

This talking point has to go. It is such a twisting of the original ideas of self responsibility that the youth and the nazis are 100% correct to spit on it.

Blogger BJ August 31, 2017 9:56 AM  

The boomer posting is repulsive but you're not going to get anywhere complaining to them. The purpose of this sort of talk is to fan ones own balls. Don't feed into it by arguing with them. I was tempted to bitch when I read the last one but his complaint about the guys tone was at least partially valid from what little I know and will ever know about the man unless VD is a prolific liar as well as a boomer. And in comparison VD looks good, VD is all about looking good in comparison.

Anonymous AZFloyd August 31, 2017 9:57 AM  

I went from owning my own law firm to being a door attendant attenedant at thrift store. It has been a long 8 years. But, in the end, I'm glad I don't practice law. I'm not smart or cunning enough and I hated it.

But I've found God, learned game, learned the power of rhetoric, am in good health, and go to the gym. My old law buddies are fat, on a buttload of meds for everything from anxiety to high blood pressure and hate their lives.

Now I am studying my algebra to get in an electricians program. Vox, Rollo, and Chateau have made me a better man. I owe them a huge debt. Never quit.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera August 31, 2017 9:57 AM  

It's the free will question all the way down, innit.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) August 31, 2017 9:59 AM  

It just occurred to me that the same advice in the topic might be applicable to dating -- I think I recall that a guy with a girl is more attractive than a guy without. I am not the socio-sexual meister however, so a second opinion is appreciated.

Social proof is a real thing.

Blogger Harambe August 31, 2017 10:01 AM  

veryfunnyminion wrote:"many managers and executives are unwilling to hire people who are unemployed. Their reasoning is pretty straightforward: if you were any good, then surely in this time of near-universal incompetence, you would have a job."

Boy howdy, doesn't this sound like female pre-selection. If you were boyfriend material, you'd already have a girlfriend.


Yeah I find this a bit messed up too. Still, if that's how they think, one might as well work with that instead of trying to change the unchangeable.

Blogger Othmar Regin August 31, 2017 10:04 AM  

@15 yes and they got promptly crushed by the the new "Democratic" bureaucracy, high taxes and over regulation from the frying pan into the fire as they say.

Blogger Salden August 31, 2017 10:08 AM  

I sense some Gamma in here.

Ned Gunt: Have you gotten treatment for your Negro boyfriend's AIDs?

http://www.homosexinfo.org/AIDS/Origin

Blogger Phat Repat August 31, 2017 10:10 AM  

It's da Boomerz! Screw dis hard work shite. Just gimme dat.

Blogger Shimshon August 31, 2017 10:13 AM  

From what I have pieced together of my own father's experience, he moved to LA to manage his father's West Coast distribution center of a pretty significant book distribution company (based in Chicago) in the 1960s. He was vastly overpaid for his position and the rug was pulled out from under him a few years later when it was sold and he was out of a job.

My understanding is this hit very hard as there was no way to avoid a significant cut in pay even for a good job. It took some time before he stood up and took Vox's advice, going from odd job to odd job. He finally ended up a self-taught door installer, then specialist, and now door and building security consultant and supplier of high-end door parts to projects for multi-million dollar residential and commercial projects. I visited one $45 million (hoped-for sales price) project in Bel Air built on spec he supplied only some of the door parts for. That was pretty spectacular.

I just returned from seeing him for the first time in nearly 13 years. At 79, he himself has a modest but active and enviable life. He long-ago ceased the hard physical labor (and he's even given up golf), but most days he spends a few hours driving from one project to another, usually to multi-million dollar homes, sometimes delivering a single part, chatting with one or more of the crew each time. He's known the men (ALL men from what I've seen) for years, often decades. He's not just liked and respected among everyone I met. He is universally admired.

Blogger Harambe August 31, 2017 10:17 AM  

It's also a great motivator to get out of debt. Being in South Africa, I could probably survive on $1000/month if I didn't have any debt. Not that I have a whole lot, but I could certainly live on the inside of some building and even have food to eat. Luckily I'm not currently in such a situation, but I've made it my mission to pay off every last bit of debt I have.

Blogger Solaire Of Astora August 31, 2017 10:19 AM  

The tricky part is getting hired at the entry level job in the first place. I tried for years to get hired at such places before just coasting into a great job and skipping over that nonsense. Maybe it's easier if you're older or know someone.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) August 31, 2017 10:29 AM  

I've gone from working a low-end tech job making 15 dollars a hour and now I'm one of the top managers at a bank.

Can you email me at joshonjosh at gmail?

I work in the same industry and always looking for good connections. Even better when it's ilk.

Blogger Ken S. August 31, 2017 10:31 AM  

Whenever I'm between professional jobs I either work security or substitute teach. Sitting at home collecting unemployment makes me feel like a piece of welfare sucking crap.

Anonymous Tech Community August 31, 2017 10:32 AM  

I see there are a few other Silicon Valley tech folk here. Any peninsula/south-bay people interested in a meetup IRL or online forum?

Blogger Harambe August 31, 2017 10:33 AM  

Ken S. wrote:Whenever I'm between professional jobs I either work security or substitute teach. Sitting at home collecting unemployment makes me feel like a piece of welfare sucking crap.

I don't understand why you'd feel like "welfare sucking crap", you PAY UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. It's exactly the same thing as car insurance or health insurance. Still, better to be doing something to keep the mind occupied.

Blogger Gary Eden August 31, 2017 10:37 AM  

If nothing else, start your own business. Its hard work, you'll learn a lot, and if you succeed you won't need corporate America anymore.

Though I have no idea how that looks to future employers should you decide to look for work.

Blogger Koanic August 31, 2017 10:37 AM  

Being underemployed signals one thing; unemployed another.

If one is able-bodied and emotionally capable of employment, one has a wealth many lack. One can best prove this to strangers, such as hiring managers, by actually being employed.

The advice was good but the comments were encouraging. Besides the ones illustrating why it is so necessary not to be associated with the unemployed.

Also, VD is Gen X, and presumably busy oppressing Italian villagers.

Blogger Lobo Util August 31, 2017 10:40 AM  

Old saying in the HR arena about people who respond to job ads.
You get the best of the
1. Unhappy
2. Unpromotable
3. Unemployed

Is it fair? Meh. Is it accurate? It feels like it if you are in HR.

Anonymous Sheiko29 August 31, 2017 10:43 AM  

I can't believe this advice is getting push back. I've only recently found myself in the position of employer, and nothing gets an instant pass like a long period of absolutely nothing. Get any job (if you can't do this you are beyond help). Volunteer in a related field. SOMETHING.

Also for god's sake get in shape. You have the time. A gym is cheap. Running/body weight is free.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) August 31, 2017 10:44 AM  

Though I have no idea how that looks to future employers should you decide to look for work.

I think it depends on the industry and the nature of the startup. If it does fail, that's not necessarily a bad thing if you can demonstrate to hiring managers the lessons you learned and the skills you acquired.

Blogger ZhukovG August 31, 2017 10:48 AM  

Another thing to do, particularly if you wish to stay in a particular community, is to be involved in that community. Be active in your church. Join civic organizations, volunteer fire department, whatever you can do. Who you know does make a difference.

Note that this also comes back to personality and behavior. Be courteous and professional in all your dealings. Manners maketh man.

Blogger rycamor August 31, 2017 10:48 AM  

I am NEVER unemployed. This is because I find something to do that employs me no matter what. Even after the big financial implosion of 2008 when my IT project investor pulled the plug and I was left living further than a 60+ mile radius away from anywhere that had actual job listings, I just found things to work on. I worked on some of my own speculative software ideas, a few small projects, and I did odd jobs. I was literally hauling a load of horse manure when I got the phone call to work on my next job.

There is no such thing as unemployment, unless you stop doing stuff.

OpenID gnossoss August 31, 2017 10:54 AM  

We had an interviewee whose resume mentioned a failed start-up business he attempted with a college friend. The business never really got going, but they did produce a functional prototype of their product.

The product was very much the kind of thing our company might do. I was impressed that he took the initiative to attempt to create a product where he and his friend perceived an opportunity, and building the product involved a lot of the skills I would look for. His failed business venture made him more impressive to me as a potential employee.

Another kid we were interviewing as a student had organized a video game tournament. It's not that big a deal, and it doesn't really demonstrate any software skills, but hey, he's still in college and it showed some level of leadership and taking the initiative. It still biased me toward hiring him over other candidates.

That's to say I strongly agree that any kind of additional resume stuff is better than a gap, and there's stuff you can do that's not necessarily direct employment in your field that can be a positive.

Blogger szopen August 31, 2017 10:56 AM  

Getting job is also important because living without job affects your psyche. My sister is unemployed (she earns some bucks selling dolls, would you believe that). Initially she couldn't get a job because she said she is burnt out in her old profession so she needed something new. Then no jobs were offered in "something new" for not that young anymore women with no experience. Then she refused nice job because it was in another town, and she, after all had education and it would be beneath her. Then finally accepted that she had to get simple job, but refused a position because, in addition to her normal duties in a small business, she wold have to do clean toilet and wash the dishes (the business was too small to hire a cleaners). And so on, and so on... and right now she, I think will NEVER be employed again. It really gets on my nerves because that means I will have to support her some time in the future.

Blogger DonReynolds August 31, 2017 10:56 AM  

We have all heard the nonsense in the job market from the lightweights in the HR department.

A) If you are not already working somewhere else, we don't want you to bother applying.

As somebody's supervisor or manager or director for more than three decades, anytime I found someone qualified that was out of work, I smelled a bargain. Nearly everyone I ever hired or recommended was unemployed at the time. I was more interested in why they quit or were laid off or were fired (not always for cause). A person can easily find themselves out of work through no fault of their own. I was always much more suspicious of someone willing to jump ship and leave the rest of the crew behind by quitting a job. (I only resigned from a job once in 44 years. I quit working for the state, to start a consulting partnership.)

B) You are overqualified because you exceed the bare-assed minimum requirements for applying. (This would normally have kept the lawyer from hiring on with a retail store as a salesman, selling computers or shoes or anything else.)

In plain English, very few hiring authorities are willing to hire someone who could do their job or their boss's job, because such things do occur. Yeah, they may talk about finding someone who can be promoted later, but that is usually in the brochure....not in their mind.

C) If you have ever been on food stamps or collected unemployment benefits, we do not want you here.

This one is fairly recent, but it definitely came as a surprise on the third or fourth interview when only two candidates remained. Any history of claiming lawful unemployment benefits from a past employer can get you dropped from consideration. Usually this comes from small business types who consider payroll taxes to be the unfair penalty for firing employees, whether they deserved it or not. If you have a family and a graduate degree and a specialized resume, you could easily find yourself out of work for as long as a year or more. Just waiting through the application process, from announcement to interview, can take up to 9 months. I have seen it myself. One employer called me a year later.

I have always had to go where work was available at the time, so every job change also involved a change in residency to another state, so it was seldom just a change in commute. There was serious costs involved in changing jobs. They may take their good sweet time about hiring, but they will be in a big hurry for you to start....sometimes just a matter of days.

D) If you don't want a job, go to Personnel.

Most of the jobs I where I was hired, Personnel was my last stop...after I was already hired. This is difficult but more likely to bring home the bacon than sending out reams of applications and resumes to HR departments. That seldom even results in a telephone interview and that interview may be 6 or 8 months down the pike.

Depending on the position, an announced vacancy would have well over 100 to 150 applicants for specialized positions and 400 to 500 for most other jobs. Safely assuming that half the applications do not meet the minimum requirements (or exceed one or more of the bare-assed requirements), that still leaves a lot of applicants to screen.

Half of the jobs I have ever had, did not exist until I was hired into them. The hiring authority simply invented the position out of thin air, or took an existing position that had been vacant for a long time and changed it to fit me, or I was hired as a contractor by the boss to do a job previously performed by an employee. In today's environment it is a good idea to stay flexible, go where the work is, don't ask stupid questions, and don't make any petty demands.

Blogger Nate73 August 31, 2017 10:57 AM  

Point of logic: If they won't consider candidates without a job, does that mean they'd hire candidates presently working at rival law firms?

Blogger wired216 August 31, 2017 11:00 AM  

Unemployed in Michigan??? One word... Meijer.

Blogger tuberman August 31, 2017 11:03 AM  

dh wrote:VD, if you pass Snidley my contact information I'd be happy to check in with him. I am often hiring remote IT person.

dh, Going to say what I've already said on the last article. Snidley needs to network, as plenty of White IT guys are either consultants for various businesses or do extra work like this on top of their regular jobs. They will sometimes get overwhelmed by the amount of work dumped on them all at once, and with deadlines. They would be happy to give work to a "trustworthy" American worker.

Anonymous Homesteader August 31, 2017 11:04 AM  

You live and die on your reputation- and your attitude is as important as your chops.

As for jobs,"Hire me for two weeks without pay, and you'll hire me WITH pay after that" is a good no-risk pitch to a prospective employer.

Blogger Owen August 31, 2017 11:04 AM  

Great post Vox, and great advice. Thankfully, my periods of unemployment have been very brief, but if I had to I'd work at CompUSA, best buy, the apple store, or sweep floors.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) August 31, 2017 11:06 AM  

Point of logic: If they won't consider candidates without a job, does that mean they'd hire candidates presently working at rival law firms?

Yes

Anonymous goolag August 31, 2017 11:07 AM  

They're all to scared of being doxxed. The few I've run into in Sunnyvale and Palo Alto act like the Stasi are in the next booth. Which, in a sense, they are.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer August 31, 2017 11:12 AM  

You are overqualified because you exceed the bare-assed minimum requirements for applying. (This would normally have kept the lawyer from hiring on with a retail store as a salesman, selling computers or shoes or anything else.)

In plain English, very few hiring authorities are willing to hire someone who could do their job or their boss's job, because such things do occur. Yeah, they may talk about finding someone who can be promoted later, but that is usually in the brochure....not in their mind.



I have always heard to downplay your credentials if you are applying for an under-employment position. Take your education off your resume. Take your certs off your resume. List your positions so you can demonstrate you have been employed but cut out details about major technical accomplishments beyond team work or demonstrating basic initiative.

Would you agree with that approach?

Blogger DeploraBard August 31, 2017 11:13 AM  

Agree. One thing usually leads to another. Also, think outside the box. If you like music you can play, write, sell, teach, produce, etc. Being in a band is not the only way. Same with sports. Coach, trainer, agent, medical, advertiser, etc.
Nearly anyone who does not have a criminal or drug history can become a police officer and even if he does, he can usually still enlist in the army. They will feed, house, train you in a new skill and later pay you to go to college. Also provide free health care and a retirement if you stay.
You have time so volunteer. It is a great way to network. Trade courses are available and in demand, reinvent yourself. My 20 year old son makes 100/hr as a home inspector after a month of school. Do what you have to until you can do what you want. Be willing to move as well.

Anonymous Kudos The Lexecutioner August 31, 2017 11:14 AM  

This thread is spot on.

I knew a guy who was in law school, but his grades weren't good enough to get an interview for a summer clerkship (a typical prerequisite to a permanent attorney job) at any firm in town. He took a job in the mail room of a large law firm, delivering the mail to all the attorneys in the office.

One day, a lawyer asked him to pull some books from the library for a brief he was writing. The guy not only got the books, he quickly wrote a memo summarizing the cases. The lawyer was so impressed, the guy started getting small projects to research. Pretty soon, all the firm's lawyers knew that the guy in the mail room was a hard-charger who would come in early and stay late to help them with research.

After a couple of years, as he was approaching graduation, the firm was interviewing for new attorneys, and someone suggested that they consider the "mail room" guy. He interviewed (a formality by this time), and got the job at a firm that would never have looked at his resume had he been knocking on the door.

Sort of reminiscent of the plot to the movie "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," where the striving window-washer J. Pierrepont Finch takes a job in the mail room of a large-corporation and becomes CEO two weeks later.

Art imitates life.

Blogger Nate August 31, 2017 11:15 AM  

Ugh.. I loathe this idea that "I am a X so therefore Y work is beneath me" attitude.

Drives me insane. Honest work is never dishonorable. Honest work is not beneath anyone. I've flipped burgers. I've worked in steel plants. I've collected debts for loan sharks in the projects of memphis and nashville. I've worked in call-centers because that's all that there was in whatever town I had moved to.

You do what you have to do. You get the job... you thrive in that job... you beat everyone else at that job... and then... you always... ALWAYS end up with a better job.

Blogger Clint August 31, 2017 11:16 AM  

This is great advice. I once found myself unexpectedly unemployed. I took a job answering the phone for a major airline, taking reservations, etc. Within a few weeks, I met a guy who was hiring for an experimental charter school at a prison. A few months after that, I was back into my expected career field.
Had I not "lowered" my vision and taken the airline gig, none of the other stuff would have come along.

Blogger Cail Corishev August 31, 2017 11:20 AM  

Though I have no idea how [starting a business that fails] looks to future employers should you decide to look for work.

When I was in that position, I probably let it hold me back a lot more than I should have. I felt like I had to explain it to everyone (because the failure ate at my pride), when I should have just put it on my resume as "President of ABC Co. 20xx-20xx" and left it at that unless someone asked. I don't think anyone else ever cared.

Were I to go back and do it again, I would also do everything -- paid freelance work, open-source contributions, blogging about work-related topics, cleaning viruses off my aunt's PC as a favor, everything -- under the umbrella of a self-owned business. In other words, instead of looking like an itinerant worker bouncing from job to job with gaps here and there, present yourself as a self-employed entrepreneur who always has a few irons in the fire. Instead of listing a dozen different employers/clients spread out over a few years, list one position -- President and Grand Poobah of John Doe Inc. -- under which you handled many different projects over the same timespan. And I don't mean lie; I mean actually do it that way.

Blogger Harambe August 31, 2017 11:21 AM  

Homesteader wrote:You live and die on your reputation- and your attitude is as important as your chops.

As for jobs,"Hire me for two weeks without pay, and you'll hire me WITH pay after that" is a good no-risk pitch to a prospective employer.


This has the potential of setting a very shitty precedent. In fact, it's already a big thing in the creative side of the software industry, i.e. graphic design.

Blogger Matt Robison August 31, 2017 11:23 AM  

The crazy thing is that if you just show up to work and don't take bogus sick days, you'll stand out as better than the other 90%. I've worked at my share of low-end jobs, from cleaning rental cars to stocking shelves to food service, and it boggled my mind how unreliable a lot of other people are.

Blogger Harambe August 31, 2017 11:26 AM  

Matt Robison wrote:The crazy thing is that if you just show up to work and don't take bogus sick days, you'll stand out as better than the other 90%. I've worked at my share of low-end jobs, from cleaning rental cars to stocking shelves to food service, and it boggled my mind how unreliable a lot of other people are.

Tru dat

Anonymous Homesteader August 31, 2017 11:26 AM  

Does it work? I've seen it do so in the past, but I may wrong now.

Anonymous Snidley is tha man August 31, 2017 11:27 AM  

Ugh.. I loathe this idea that "I am a X so therefore Y work is beneath me" attitude.

"Drives me insane. Honest work is never dishonorable. Honest work is not beneath anyone. I've flipped burgers. I've worked in steel plants. I've collected debts for loan sharks in the projects of memphis and nashville. I've worked in call-centers because that's all that there was in whatever town I had moved to.

You do what you have to do. You get the job... you thrive in that job... you beat everyone else at that job... and then... you always... ALWAYS end up with a better job."

Nate... nevermind.

Blogger VD August 31, 2017 11:27 AM  

unless VD is a prolific liar as well as a boomer. And in comparison VD looks good, VD is all about looking good in comparison.

I am neither a prolific liar nor a boomer. I'm always about looking good. Forget comparison....

Blogger S1AL August 31, 2017 11:32 AM  

Look, guys, the fact that boomers are kinda crappy as a generation doesn't negate the fact that millennials are staggeringly entitled, lazy, and unwilling to engage in self-improvement. We can either accept that and fix it, or continue to blame everything on people born 60-70 years ago. Only one of those ends well.

Anonymous VFM #6306 August 31, 2017 11:33 AM  

Reality does not conform to the situation in this story any longer. I am not a moderate. But a large strength of the left is galvanizing young bitterness against this very narrative of yours.

Pardon my French, but that is complete merde. I have applied this exact advice four times since 2010, most recently this summer.

Never let them see you unemployed.

For God's sake, if you are in IT especially, make an app and sell it for a dollar and call that project your job until you get an interview.

Anonymous Homesteader August 31, 2017 11:33 AM  

Does it work? I've seen it work before, but things change...

Blogger rycamor August 31, 2017 11:33 AM  

Cail Corishev wrote:
Were I to go back and do it again, I would also do everything -- paid freelance work, open-source contributions, blogging about work-related topics, cleaning viruses off my aunt's PC as a favor, everything -- under the umbrella of a self-owned business.


That is in fact how I did it, and have had that business since 1997 through many a regular job.

Anonymous Kudos The Lexecutioner August 31, 2017 11:36 AM  

@8 Bellator Mortalis:

This also mirrors my own personal experience.

After the professional field I was working in collapsed during the 2008 economic meltdown, I went back to school to train in an entirely different field while working part-time in the evenings. After graduation though, without experience the good-paying jobs were out of reach.

I took an entry-level job in the field at low pay with an hour and forty-five minute one-way commute just to get started and build some cred. After a year, a contract house noticed my resume online, and offered a two-month contract at a very large company with much better pay. They made no long-term guarantees, but I took the job just to have that company's name on my resume.

As my contract was expiring, I was interviewed for a permanent position. Out of 600+ applicants, I was one of 3 hired. Within a year, I was promoted, and I am now on track to earn considerably more money than I earned in my former profession.

By the way, I did this in late middle-age.

Before going to work every day, I read this motivational quote:

"Decide what it is you want.
Write that sh*t down.
Make a f**king plan.
Then work on it every day."

Anonymous Goolag August 31, 2017 11:37 AM  

They fear being doxxed. The few I've met in the bars of Sunnyvale and Palo Alto acted as though there were microphones in the napkin holders. (Which, in a sense, there were.)

But I'm up for it.

Blogger DonReynolds August 31, 2017 11:39 AM  

@43 Ken S. wrote:Whenever I'm between professional jobs I either work security or substitute teach. Sitting at home collecting unemployment makes me feel like a piece of welfare sucking crap.

You should not have time to sit at home, even if you are collecting unemployment benefits. Leave the television turned off. Do not clean out your attic or re-organize the garage or remodel the bathroom. Never believe you have plenty of time because every day you go without work is costing you plenty, even if you are getting weekly unemployment benefits.

I have to disagree with some of the kindly friends here on the matter of taking menial employment, even part-time, between jobs. (Security guard, substitute teaching, paper route, car wash, stocking the grocery shelves, or janitorial) The purpose is not to make some pocket money, the purpose is to find another job. Most especially if you have a graduate degree and work at the managerial level normally. Class is very real and people can become type-cast and it can easily become a barrier to being hired back into your usual work.

Also, you need to be aware that if you are collecting unemployment benefits (and each state has their own rules) those benefits are defined in terms of a maximum dollar amount, but more importantly, in terms of a fixed number of weeks. If you manage to find casual or menial employment to "supplement" or replace those benefits along the way, the clock will keep ticking and they are not going to extend the number of weeks. You could easily exhaust your benefit period while receiving very few dollar bills. The dollar benefits remaining after 13 or 26 weeks are simply lost when you run out of time. It would be much better for you to use your time wisely by finding another job than going to work at Wal-Mart. Besides, you should not have time to work as a security guard, if you are eager to get back to work. GET OUT OF BED. Stop eating because you are bored. Turn off the television. Get in the habit (or continue the habit) of getting up at your usual time, get dressed and get out of the friggin house....just like going to work....and don't go home anytime earlier than you would if you were working. Looking for work is your new job and pre-occupation. Don't stop looking because you are being considered somewhere. Keep beating on doors.

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 31, 2017 11:48 AM  

Tech Community wrote:I see there are a few other Silicon Valley tech folk here. Any peninsula/south-bay people interested in a meetup IRL or online forum?

It should go without saying, but don't respond to this. We don't know this guy.

Anonymous Peter Grant August 31, 2017 11:51 AM  

Even when you're told you'll never be able to work a 'normal' job again, you can always make options for yourself. I had to 'reinvent' myself after a crippling, partially disabling injury. For details, see:

https://madgeniusclub.com/2013/07/24/guest-post-by-peter-grant/

Thanks to all Vox's readers for your support!

Anonymous Kudos The Lexecutioner August 31, 2017 11:52 AM  

@32 AZFloyd

"I went from owning my own law firm to being a door attendant at thrift store. It has been a long 8 years. But, in the end, I'm glad I don't practice law. I'm not smart or cunning enough and I hated it."

Ex-lawyer, now mechanic.

I feel your pain, brother. All my lawyer buddies bitch about their lives and say: "I wish I could do what you did."

My reply: "What's stopping you?"

Blogger maniacprovost August 31, 2017 11:53 AM  

Nonetheless, if you graduate college during a major recession, this principle screws you pretty hard.

Please don't assume I'm unaware of internships, coops, and part time jobs.

Blogger kurt9 August 31, 2017 11:54 AM  

Remember to file your quarterlies if you're working as a contractor. That, and the fact you pay the full 15% SS tax, are the two major burdens of working as a contractor vs an employee.

Blogger Elwin Ransom August 31, 2017 11:55 AM  

Good advice all the way around.

From my perspective overall circumstances matter more than simply unemployed, how long have you been unemployed and what is the overall market like. In construction, if things are hopping and you’re unemployed, that doesn’t say anything good to the folks hiring.

Pulling guys off the bench from the union hall when times are good generally means you’re getting the worst of who they have.

Blogger Harambe August 31, 2017 11:55 AM  

Aeoli Pera wrote:Tech Community wrote:I see there are a few other Silicon Valley tech folk here. Any peninsula/south-bay people interested in a meetup IRL or online forum?

It should go without saying, but don't respond to this. We don't know this guy.


I clicked on the guy's profile and got to a very shitty dating site for old people.

Anonymous patrick kelly August 31, 2017 11:55 AM  

DonReynolds wrote:Also, you need to be aware that if you are collecting unemployment benefits (and each state has their own rules) those benefits are defined in terms of a maximum dollar amount, but more importantly, in terms of a fixed number of weeks. If you manage to find casual or menial employment to "supplement" or replace those benefits along the way, the clock will keep ticking and they are not going to extend the number of weeks. You could easily exhaust your benefit period while receiving very few dollar bills. The dollar benefits remaining after 13 or 26 weeks are simply lost when you run out of time. It would be much better for you to use your time wisely by finding another job than going to work at Wal-Mart.

I can't pay my bills on unemployment and would be foreclosed on and out in the street before it runs out. Temp/Contract work was my go-to solution last employment downturn for me, and it usually payed at least 2x unemployment, which was enough to get by, barely.

YMMV depending on where you live and the relative cost of living.

Blogger James Dixon August 31, 2017 11:56 AM  

> ...even if that is not true in the case of the special, highly skilled snowflake that all of the unemployed readers of this blog indubitably are.

I knew folks could count on you to understand, Vox. :)

> Drives me insane. Honest work is never dishonorable. Honest work is not beneath anyone. I've flipped burgers. I've worked in steel plants. I've collected debts for loan sharks in the projects of memphis and nashville.

Well, I wouldn't call debt collection "honest work", but except for that I have to agree.

I didn't take a job while I was looking for work for one simple reason: I spent a good 4-8 hours/day sending out resumes and looking for job openings. I was also doing computer repairs for local folks when the opportunity arose. That's still paying off in side jobs.

Now, when the unemployment checks ran out? I'd have been out at the local McDonald's and Dollar General asking for an application. Any job is better than no job.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) August 31, 2017 12:00 PM  

The IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND A JOB!!! threads remind me of the IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND A WIFE!!! threads

Blogger Krul August 31, 2017 12:01 PM  

"He explained that after being let go, he had plenty of free time on his hands and figured that it was a good idea to get paid to learn something new."

This is a brilliant reframe, I love it.

Blogger VFM #7634 August 31, 2017 12:03 PM  

Also, get advice from older, more knowledgeable people about your resumes and cover letters. It's not unlikely that they're turning people off in ways you've never thought of.

It just occurred to me that the same advice in the topic might be applicable to dating -- I think I recall that a guy with a girl is more attractive than a guy without. I am not the socio-sexual meister however, so a second opinion is appreciated.

@28 Student in Blue
Don't think it works that way. For employers, you signal value by going out and getting work, any work.

But do attractive women strongly prefer a man with a fat ugly girlfriend, or who has a high N count on the backs of fat chicks, over an equivalent man who avoids fat chicks? I get the impression that they find the chubby-chaser disgusting and insecure, or at best, somewhat messed-up.

Anonymous boomer nationalism August 31, 2017 12:05 PM  

The issue here is that mullatos and muslims are running around raping women and more or less outlawing gainful employment via regulations and diversity requirements, and the first refrain of the boomers, every time, is

"Maybe if you worked a little harder while mohamet was sawing off your head you'd be in a better position"

Their utter confusion about the ordination of priorities is so immense and so obviously conflated with their pride in mullatocorp that it borders on unforgivable.

Blogger Nate August 31, 2017 12:06 PM  

"Nonetheless, if you graduate college during a major recession, this principle screws you pretty hard.

Please don't assume I'm unaware of internships, coops, and part time jobs."


pssst... hey there snowflake... you're not the first people to ever graduate during a recession.

figure it out. Just like we did.

Blogger Gromm August 31, 2017 12:08 PM  

@18

I still struggle with bitterness and despair and ask the ilk to say a prayer for me please.

Done. Good luck and God bless.

Blogger DonReynolds August 31, 2017 12:10 PM  

@61 basementhomebrewer wrote:You are overqualified because you exceed the bare-assed minimum requirements for applying. (This would normally have kept the lawyer from hiring on with a retail store as a salesman, selling computers or shoes or anything else.)

In plain English, very few hiring authorities are willing to hire someone who could do their job or their boss's job, because such things do occur. Yeah, they may talk about finding someone who can be promoted later, but that is usually in the brochure....not in their mind.


I have always heard to downplay your credentials if you are applying for an under-employment position. Take your education off your resume. Take your certs off your resume. List your positions so you can demonstrate you have been employed but cut out details about major technical accomplishments beyond team work or demonstrating basic initiative.

Would you agree with that approach?


I could never agree, under any circumstance.

It is just as dishonest to abbreviate your information as it is pad your resume with outright lies. Once you become dishonest when presenting yourself, my first thought would be that you are going to stay dishonest if you are hired. That is a very good reason not to hire you in any capacity. A good many employers will actually terminate someone who has falsified their application to get the job.

It is also difficult to actually pull it off. If you have a professional degree and have worked in your field, leaving that fact off your resume so you can get a job at Wal-Mart is not going to work, except to show that you are dishonest.
If you have worked as a city planner or economist for ten years and have the required degree work, when you leave those facts off your resume and job history, the first assumption of many prospective employers will be that you spent that time in prison, drug rehab, or a mental hospital....which looks much worse than the truth.

In my experience, it would be much easier to have an honest resume and disclose everything about your qualifications and work experience. (Lying by omission is still lying.)

Having an honest resume can accomplish two positive things.
(1) You may be able to convince a prospective employer that you want to change to another line of work. That would not be unusual or weird. The new work may require skills or abilities that were not required of you before, so you need to be prepared to make the case that you can do the work expected.
(2) Leave open the possibility (which is not remote) that your honest resume may lead HR to say that they actually need someone with your background, but not for the position you are applying for. This has happened to me several times. I went in to apply for one job and they quickly put me onto another job in the same organization that better fit my background.

Blogger James Dixon August 31, 2017 12:13 PM  

> It is just as dishonest to abbreviate your information as it is pad your resume with outright lies.

The best solution I ever heard was to put the things which over qualify you under "other interests" rather than employment history. I think that was in an old Reader's Digest once.

Blogger Nate August 31, 2017 12:17 PM  

"It is just as dishonest to abbreviate your information as it is pad your resume with outright lies. Once you become dishonest when presenting yourself, my first thought would be that you are going to stay dishonest if you are hired. "

That is not dishonest. They can glean your education from the job titles. They can figure out the rest in the interview.

I never bothered with this tactic because my primary means of getting hired was never to apply for jobs.. but rather to simply call up various companies and say, "Hey do y'all need any help?"

You would be absolutely amazed at how many companies will hire you that way. Because what company doesn't need help?

Blogger David The Good August 31, 2017 12:20 PM  

Peter Grant wrote:Even when you're told you'll never be able to work a 'normal' job again, you can always make options for yourself. I had to 'reinvent' myself after a crippling, partially disabling injury. For details, see:

https://madgeniusclub.com/2013/07/24/guest-post-by-peter-grant/

Thanks to all Vox's readers for your support!


And the world is a better place because you jumped for it. Thanks, Peter.

Blogger David The Good August 31, 2017 12:24 PM  

Clint wrote:This is great advice. I once found myself unexpectedly unemployed. I took a job answering the phone for a major airline, taking reservations, etc. Within a few weeks, I met a guy who was hiring for an experimental charter school at a prison. A few months after that, I was back into my expected career field.

Had I not "lowered" my vision and taken the airline gig, none of the other stuff would have come along.



Yes. And that's another thing many miss: every interaction with people, every conversation, social event, etc. may be an opportunity to promote yourself. I got a job managing stage construction backstage at the Country Music Awards because I took a $15 an hour job loading trucks when I was broke. When they asked if anyone would stick around late and keep working, I stuck around. And the boss noticed. Turns out he was a big wheel. I had no experience at all, plus didn't even know the bands, but I ended up meeting Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift while commanding a crew of union guys. And I got paid well. You really never know who you'll bump into.

Anonymous Da da da Jobman! August 31, 2017 12:25 PM  

Indeed is a good site for looking for local jobs, you can break the criteria down by income level you are looking for too. Just spend a little time uploading your resume and you're done. They will also send you alerts too.

For some side cash there is Taskrabbit,Easyshift,Gigwalk or if you have the right rig/computer there is Userlytics and Usertesting for testing websites.

You can even just post on Craigslist and offer your services there, everybody has something to offer. When you negotiate let your client make their offer first before so you can idea of where they are at ;-)

Blogger bosscauser August 31, 2017 12:32 PM  

The only time I've been unemployed for more than a week is I didn't want to work!
Gab.ai/GaryCauser

Blogger Felix Bellator August 31, 2017 12:38 PM  

@27. dp as you like - "Your advice in no close way approximates the new reality of unemployment."

You are the kind of person that does not get hired. You say there is a new reality of unemployment that differs from Vox's view. So inform us, oh wise one, don't just bitch about Vox being wrong.

Blogger Student in Blue August 31, 2017 12:40 PM  

@90. VFM #7634
Don't think it works that way. For employers, you signal value by going out and getting work, any work.

But do attractive women strongly prefer a man with a fat ugly girlfriend, or who has a high N count on the backs of fat chicks, over an equivalent man who avoids fat chicks? I get the impression that they find the chubby-chaser disgusting and insecure, or at best, somewhat messed-up.


I think you're drawing an incorrect comparison. The attractive woman would be a CEO position. CEO positions don't go to people currently holding down a janitor position, which would be the fat chick.

The question then becomes, is someone with past CEO experience holding down a middle management job more attractive than someone with past CEO experience who's been out of work for years? That way, it's an attractive woman deciding between two guys who can both handle attractive women, one without a girlfriend and one with an "okay" girlfriend.

I believe social proof exists and is functional whether we like it or not.

Blogger Stilicho August 31, 2017 12:42 PM  

I will confirm Vox's view of "get any job" from a business owner's viewpoint: when I was hiring for my law firm, I had far more respect for the applicants who found paying work of any sort between legal jobs or before landing that first legal job after seven years of school (undergrad plus law school). Those who did nothing but look for their preferred job seldom got a second interview.

Blogger Harambe August 31, 2017 12:44 PM  

Yeah it works, but soon they'll be demanding everyone work for free the first month.

Blogger LP9 August 31, 2017 12:44 PM  

Not to be insulting but employment to poverty are also joined mindsets for them, I am compassion, just saying.

"Don't quit. Don't cry. Don't complain. Do something, anything."

No tears! Be of good cheer! I know it sounds all washy but overcome all that one lay off or one loss is nothing, move on.

Sometimes the path back to where you may want to be includes detours, no big deal, no meltdowns, plow thru, smooth the way for others, dont give up.

For unemployed women whom have to work, there is more than 9/5 gigs, teach, farm, offer to help out someplace. Women are often not malicious or cut throat enough for certain industries.

Anonymous Da da da Jobman! August 31, 2017 12:47 PM  

For freelancing jobs there is Fiverr, Upwork and Guru. For blogging there is The Penny Hoarder, IWorkWell, The Dollar Stretcher. To get paid writing magazine articles there is the Catholic Digest, AMC Outdoors Magazine, Glimmer Train Stories and Dame Magazine(Women).

Also if you have a newer car '08 and above and a cell phone you can earn extra money driving for Uber..

Blogger RobertT August 31, 2017 12:50 PM  

"... simply invent billable hours out of nothing ..."

Ah yes. Remember it well. As a young auditor with the largest and best firm in the world, I sat in the staff room unassigned my first couple of months, but I, and everyone else, was expressly forbidden to code a minute of time to "non-billable."

The theory was they were paying so much for the engagement they probably wouldn't even notice, but if they did, there was the record of billed time. Unfortunately, my sense of integrity wasn't as well tuned is those green behind the ears days.

Blogger Elmer Jones August 31, 2017 12:56 PM  

Timely, just posted "Employment Kampf" on my own blog.

http://wp.me/p6QFjS-lj

Blogger LP9 August 31, 2017 1:02 PM  

Genx and Mil'lens also scare the gatekeepers or conventionals by self employment with multiple irons in the fire, people forgot how to hustle to make it.

Blogger RobertT August 31, 2017 1:02 PM  

I didn't spend that much time unemployed, but my penchant for picking employers with big problems did put me in the unemployment line a couple of times. Once un-voluntarily. At the lesser companies I interview for, age was a problem. "How old are you? You're too young for an executive position. Get out of here." But the bigger and more sophisticated they were, the less significance that made. Although I thought that was great and that I didn't really have anything left to learn, I was wrong, and hiring someone with battle experience makes more sense hiring a young guy who impresses you. Today I'm an employer, and experience is a big factor in their productivity. Young people just haven't seen as much as they think they have.

Blogger Daniel August 31, 2017 1:05 PM  

I am an it person in Argentina. If you are interested let me know

Blogger Elmer Jones August 31, 2017 1:12 PM  

The resume thing. As described in my blog post above I had a detailed 3-page resume which succeeded in getting a lot of interviews but the age problem shut me out because nobody wants to pay to get a security clearance for an old guy. Have condensed it into an "unresume" that is more of a marketing sheet describing my capabilities and contract wins. With that and my consulting web page (it's just a wordpress theme for contractors) will contact company owners and salesmen to find a slot. It's tough to call people directly but effective in determining current need and preventing pointless interviews.

Good commentary here from all views. No one approach works for everyone.

Blogger RC August 31, 2017 1:17 PM  

I hired a sales rep for my joint several years ago. The guy I hired had a resume that started with part-time cashier at a cigar store and driving a tour bus at a resort. The next item was an executive position at a firm that most people in the south would know. There was a story, of course, and I offered the guy the job. He's done a fantastic job, working hard, even as a remote guy and very effectively. He became my top sales guy. I received a call from him recently letting me know that he had a chance for another executive position, told me how much he appreciated the job I'd offered when he was in difficult circumstances, and asked me if I'd be supportive of his potential move.

I hired him because he was honest and I gave him my 100% support because he's proven to be an excellent contributor and a good man. I shall miss him but it was good for him and my company.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 31, 2017 1:18 PM  

Anyone who wants to get hold of me can send mail to the address in my gulag profile. It's normally just a spam magnet, but in honor of being the target of Vox's advice, I'll be monitoring it for the next several days.
For clarification, I'm a Unix/Linux and storage administrator. I'm in the Pacific NW, and not likely to move unless you have something special to offer. I've worked 8 of the last 10 years remote.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents August 31, 2017 1:38 PM  

Good on you Snidely.

Blogger Nate August 31, 2017 1:51 PM  

I hope you change your fortunes Snidely. Sure as hell appear to be well on the way.

OpenID doktorjeep August 31, 2017 1:53 PM  

Anybody saying what VD said is "boomer advice", FYI that would be incorrect.

Boomer advice is all about telling younger people to do exactly as they did with zero knowledge of the damage they did. That is, the boomer "picked myself up by the bootstraps" and "worked my way through college waiting tables and even bought a used Corvette one summer" and then "bought a house after my first promotion".

Then the boomer went on to vote for every little socialist idea, fee, tax, license, regulation... you name it. If it made things more expensive, took things away, repackaged at half the strength and sold at twice the cost, inserted "processes" in the middle so that more money can be extracted, robbed the productive on behalf of the poor/women/minorities/disabled/perturbed, screwed America over (because guilt), and just about everything else that makes even most full time jobs unable to pay for college (leaving no time for education and forget the used Corvette too), they loved it, voted for it, and cheered for it. And they used their homes as investments too, so forget "getting a house after your first promotion". Oh and they love that "laying people off to improve the portfolio" thing too, so forget that promotion. Then allowed in the swarth hordes so that even the jobs at the Mc D's are all taken up by immigrants (with families... paid for by all that socialism that the boomers voted for as well).

Then the boomer says what I quoted to the young man, followed by "kids today, why are they so lazy".

That's boomerism, or a facet of it. And why boomers need to burn in the fires of comeuppance so that democracy having personal consequences for once in human history serves as a warning for others.

What VD has detailed is a story of "agility". That is, after getting screwed over, you don't wallow in despair like the self-entitled boomers would have done if everything they voted for had actually bit them in their own asses (instead of just their children and grandchildren in this "take the cream off the top and flip the bucket" move).

As a GenXer, I was one of the many who followed all of the "advice" that the boomers gave us, and ended up screwed, blued, and tattooed as the saying goes. I have had to do exactly what VD has described and that's not boomer advice. When I started to do such things as the OP describes life got better. It sure beat trying the same thing over and over, expecting the same "I did this so therefore that should happen" entitled results and ending up with nothing.

Anonymous Claymore August 31, 2017 2:00 PM  

And don't quit an existing job until you have a new one.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Deplorable Cents August 31, 2017 2:14 PM  

Reminder to myself. The rest of y'all take as needed.

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.


Colossians 3:23-24

Anonymous RA August 31, 2017 2:16 PM  

I can speak to the need to humble oneself.

If I'm not a sysadmin today, what am I doing, you ask? Well that is the part about humility. After being laid off with a decent severance package in 2008, I took the several months off to travel because that was something I had always wanted to do. On coming back, I attempted to start a small business unrelated to IT, but this ultimately failed after two years. Then I tried to get back into sysadmin, but while I came close several times, I never got the job, I kept getting beat out by someone else for whatever reason or other. I can tell you that got frustrating. Though I kept a smile on publicly, I'd lie awake at night and wonder wtf? I was good at what I did, what's going on?

In the meantime, a close friend who is also a phone company veteran had been trying to talk me into training to be a contract field technician. I kept thinking it was below me to do that work, but after a couple of years of banging my head against the wall I finally felt beaten down enough that I was mentally ready to do anything. My choices were the local Walmart or Home Depot or something else in retail for not much more than minimum. Or leave home and train for that work. The training was hard, I had seriously bad days when I wanted to quit, but I stuck with it and eventually became a competent journeyman field tech. Now I got some mojo back because I'm almost as good a field troubleshooter as I was a sysadmin troubleshooter; my managers like me because I show up on time every single day, hot or cold, rain, snow or shine, and I get it done, no drama, no excuses; I'm good enough with customers that my managers started sending me to do followups with customers after the initial tech pissed them off about something. Also I am on a few hiring lists from different contract companies so I am no longer worried about where my next paycheck is coming from.

Ultimately I came out the other side looking okay, I don't have to touch my retirement, but it's because I had to humble myself to take a trade. And that's what is: a trade. I took the advice I give young men wondering about college. As an older guy in his 50's, a full blown career change like that is not easy, but sometimes one has to bite the bullet and get on with it. There are disadvantages, the biggest one being the best paying jobs are out of state so I have to leave home for months at a time. It is what it is, but since I'm grateful to get some decent checks, life is good and I have no complaints other than I'd like to be not away from home so much. I wouldn't mind trying sysadmin again, but I know I have to start much lower, small time, part time, volunteer, contract, whatever, I'm okay with that now. Just my $.02, thank you all.

Blogger James Dixon August 31, 2017 2:24 PM  

What a serendipitous time for this article to hit the net: http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-get-an-open-source-job/

I've had to stop following SJVN on Google+ since the election, but his open source journalism is still top notch.

Blogger Latigo3 August 31, 2017 2:31 PM  

I have found this to be true. About 13 years ago I was laid off from the company that I was with. I did a couple of things, contacted every sub-contractor that I knew and let them know I was looking for work and then I kept busy buy helping the church build a new covered loggia. Answering adds didn't work, the supposed "traditional" methods did not offer any help. I got the phone call from a General Contractor while I was on the roof of the loggia that we were building at the church. I was out of work for a month, had it gone on further I would have gone and found work anywhere. What I found though, that working in some type of manner helped my mind set.
I have found out one important thing though and that is keeping relationships. Keeping good relationships (the Golden Rule), helped me to find work. In essence, I had develop so many good contacts over the years, that sub-contractors were getting my name out there for me. I got the call for an opening that I did not know was out there.

Blogger Ben Cohen August 31, 2017 2:31 PM  

Robert Kiyosaki said that rich people focus on building networks.

Blogger Jack Ward August 31, 2017 2:48 PM  

@80 Peter Grant

Thanks to all Vox's readers for your support!

Sir. Are you joking? My feeling is that YOU did us favors with the excellent writing. We all should be honored to be 'helping.' Helping heck; I love the great stories. You have the gift!

Anonymous AB.Prosper August 31, 2017 2:54 PM  

S1AL wrote:Look, guys, the fact that boomers are kinda crappy as a generation doesn't negate the fact that millennials are staggeringly entitled, lazy, and unwilling to engage in self-improvement. We can either accept that and fix it, or continue to blame everything on people born 60-70 years ago. Only one of those ends well.

I'm talking big picture here, your business may very

I'm Gen X so I can't speak for the Millenials but I do know a lot of them and many like Gen X are aware of how screwed they are and how little benefit they actually get from being driven and/or working hard.

When you are a cog in a machine that will be replaced as soon as someone can find someone cheaper or is expected to throw away community for a few $ and on top of that you are bled dry by taxes and debts why bother working hard ?

Your business may vary of course but this is the norm in a lot of places, Wage arbitrage uber alles and nearly all gains go to the top 1% anyway.

In any case while a society that works to live rather than lives to work, won't be as prosperous, it won't necessarily be worse off in an immaterial sense . we'll must high trust but oh well.

These conditions also drives career choices, I'm told that basically there are no controls electricians under 40 . People would gladly hire them but at least in So-Cal but they don't exist. period or globally apparently

I don't blame anyone who isn't getting ahead or where they want to be from taking the easiest route or for behaving like a good capitalist and looking out for himself above all else.

It what they should do and if some business model requiring cheap labor or a socioeconomic model that requires a certain skill base fails, good, Sow, Reap.

You can't found a society on the values we did and expect it to continue in the different conditions, your cheap labor is all low trust and the frontier is gone. This means the model is broken and needs to change, It can't so it deserves what's coming to it

Blogger Gary Eden August 31, 2017 2:54 PM  

Be willing to move; this can be the difference between a job tomorrow and languishing for years.

There are large disparities in job availability (numbers and types) between different states and within states.

Not in a position to move (employed or not)? Change that. As these times get more interesting being tied down in one place increasingly becomes a safety hazzard.

Anonymous Thales August 31, 2017 2:57 PM  

It's called conscientiousness. Along with intelligence and agreeableness, it's one of the top traits every employer looks for in prospects.

Jim Collins wrote an excellent book called Good to Great that's on the reading list of every MBA program. One of the key aspects of every great company is keeping good people and letting the bad ones go. Once you have good people on the team, then you can figure out where best to place them. The take-away is that you want to first get on the team, even if you have to sweep floors. If it's a great company, it won't take them very long to figure out where exactly on the team you belong. If they don't you probably don't want to work there anyway.

Blogger Matthew August 31, 2017 2:59 PM  

Snidely, I just emailed you from the address associated with my Blogger profile.

Blogger Assyrian Nationalist August 31, 2017 3:07 PM  

If you've been laid off and have been looking for a job in your field for X months, don't say that when you land an interview and are asked about your work history. Instead, say that you decided to take a vacation after your last job and are now ready to start working again. This will help you to not look like an unemployable loser.

Blogger S1AL August 31, 2017 3:24 PM  

"When you are a cog in a machine that will be replaced as soon as someone can find someone cheaper or is expected to throw away community for a few $ and on top of that you are bled dry by taxes and debts why bother working hard?"

While this is true to some extent, a lot of the problem is due to other factors, some of which aren't obvious. My job requires nothing more than a high school diploma and a willingness to work reasonably hard and keep somewhat odd hours. But it's not a desk job and it has no social prestige, just good money. So nobody ever talks about it - it's sorta like the open secret of oil field work. In a bygone era, people without access to cushy office jobs would JUMP at the opportunity to make that kind of money - but it's not good enough for millenials.

Then there's the state issue. Taxes and costs are way too freaking high? That's only true in specific states, and it SHOULD push people to move, but they prefer the benefits of living in those states - plus it's easier to wax indignant about the lack of jobs than move.

Elecrticians? Plenty of them in flyover states.

The system doesn't work because it's been designed to not work, and a lot of the millenials who complain about that don't realize that their pet socialist/immigration voting patterns are now to blame. The ones who do realize it are already living in red country.

Anonymous maniacprovost August 31, 2017 3:40 PM  

So nobody ever talks about it - it's sorta like the open secret of oil field work. In a bygone era, people without access to cushy office jobs would JUMP at the opportunity to make that kind of money - but it's not good enough for millenials.

Well... oilfield work sucks. I think a lot of people who would coast by in an office job in prior generations are now willing to coast by in borderline poverty because poverty is more comfortable than ever.

Blogger Feather Blade August 31, 2017 3:54 PM  

Harambe wrote:I don't understand why you'd feel like "welfare sucking crap", you PAY UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE.

Yeah, you have been paying unemployment insurance and you are entitled to the benefits thereof.

But.

It still feels like you're accepting handouts because it's a check from the government that you get while you're not working.

The good thing about the situation is that feeling is an excellent spur to get you doing anything (honorable) that pays.

AB.Prosper wrote:When you are a cog in a machine that will be replaced as soon as someone can find someone cheaper or is expected to throw away community for a few $ and on top of that you are bled dry by taxes and debts why bother working hard ?

Embrace it.

If you know they're going to replace you anyway, make it as easy as possible for them to replace you with minimal disruption to operations by writing down detailed instructions for the work you do. Make sure your supervisor knows you are doing (or have done) this in addition to completing your assigned work.

(Caveat: this may not be applicable to jobs that do not involve desk-work and processing things on computers. It also may not apply during company buyouts and mergers.)

Paradoxically, in my experience, this usually makes them want to keep you.

Anonymous AB.Prosper August 31, 2017 3:55 PM  

Gary Eden wrote:Be willing to move; this can be the difference between a job tomorrow and languishing for years.

There are large disparities in job availability (numbers and types) between different states and within states.

Not in a position to move (employed or not)? Change that. As these times get more interesting being tied down in one place increasingly becomes a safety hazzard.


Human beings are not cogs to be moved around at will by profit hungry corporations. Human well being is predicated on community, not the nuclear family or worse the atomized individual

The reason the nuclear family is preferred by the system is its the smallest functional state , easy to control and to manage . well it was until a failing atomized system provided more short term gains.

People need tribe and clan and not "state", "nation" 'universal faith" or any other pale substitute

As such expecting people to give up what little support they have to move to cities teeming with foreigners is wrong headed. I'd advise figuring how little you can live on and how resilient you can become and to stop being a debt serf/consumer and start being part of something that matters.

Also expecting

Anonymous AB.Prosper August 31, 2017 4:09 PM  

Feather Blade wrote:

Yeah, you have been paying unemployment insurance and you are entitled to the benefits thereof.

But.

It still feels like you're accepting handouts because it's a check from the government that you get while you're not working.

The good thing about the situation is that feeling is an excellent spur to get you doing anything (honorable) that pays.


I don't have any issue with taking welfare myself at all, work should be valued for what it gains you and yours and if you can get by without breaking the law without much work, good for you. No one every complained they spent too much time enjoying life or with loving family

In the past when all hands were needed to have any kind of complexity above hunter gatherer really, things were different but there is so much less useful work to do that most people could pull a 3 day work week with surges and be better off for it and many others could do go make YouTube videos or something

This lust for work may have helped the West get rich but it also seems to be killing it too.

Hard work without gains just lets "the man" leach off you to go blow up people somewhere else or play the power games they love , might as we leach off him if you can

And yes we absolutely could get rid of all welfare payments, this will hasten the complexity collapse by creating deflationary savings rates among those who work , lowering wages and by increasing social disorder

You want a complex orderly society, you an have it, Its really expensive though .

Also to what S1AL said, controls guys are a different breed, half programmer, half blue collar electrician . It requires a weird skill set

they may be common in the flyover country but wisely they don't want to live in California at least. Given the company name redacted is global, they seem to think its a global issue who knows ?

Blogger OneWingedShark August 31, 2017 4:11 PM  

dh wrote:I am often hiring remote IT person.
If you're interested in more than one, send me an e-mail and I'll return a resume, it's this handle @gmail.

Anonymous Crew August 31, 2017 4:18 PM  

@James Dixon: That article is full of SJW bullshit like:

That's the ideal. As Alexander observed: "Meritocracy can be used as an excuse for elements of our culture that aren't inclusive or productive." A recent GitHub study, for example, found that if a name or profile picture easily reveals that a contributor is a woman, their rate of acceptance fell to 58 percent, while identifiable men had an acceptance rate of 61 percent." Sexism is alive and well.

Also, why are all the Senior HR positions women? Is it because that is where they can do the least damage?

Just get onto an open source project that interests you, start fixing bugs or adding features.

Of course, you may have to change the way you fix bugs so that your changes fit within the 'culture' of the project.

Blogger Gary Eden August 31, 2017 4:22 PM  

AB.Prosper wrote:Human beings are not cogs to be moved around at will by profit hungry corporations. Human well being is predicated on community, not the nuclear family or worse the atomized individual

I agree. But like it or not this is the world we live in. And we really don't have much by way of community in this country, consumerism has well and good killed that.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents August 31, 2017 4:23 PM  

AB Prosper
I'm told that basically there are no controls electricians under 40 . People would gladly hire them but at least in So-Cal but they don't exist. period or globally apparently


Don't exist at all, or don't exist at a certain level of compensation?

Blogger RC August 31, 2017 4:40 PM  

Well, as long as we're all helping each other out today, I have a 6 month web development project starting in October that I will need help to pull off. I need someone who knows his way around the Microsoft stack. Contractor to start but possibly longer term work. Beachhead/breakout style.

Blogger Matt August 31, 2017 5:02 PM  

I remember this story about your friend, and sometimes think about it in my darkest moments at work, when contemplating quitting altogether.

Blogger Jose August 31, 2017 5:02 PM  

Much as I hate to do it, gotta give this one to Vox Day; even in the minimal-human-contact nerd haven of quants, attitude is usually dispositive in hiring, promotion, and firing.

Partly because every company has people persons that need to contact the number-crunchers on occasion, partly because "quant jocks" are poisonous to team efforts (and there are not "super crunchers" in reality, popular books to the contrary notwithstanding), partly because, at least in quants, most bad attitudes are born of, and coping mechanisms for, insecurity in one's capabilities (often justified).

As for "over fifty," I once wrote a post about engineers complaining about age discrimination; TL,DR: most of their problem isn't discrimination, though there's some, is outdated capability. (Post: http://sitacuisses.blogspot.com/2016/10/aging-engineers-versus-experienced.html )

After all, given the sea/ocean/galaxy/supercluster of Millennial incompetence and participation-trophy-mentality, basic skills and proven work record should make up for grey hair...

Anonymous Avalanche August 31, 2017 5:05 PM  

@45 you'd feel like "welfare sucking crap", you PAY UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE.

When I was working as a job shopper (/technical editor) at Boeing a couple decades ago (oh, those WERE the days! high pay and per diem!); in between proposals, I'd take unemployment and wait for the next proposal to start up. A woman I met thought I was HORRIBLE for "taking money other people needed!" "Uh, no hon -- it's ONLY my unemployment, paid by MY job shop in MY name, into an account in MY name, and when that account is empty, my unemployment is over..." (Usually Boeing needed me well before it ran out.) She'd never known that.

(I don't know if it's the same, I expect so -- companies wouldn't pay it if it were just open-ended! Of course, I whine now, because I have to PAY unemployment for myself, but as company owner, I cannot ever draw it.)

Anonymous Avalanche August 31, 2017 5:18 PM  

@46 If nothing else, start your own business.
(Vox, is this sort of comment is not allowed, please delete.)

Please let me recommend a course I took (yeah, paid for it and everything) when I first inherited the company. I was not at all sure I'd be able to keep it afloat or going; AND had almost no cash reserves! I'd tripped over the blog of Ramit Sethi (yeah, Indian guy), who was mostly, back then, a financial advice giver. (Now, he seems to have expanded at lot into starting a biz, running, a biz and so on. Still pretty good info; not directly applicable to me because I'm a manufacturer, and he's advising his demographic (Millennials, mostly) on online biz -- but it's good stuff.)

The course I took was called "Earn $1K" and he suggests/teaches how to do what they now call a side hustle. How to decide what your skill areas are, what might be salable (I was going to start a side biz doing a ten-web-pages-for-$100 review (which I had been doing for free on a self-publishing website, just to give back to the folks there). Grammar, spelling, web conventions, and so on. Not fixing, just a review and suggestions.) It was a VERY helpful course on figuring out what might work and how to get set up.

Ramit's point was that picking up an 'extra' $1k a month would go pretty far at paying off credit cards or filling up an emergency fund or whatever. And, interestingly, because I had credit card debt, I was not allowed to sign up for the course till I had paid that off. (He still has that rule.) He's got many thousands of pages of solid advice and info for free on his site, so you needn't pay for anything. iwillteachyoutoberich.com (yeah, stupid name, but it works).

I'd suggest,if you're interested, start here:
https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/automate-your-personal-finances/

Not associated except having taken that one course six years ago. AM working with a friend in deep CC debt currently, to help him use Ramit's stuff to get control...

Blogger James Dixon August 31, 2017 5:23 PM  

> That article is full of SJW bullshit like:

Sorry. I didn't have a chance to read it before I posted it. :(

I trusted his past good work. Looks like I need to reevaluate that.

Anonymous AB.Prosper August 31, 2017 5:44 PM  

A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:AB Prosper

I'm told that basically there are no controls electricians under 40 . People would gladly hire them but at least in So-Cal but they don't exist. period or globally apparently



Don't exist at all, or don't exist at a certain level of compensation?



Pretty much at all. Controls guys around here get $30 or so an hour with experience and redacted has excellent benefits and regular pay raises . I'd apply if I had more of the the skills and I'm a bit long in the tooth

And note I'd don't think $30 is all that much given housing costs and taxes but in this market its quite a bit.

The problem is its a skilled job and So-Cal has a lot of high double digit IQ types its well vibrant

As for other areas, they are needed locally

The thing is a demanding job, requires a lot of driving long distances, overtime and a mix of skills. In some ways its a great job for an old time nerd , like the ones good with mechanical and computers

They don't exist in numbers nearly as much as they used to and they are often disconnected from some facet of the labor market

Anonymous AB.Prosper August 31, 2017 5:53 PM  

Gary Eden wrote:AB.Prosper wrote:Human beings are not cogs to be moved around at will by profit hungry corporations. Human well being is predicated on community, not the nuclear family or worse the atomized individual

I agree. But like it or not this is the world we live in. And we really don't have much by way of community in this country, consumerism has well and good killed that.


Sure. This is why the West is dying and polls in say Europe show no one will fight for their country as configured

The worship of Mammon we call Consumerism goes or the West goes, you cannot have incompatible ideologies Mammon demands post national, deracinated, non religious states and those will not survive

Its why I think the Japanese herbivore men are acting rationally , they can't rebel for cultural and practical reasons and wouldn't know what do do if they did. Given the misery, cooperating as little and enjoying life as much as possible is a good idea

The US and yes Europe has more fight in it and we might even know what to rebel into but again I can't blame anyone for not participating

Stanza 37 of the Havamal

One's own house is best, though small it may be,
each man is master at home;
with a bleeding heart will he beg, who must,
his meat at every meal.

or parphrased

better a trailer in the rust belt of your own

where you are master

than to live as a thrall

chasing gold in the city


Anonymous Avalanche August 31, 2017 6:00 PM  

@131 unemployment insurance
It still feels like you're accepting handouts because it's a check from the government that you get while you're not working.


That's silly -- unemployment "insurance" is a FORCED savings account! You (and the company you worked for) were FORCED to put part of the money that SHOULD have gone into your paycheck into the govt's greedy hand.
Why should you feel weird about getting the money BACK out of a forced savings account -- IN YOUR NAME?!?!

Foolish false pride!

Anonymous Jim August 31, 2017 6:02 PM  

You sound like you're in the Valley. Things are probably different there. I'm in the midwest, I worked in I.T. as a sysadmin for a large company as a contractor as my last job. That ended in March, after they brought in another guy for around 10 grand less than me. Since then I have been unable to find a job despite getting certs and applying to practically every job that rolls around on indeed and Dice.

6 months of interviews, 6 months of rejections. Some of those interviews were pretty sketchy, and I'm almost glad they didn't work out, not going to lie. Companies are obviously pulling some shady shit with tech employees nowadays.

I have all the DevOps hotness and automation scripts on my GitHub. I'm not stuck in the past longing for the Unix sysadmin glory days. I'm doing for a VCP-DCV now. But honestly, I think this sector of I.T. is dying, quickly. Automation is destroying sysadmin jobs. I'm learning webdev and will probably start over there, somehow.

TL;DR, dude, we know. We've been hearing these boomer platitudes for the past 5+ years. We've internalized them. We're busting our asses off over here. Hearing it one more time isn't going to do a damn bit of difference. I honestly don't know where you are running into these people that make you feel like such a post is warranted, because I sure as hell haven't seen them.

Blogger Robert What? August 31, 2017 6:22 PM  

I've been self employed going on for twenty five years in the tech industry. My only problem is that my boss is an idiot.

Blogger Feather Blade August 31, 2017 6:48 PM  

Avalanche wrote:Why should you feel weird about getting the money BACK out of a forced savings account -- IN YOUR NAME?!?!

Foolish false pride!


*Shrug* Maybe.

On the other hand, the government puts all sorts of conditions on a person drawing unemployment benefits, such as applying for a certain minimum number of jobs per week, and attending jobs skills classes.

That's what makes it feel like a "favor" from the government.

If it were merely a savings account, I'd have been able to draw money out of it without all the hoops.

But it's not. It's an insurance premium for a product I don't really want. (Which means that it is possible for one to draw more in benefits than one has paid in unemployment insurance paycheck deductions.)

Happily, I've not been unemployed since then so I don't have to worry about doing tricks for the government in order to get back money they've stolen from me.

Anonymous Ken7- August 31, 2017 7:19 PM  

Heh. Try having a couple of old drug felonies on your record. Come back and tell me how easy it is to just find a job.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) August 31, 2017 7:30 PM  

Heh. Try having a couple of old drug felonies on your record. Come back and tell me how easy it is to just find a job.

Don't do drugs

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable August 31, 2017 7:35 PM  

Don't do drugs

Helps to hear that after the fact.

Anonymous Anonymous August 31, 2017 7:56 PM  

Bellator Mortalis wrote:being an employee today offers no more security than being a contractor. The only advantage to being an employee is paid vacation, benefits, and 401K. The salary is normally lower than what you will earn as a contractor though so it is pretty much a wash.
When you are a contractor, you can take a month or two or six for a vacation between gigs if you want to.  You usually can't do that with a regular job because you won't have the savings to coast.  The tax-exempt per diem is key to this.

Anonymous Crew August 31, 2017 8:46 PM  

Of course Vox's advice does not negate the fact that the easy H1B program should be eliminated for all employers. Hire Americans!

Write to your CongressCritter telling them they will not get your vote until they vote for an elimination of the H1B program!

Anonymous CoolHand August 31, 2017 9:15 PM  

Robert What? wrote:I've been self employed going on for twenty five years in the tech industry. My only problem is that my boss is an idiot.

It's been 15 years being self employed for me, though as a engineer/machinist/inventor (which I guess is kind of "tech adjacent" rather than "tech proper").

At this point, I couldn't get a "real job" to save my life, even if I wanted one, 'cause to big corpo HR Self Employed == UNemployed.

It's just as well though, I hate working for other people, even if my current boss IS a moron AND an asshole.

Blogger maniacprovost August 31, 2017 9:17 PM  

Crew-

1 year H1B visas should be capped at, say, 50,000, and they should be auctioned off quarterly on a rotating basis. Drop all the other requirements. We would quickly see how much companies really think an H1B is worth.

I don't think we'd get substantially better results, but it would be more efficient than the current system.

Blogger Gunnar Thalweg August 31, 2017 9:22 PM  

I was laid off in 2009 and my industry died at the same time. I had been in demand, and suddenly, at age 45, done in. Just when I was reaping years of dues-paying, my turn was canceled. Held a gun to my head a lot of times through 2009-2010. At one point I got the trigger just about as taut as you can without killing yourself. Couldn't finish the job.

I ended up piecing together about twice as much work in gigs as I used to have, at half the rate I used to be paid. I stayed busy, but eventually, exhausted my 401(k), my savings, and finally, my house.

In my case, I ended up getting lucky, or more likely, my prayers were answered. I took ran out of energy, moved to a cheaper section of the country, and put the remains of my equity from the sale of my house in a cheap bungalow. Got four interviews, and was down to my last month's liquidity. Got three "nos" and then, finally, a yes. The new company is investing in my, me a man in his early 50s, to train me in up-to-date skills. I am making what I made in 2004, and glad to have it.

Lesson: Pray. Keep going. Don't give up. Keep the gigs going ... people will give you work, even if they don't have a job.

It's not the first time I have completely lucked out, to the point where I say it's answered prayers.

I think VD has awesome advice in this post. You need to stay in the marketplace in some capacity -- but look for as many gigs in your field as you can. Get as much training as you can. Build on LinkedIn. Nurture your network.

And downsize. My new mortgage payment is pretty low, and I could probably get by with 10 bucks an hour and renting a bedroom. Takes pressure off.

And stay involved with people. I got very isolated, living in a rural area where I lived and worked alone for years. I feel like Rip Van Winkle back in the office. But it's good just to hear them talk about new stuff ... new tech, new lingo, etc.

Thanks to God.

Anonymous AZFloyd August 31, 2017 9:31 PM  

@ 94. DonReynolds

(Lying by omission is still lying.)

That is simply not true. A lie is an intentional misrepresentation of the truth. Unless you have some affirmative legal duty to disclose everything, then it is not a lie. and even then, I would argue, that it isn't a lie, but an abrogation of your duty to disclose.

I didn't lie on my resumes because I am not a liar. But when an application would has for a job title, I would dutifully write in Assistant Attorney General for the State of Arizona.

Having an honest resume can accomplish two positive things.

This was not my experience. Everyone seems to assume lawyers are swimming in cash. And they are very suspicious of why any lawyer would want to change their jobs and why you are applying at Subway. No offense, but my experience are those two "positive things" are complete bullshit.





Blogger Jew613 August 31, 2017 9:57 PM  

A small suggestion, try to get into the IBEW. Instead of paying you get paid to learn to be an electrician.

Blogger Apex_Predator September 01, 2017 12:25 AM  

@157- " No offense, but my experience are those two "positive things" are complete bullshit."

Actually, I've been reading this whole comments section as well as the original post in fucking amazement, mouth agape.

For someone like VD who espouses this Lex Luthor type UHIQ evil genius his advice is comically out of date, but not surprising. When you run in rarified air feet usually not touching the ground this is not uncommon.

I know highly qualified people scratching out a living and just getting by who had this whole "keep your chin up, be strong, blah blah" mentality and it has been dragging on for half a decade or more in some cases.

Those days, quite frankly, are over. In the land of the eternal victim and the affirmative action hire your "just be busy and take any job" fantasy is about as relevant as thinking you are the most qualified candidate actually matters.

It is like these people are living in some odd alternate reality where they can -clearly- see the pozzing of the culture at large, but somehow think that in the job climate, there is still something resembling sanity, rationality, or logic.

Odd that... this is one of the worst articles I've ever seen here actually.

Blogger Beau September 01, 2017 1:20 AM  

I too have read this whole comments section as well as the original post; however, I come to a different conclusion based upon additional evidence and experience.

Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men. Proverbs 22:29

I've seen scores of men who've turned to God after burning every bridge, ruining every relationship, destroying their careers, losing everything, serving time in jails and prisons, but then through Christ regain their dignity and gain meaningful work up to six-figures annually.

Those days, quite frankly, are over.

Perhaps so. But since Christ Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, I would never count out a heartfelt cry for his divine assistance finding fulfilling employment. I am an eyewitness of many overly frequent coincidences involving the meaningful employment of those counted down and out.

A question, what kind of job would Jesus have you do?

Anonymous I'm going to pray about this, loudly and publicly September 01, 2017 2:45 AM  

Beau wrote:I've seen scores of men who've turned to God after burning every bridge, ruining every relationship, destroying their careers, losing everything, serving time in jails and prisons, but then through Christ regain their dignity and gain meaningful work up to six-figures annually.

Obviously I don't know Christ as well as you do, but from what I've read of His word he didn't promise success in this world, financial or otherwise.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash September 01, 2017 3:46 AM  

Perhaps not, but He does answer prayer. He always has for me, if not on my timetable or with the answer I want.

Anonymous God's pretty malleable. September 01, 2017 4:34 AM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:Perhaps not, but He does answer prayer. He always has for me, if not on my timetable or with the answer I want.

So, about on average for HR departments?

Blogger Tom Bridgeland September 01, 2017 4:53 AM  

Need a gig? Do you know anything about anything, or can do a little on-line research? Write an article for a magazine and mail it to them. Don't even need to ask about payment. If they print it, they will mail you a check, and if they don't pay but still print it, you have that article as resume. Magazines, old-fashioned print magazines are constantly crying for writers. They need new articles every month and not enough people write.

Or, write on line for someplace like HubPages. I quit writing there when I got too busy, but still get occasional checks from them for the articles I wrote ten years ago that are still up. If you could pull an all-nighter and write a term paper in school, you can write and get paid.

Blogger BarryCuda September 01, 2017 6:17 AM  

I'd been a defense attorney for well nigh nine years until I broke.

I managed the billing at the codt of physical and mental health. Eventually, it caught up and sometime in 2015 I just couldn't do it.

I've had to convalesce for a year. During that time, I lost my car, apartment and credit score.

Now that I am too broke to return to L.A. and look for an attorney job I have taken a post at a motel where I don't pay rent. As vox suggested, the idea is to remain employed and during this process try to find a way to return to law.

I hope I am as fortunate as Vox's buddy.

Blogger S1AL September 01, 2017 12:51 PM  

Guy calling himself "Apex_Predator" whines like typical gamma. News at 11.

For whoever said that the Bible doesn't say anything about material blessing, you are hilariously wrong. There are hundreds of verses that deal with the issue. Try reading it before you chatter.

A recurring theme here seems to be a lack of comprehension as to what Vox actually said. It wasn't "if you were highly qualified 10 years ago, you'll totes find a job any day now," it was "add additional skills while doing whatever​work you can find, and it will help you in the future." Nobody cares about your certs in original C or equally outdated languages.

Blogger Robert What? September 01, 2017 2:14 PM  

@CoolHand,

Har! It sounds like we both work for morons. It's been many years since I was in the corporate world. Things were much more easy going than it seems like things are now. There was lots of baudy talk and the women could give as well as they could get. Today we guys would have gotten fired a dozen times over for half the stuff that went on back then.

Blogger Apex_Predator September 01, 2017 3:22 PM  

@171

"Guy calling himself "Apex_Predator" whines like typical gamma. News at 11."


Nice non-sequitur, I did no such thing. I simply said don't be a blithe retard and understand the optics, logistics, and be situationally aware.

Your time is far better spent gaming and manipulating the system to your advantage then pushing a fucking broom around Costco while you "study for more certs"

I stand by my original statement for a few reasons:

1) It is not mere conjecture, I had to live this unfortunate reality being "non-personed" John Derbyshire style, for speaking truth to power in front of some easily offended but highly connected brown folks.

2) I have at the least, anecdotal evidence, from people I know personally as well as from the interwebz of what I stated.

3) It is objective reality which sort of makes 1 and 2 irrelevant, but "mah proof"


Lastly, prior to me committing career suicide by daring to reference that same said objective reality, I was "living the dream" in many senses of the word. I am by VD's own definition VHIQ, I'm a "natural alpha" by common (or 'manosphere' if you prefer) definition, and was doing quite well financially as a high paid consultant.

Then I committed "the Derb" in my own circle and was nearly eradicated for it. C'est la vie. Had a period of depression as anyone would since I nearly lost my life and freedom in the process. (SWAT, lots of time in court, etc etc.)

So I had to move from being a good little play by the rules wage slave to something else. And I managed to do that, but by a very atypical route. I saw associates and acquaintances grinding it out and getting nowhere fast. Me? Survivor, game the very system that decided to destroy me, and do it quickly and efficiently. By VD's own admission the charismatic VHIQ type is masterful at this sort of thing, I'm no exception.

So I will stand by my moniker because what I endured would have completely consumed many lesser men.

Blogger maniacprovost September 01, 2017 10:02 PM  

I want to hear how you "game the system" by sitting at home unemployed, submitting resumes to web forms, and why it's mutually exclusive with working at a job.

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