Possibly the worst thing to happen this year, in my opinion, was for Unemployment Insurance benefits to be extended…and extended. This is creating a false safety net for many unemployed people. And in NY state, the max you can secure is $405/week, so that's not much security.
Hypothesize with me for a minute. If no one received any money from the Dept of Labor after their job was eliminated, what would happen?
How much money would that save tax payers? (Please also calculate the number of Dept of Labor jobs that would become obsolete.)
Now that that has been taken care of, what would the poor unemployed person do without these benefits? How would they survive?
Would some take a minimum wage job? Or even two or three?
Should they consider taking a job that paid less than their last one and hope that a better paying job would come along later? (Yahoo Finance named the cities with the largest decreases in wages, guess who ranked #1 in the country? Average wages fell 2.3% in Rochester!)
Could this create a greater sense of urgency?
If only it were so easy. I realize that the entire system would then require an overhaul, so this isn't going to happen.
What I would like each unemployed person to consider is, if your unemployment benefits ended tomorrow, what would you do? How would you make money? Begin to implement some of those thoughts today. Sell stuff you don't need. Cut back on shopping. Find a survival job. Be open to relocation. Take temporary or contract jobs.
It is a new world. The stigma of being unemployed isn't what it used to be. Everyone knows someone who has lost a job. However, it is difficult for people who are working to understand how or why anyone could be jobless for over a year. Perception or reality?
It is up to you to secure employment. Get creative. The old fashioned corporate ladder has some broken rungs, or it may even have toppled over. Get off and try thinking differently. For now and for ever more. You are in charge of your career. Work hard and always have a "Plan B".
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.