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Immortal
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I keep hearing about people who can’t find work. I know that it is more difficult to generate an income when the economy is sluggish but I have been blessed to find work pretty quickly when I needed it, so I thought I might offer some tips to anyone who is having a hard time making enough money to survive.

I am sure that there will be some replies that disagree with me so I am going to put my most controversial idea out front.

If you want to work, there is work to be had. This does not apply to you if you feel that you are too good to work for under $XX,000 per year or $XX per hour. My advice will do you no good if you are too lazy to WORK.

Some will argue that they make more on unemployment than taking a minimum wage job. Shame on them. They are thieves stealing from you and me because they are taking aide when they don’t need it. They can get a job and just choose not to while we are forced to pay their bills. That is wrong.

My advice it to take the first job you can get and start supporting yourself with dignity, WHILE you look for a better job instead of taking welfare. Welfare is not intended to keep you at your comfy lifestyle. It is supposed to be a bare safety net to keep you from starvation, that’s it.

If you are out of work, your FULL TIME job is finding a job.

Assuming that you WANT to work, I’ll proceed. If you disagree with what I said above, just stop reading now and go to another thread.

Ideally you can find work in your chosen field at a convenient location for the hours that you want and for more money than you earned in the past.

To reach that goal you need to be better than you were at the last job. Brush up your knowledge of the field and especially the employer(s) you hope to work for. Study for the interview even before you have one.

Look for job postings in the printed classifieds and online. Ideally your future employer is so desperate for help that they are willing to advertise for strangers to come in and apply. But this is not always the case. If there is a company that you want to work for, ask everyone that you know connected with it if they are hiring. Express an interest. Ask who to talk to about any potential opening.

If you don’t get any leads at all bring a copy of your resume and references to the work site and ask if you can leave it with their Human Resources department or other appropriate contact. Thank them for their time and ask them to call you if anything comes up. To the extent possible in the brief meeting, try to make friends with whoever you meet. If you do, they will call you when they have an opening.

Put out DOZENS of resumes. I figure 12 resumes might generate 1 interview. 12 interviews might generate 1 offer. So that’s 144 resumes to get an offer. It might take more. Don’t stop trying.

When you get an interview, show up 15 minutes early. Be clean. Wash and brush your hair. Consider getting a hair cut if needed. Wear clean clothes. Be honest. Don’t try to fake knowledge or experience that you don’t have. Never lie on your resume or in the interview.

Bring a resume and written references plus a list of phone numbers to reach at least three references. Make sure that the phone numbers still work! Bring multiple copies – you may interview with 2 or 3 people in one sitting. Make sure that nothing is spelled wrong! I have had candidates bring in resumes with spelling errors. They are immediately out of the running. If you can’t be careful enough to have a resume spelled right, I don’t want you making mistakes with my equipment or books! Spelling errors on resumes and references sends the message that your work is sloppy and that you are lazy.

Ask your references ahead of time if the potential employer can call them. The best references are former supervisors. When I hire someone I want to hear that they are a hard worker, show up on time, and are pleasant to work with. Their last boss is the person I want to hear it from.

Be prepared to explain why you no longer have the job you are leaving.

Thank the interviewer(s).


If you get offered a job, take it. Don’t try to leverage a better deal. Be grateful for the offer. You can work your way up the ladder from inside.

What if you are doing all of the above and still can’t find work? Enlarge the area. Be ready to commute a little farther and start again. Shut up, I’ve been commuting over 100 miles a day for 18 years. It’s worth it. If you can’t handle it, move closer to wherever you land the job.

What else can you do? Lower your expectations. If you can’t get that job you had last or the next promotion up from there try for the level one step down. If you can’t get work as a supervisor, hire on as a laborer. Seriously. Then work your butt off and get promoted within 6 months.

Ok what if you can’t find anything in your industry? And you just need income to put food on the table. Again – check the help wanted adds in the newspapers, online, and on bulletin boards at the unemployment office. Answer ALL OF THEM. Tell every restaurant within 50 miles that you’ll clean after hours, prep cook at 4 AM, or wash dishes during the day.

So you made $75k at your last gig. Big deal – go deliver pizza to put food on your table while you keep looking for the next big thing. Deliver newspapers at 4 AM to free your days up for looking for work.

If NO ONE is hiring, the help wanted ads are empty, and unemployment is 25%+ in your city – put up signs on every free bulletin board in town offering to SERVE your neighbors as a babysitter, dog walker, handyman, trash hauler, landscaper, errand runner, painter, etc. etc.

Then knock on EVERY door on EVERY street and ask if you can mow their lawn, walk their dog, clean the garage, paint a fence, rake the leaves, bathe the cat – whatever they need done – for minimum wage or less. Offer to haul away junk / clean out garages and attics etc for FREE. Sell what you haul away as scrap metal or in classifieds to folks willing to buy it for half the retail value. One old book or plate of the right kind can sell for $100 if you connect it to the right buyer.

If you knock on 144 doors and offer to do yard work, painting, dog walking etc. (and don’t look like a thief trying to get in to rob the place) you WILL get work. If you do good work they will ask you back and refer you to their friends and neighbors. ALWAYS deliver more than promised. Come on time or early WHEN YOU SAY YOU WILL BE THERE, and charge less than expected. Be honest. If you do this, in a month you will have more work than you can handle.

If you need more money to keep the lights on, look for things to sell. Chances are good you have stuff someone will buy if the price is right. Put it on Ebay or Craigslist or both. If you are broke - you can't afford grown up toys. Sell the ATV, jet ski, snowmobile etc. You are broke do you want food or toys? On trash collection day look for big metal items on the curb for free that you could haul to the scrap metal buyer.

If a storm blows down a tree, offer to haul it away for a low fee, then sell it as firewood. Heck if there’s a big trunk make a chainsaw sculpture and sell that!

Even if you are not in top physical condition, there are services that you can offer. Day care for kids is an issue for some folks. When I was a toddler my Mom cleaned businesses after hours and took care of elderly people and I went along. It can be done.

If money is tight you must cut spending. You don't need as much income coming in if you have less going out. Cut spending wherever you can until the income goes back up.

I hope that I have offered a tip or two that helps you. If you try any of the above and it helps, let us know to encourage others who are still looking!

Good luck and thanks for reading :)
 

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In Michigan, to receive unemployment you must fill out a form every week and send it to the unemployment office. On this form you must list 3 employers that you sent a resume to. Doesn't matter if you can do the job, as long as you sent them a resume. I don't know if they have the personnel to check on these but, there you go.
 

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100% agree with the OP. I think I am going to barf the next time I hear someone say,I would rather NOT work than take a job paying less than I just had. Guess your gonna be hungry then,cuz the free ride is about to end !
 

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Outdoorsman and Hunter
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If NO ONE is hiring, the help wanted ads are empty, and unemployment is 25%+ in your city – put up signs on every free bulletin board in town offering to SERVE your neighbors as a babysitter, dog walker, handyman, trash hauler, landscaper, errand runner, painter, etc. etc.

Then knock on EVERY door on EVERY street and ask if you can mow their lawn, walk their dog, clean the garage, paint a fence, rake the leaves, bathe the cat – whatever they need done – for minimum wage or less. Offer to haul away junk / clean out garages and attics etc for FREE. Sell what you haul away as scrap metal or in classifieds to folks willing to buy it for half the retail value. One old book or plate of the right kind can sell for $100 if you connect it to the right buyer.

If you knock on 144 doors and offer to do yard work, painting, dog walking etc. (and don’t look like a thief trying to get in to rob the place) you WILL get work. If you do good work they will ask you back and refer you to their friends and neighbors. ALWAYS deliver more than promised. Come on time or early WHEN YOU SAY YOU WILL BE THERE, and charge less than expected. Be honest. If you do this, in a month you will have more work than you can handle.

If you need more money to keep the lights on, look for things to sell. Chances are good you have stuff someone will buy if the price is right. Put it on Ebay or Craigslist or both. If you are broke - you can't afford grown up toys. Sell the ATV, jet ski, snowmobile etc. You are broke do you want food or toys? On trash collection day look for big metal items on the curb for free that you could haul to the scrap metal buyer.

If a storm blows down a tree, offer to haul it away for a low fee, then sell it as firewood. Heck if there’s a big trunk make a chainsaw sculpture and sell that!
I couldn't agree more. I started my own business 7 years ago and never looked back. If you can't find a job then you make a job for yourself. I have written about my experiences at length elsewhere on the boards, but suffice it to say I didn't start with any money, experience, or safety net. I started with raw grit and determination and made it work because I didn't have a choice. I remember in my industry it was common to have a portfolio of work to show prospective customers. I didn't have a portfolio because I had never done this before. So I sat down and made a portfolio just to showcase I could do the work.

I used that initial work to get my first few jobs and then kept going. 1st year was really rough. Second year a little easier, but still rough. Third year much better, 4th year good and good ever since, but as anyone can see it took me 4 years of hard work, sweat, tears, blood, and grit to make it. If more people did that today instead of whining about not being able to find a job our country would already be well onto a recovery.

I think I am going to barf the next time I hear someone say,I would rather NOT work than take a job paying less than I just had. Guess your gonna be hungry then,cuz the free ride is about to end !
I am amazed at this myself. I would never let the bank take my house or starve because I was too proud to take a job making less or work my ass off to keep enough money coming in to keep the banker and horseman of famine from my doorstep.

Back during the founding and early years of our country people had to do this to survive because nobody was coming along passing out unemployment checks for 99 weeks. You either found a job, made a job, or starved. Period.
 

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Drive them OUT!
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Where abouts you located? I am in AZ and it is unbelievably tuff here, I pan Gold for a living, since prices are up it's pretty good lately. Every time I think about getting a job I get kinda depressed, I put out a ton of money and hard work trying to get a job and nothing to show for it other than empty pockets and gas tank. Living on BLM and NF gold mining is working for now:thumb:
 

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Prepared
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Don't look for work, MAKE work and start your own business. Even if it's collecting bait in the summers and shoveling snow in the winters. A troubled economy's first message sent to everyone is that it's mainly a breakdown of the employer-employee dependency relationship. For whatever set of reasons -- they aren't hiring, jobs and benefits are declining.

But that's not a breakdown of society at-large (not yet anyway). People are still eating, drinking, consuming, needing services, multiplying, etc. I've already begun to spin my own side-business and I'm approaching that point where I'm trying to sucker up the courage to quit my regular job. I hate to say it, but if I got laid off it might just be the best thing for me.
 
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