By Jack Kelly
I hate to start with bad news, so skip ahead if you’re sick and tired of hearing things that make you sick and tired. More than 1.4 million workers filed new claims for state unemployment benefits last week.
New state unemployment claims rose last week for the first time since early in the pandemic, to over 1.4 million, amid new fears of a downturn https://t.co/LtnEmrjOcW
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 23, 2020
This is the 18th consecutive week with over one million Americans filing for unemployment. A staggering amount of people—52 million Americans—have filed unemployment claims since March of this year. To place things into perspective, prior to the pandemic, we witnessed 10 years of straight-up uninterrupted job growth. Hey, if we did it before, we can do it again! Hopefully, we’ll soon find a vaccine and figure a way out of this mess.
A life raft was offered to people collecting unemployment funds when the federal government provided an additional $600 per week on top of what the filer’s state pays. This gave a little more comfort for the folks looking for a new job during one of the worst job markets in U.S. history. This extra payment is set to expire at the end of July.
CNBC reported Thursday that Steven Mnuchin, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, is planning to provide extended enhanced unemployment insurance “based on approximately 70% wage replacement.” This is a vast improvement from Wednesday’s plan of slashing the extra benefit from about $600 to $100 a week through the rest of the year. We now have to wait for Congress to agree on extending the benefits.
For those who are in between jobs, worried about holding onto their positions and the large number of people who are anxious about the new and different world we’re in, there’s scant attention paid to them. We don’t talk openly and honestly about the mental and emotional anguish that job seekers and workers contend with on a daily basis.
When a person spends several hours a day over a number of months filling out dozens of long and involved job applications that are submitted and not responded to, there is understandably a feeling of shock and dismay. This growing sentiment of dread is compounded upon when résumé submittals continually go unacknowledged, interviews not offered nor feedback provided.
A feeling of dread takes hold. You start worrying about whether you did something wrong. You retrace your steps and try to figure out if you’ve offended someone or committed a faux paux that has placed you on some sort of unofficial “black list.” A little paranoia kicks in as you start ruminating that maybe colleagues or former co-workers are saying derogatory things about you. As time progresses, there is an increasing level of fear that you are not wanted or needed any longer. You feel alone, adrift without any direction or faith for the future. It’s easy to become despondent and depressed. You’re not alone. Check out this piece to read what’s going on and what can do next.
Here’s a little interview hack. You’d like to believe that a manager only hires the person who possesses all of the right requirements for the job. It’s not that straightforward.
While it’s important to have the right skills, prior experience and requisite knowledge, there are often intangibles that managers seek. One of the most important traits that a hiring manager desires is the likability of a candidate. Hiring managers are only human. They want to like the person that they’ll spend over eight hours a day with. Think of yourself—would you rather hire a person who you genuinely like, but needs some help easing into the role, or a person you don’t particularly care for, but possesses all of the required skills? Some people are naturally gifted in the art of likability. Others need some help. Click here to become more likable.
When you’re asked “So, tell me about yourself,” are you worried how much is too much personal information to share in a job interview? Talking about your personal life might seem like a natural thing to do in an interview, but there are certain details you should aim to keep to yourself. Say your favorite hobby is volunteering for a political cause. You may believe that this is the best, most worthwhile goal in the world. Meanwhile, the interviewer may hold a diametrically opposed political view from you and is not too happy about your outside-of-the-office pastime. As a general rule, you should always aim to keep certain taboo subject matters out of the interview—religion, politics, gossip, your love life (or lack thereof), conspiracy theories and partying. Read the full story to learn what you should and shouldn’t talk about.
You’d be doing yourself a disservice to presume that your job is safe and sound. If you’ve lost your job or are concerned about the safety and long-term viability of your career, you need to plan ahead of time and not wait for the ax to fall. Here are six outside-of-the-box things you can do to stay in the game and keep the momentum of your career going.
Good luck and stay safe!