I was alerted to an article in the Huffington Post via a Facebook comment and found it rather appalling. It is reported that some companies have taken the position that they will not hire any individual who is not currently employed, regardless of reason.
A related article in the Huffington Post noted that 46% of people who are unemployed have been so for six months or more – a record since these statistics began in 1948.
I didn’t write much about being laid off. It wasn’t something I liked, nor did I want to bring attention to it. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to find work, while at the same time trying to create it for myself. I kept busy, but I didn’t earn money.
I had very, very few interviews despite sending out numerous resumes. While I applied for jobs at the level I was working, I also applied for positions that were ‘below’ me. The reason was quite simple, I wanted to work. And, some companies or organizations can offer better benefits and perks that more than make up for a few dollars.
Unfortunately, what I heard when I applied for ‘lower’ positions and spoke with someone, typically because I had a connection that could get me the courtesy of a conversation, was that I was overqualified.
Now I find in reading these articles, that some companies, to make their hiring process ‘easier’, have opted to exclude the unemployed.
On the week I was hired at my new position, I ran out of unemployment compensation. I had spent one year searching for positions. I applied for everything from part-time to full-time to contract, above me and below me, and now I find my efforts, and like efforts of others who simply want to work and provide for their family, is to learn that we excluded the unemployed from the possibility of employment.
That period of time was an incredibly trying one, emotionally, financially, mentally, and physically. If you haven’t lived it, you can’t understand what it does to the people involved. I’m blessed to have a great wife and children, but there is no doubt the impact this had on all of us. I have several friends who remain unemployed, and my heart goes out to them, because I know what it does to you over time.
Excluding someone on the basis that they are unemployed is wrong and companies that make this a policy ought to be banned from receiving any government contracts, tax breaks, or incentives of any kind from government entities.