Welcome to the”Long-Term Unemployed” Club

As of May 14, 2010 I have been “between opportunities” for 18 months.  I am officially a member of the “long-term unemployed” club.  According to the definition used by some (actively looking for work for 6 months or longer) I have been in the club since May 14, 2009.  And knowing the length of unemployment of those in the three area job clubs I attend regularly, I’m not alone.

Not to discourage anyone, but according to data on epi.org (the Website of the Economic Policy Institute) it may be a while longer that we are in this club.   The site provides data that shows “in April, the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings was 5.0-to-one.  Today’s ratio of unemployed workers to  job openings is still substantially higher than at the worst point in the last recession when the ratio never went above 2.8 unemployed workers for every job opening.”

Not the most encouraging news for those of us who have been looking for work for a while.  Actually from what I hear from HR folks, if only 5 of us are applying for a posted job, that’s a good thing.  I hear it’s more like 100+ applicants sometimes.  Explains why the resumes we submit are getting a 20-30 second skim before they go into their respective Accept/Reject piles.

The thing that’s most discouraging about this is that we are all educated, experienced, and more than willing to make solid contributions to any organization we are a part of.  From those I meet and talk to, any of them would be able to pretty much “hit the ground running” with a company.  I know I never imagined I would still be without a job after this long of a time period.

I have to admit it’s a little scary, but as my husband always says “it is what it is”.  I know that I can’t just give up and quit or I’ll never be employed.  I don’t think in these economic times, someone is going to just show up on my doorstep and offer me that job I know I deserve!  It just means I have to keep on sending those resumes, networking like crazy, and telling anyone within three feet that I’m looking for a new opportunity.  And I have to be the one out of the five that stands out!

And one more thing. Since being in a long-term job search can be frustrating and beat you down at times, don’t look back on your time off as if nothing has been accomplished just because you haven’t landed somewhere yet.   The sculptor Rodin said  “Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”  So use this as one of life’s learning experiences and don’t (whatever negative statistics you hear or read) quit searching!