Here in Florida, roughly 100,000 people will have their extended unemployment compensation benefits expire on November 30. These are workers who had been given special extensions on unemployment because of the severity of the recession. This means that their safety net (at its peak, around $300 per week in Florida) will end soon. WorkSource career center staff hears hundreds of stories each week from people who are desperate to find work and are afraid that “there are no jobs out there.”
There are people who have been looking for jobs for months – even years. There are those with barriers to employment that make competing in the market challenging even during strong economic conditions: transportation barriers, health, criminal or credit history, or education or mastery of English language.
Assuming that one of these barriers isn’t the problem, what people often mean by “there are no jobs out there” is “I haven’t found the right job for me.”
- In my industry
- With my former pay / title / benefits
- In my preferred location
- During my preferred shift
Many people are stuck in place by circumstances and trying to find a job that will make them whole, bring them back to where they were in their last position. That, of course, should be the long-term plan. But your short-term plan could be to find work to replace the safety net (unemployment compensation) income you are receiving. The issues I raised above (location, salary, title, industry) are what are called objections when you’re trying to change behavior or make a sale. They’re the “yes, buts” that salesmen get all the time. One sales training site says, “Sometimes, an objection is really just thinking out loud. If you wait a moment, prospects might overcome their own objection.”
To get past your own list of “yes, buts,” try an old sales technique. Ask yourself what kind of work you’d look for or accept if that factor weren’t an issue. Here’s a list of what ifs to get you started on thinking differently about your job.
- What kind of work would you look for or accept if salary wasn’t an issue?
- What if you were just seeking income to replace what you made in unemployment?
- What if you didn’t need to work full time?
- What if you were only planning to work for one year?
- What if you preferred working at night?
Thinking about these things can help you break out of your pattern of thinking about work. You might find that you are open to new possibilities. You may find that there are jobs out there – in places you hadn’t thought to look.