I have technically been unemployed since late 2012. I have had some temporary jobs here and there, but nothing I would put on my resume. Those jobs were the sorts of jobs who would hire anybody to do them, and those aren’t usually very good jobs. In fact, all of them were pretty miserable.
I mourn my old, long-term job sometimes, but I never regret leaving. You see, the first four or five years I worked there were great! I was kicking butt and taking names and the sky was the limit! Then the economy crashed, technology dramatically changed the industry I worked in, and if that wasn’t enough, the owner decided to merge her other company in with mine, and all of those people resented me for it. They had to take it out on someone, right? So I had to try and work with people who did not, under any circumstances, want to do their jobs (which meant I got to do my job AND all of their jobs) and the owner just shrugged her shoulders and told me I just needed to find a way to fix it. Yeah….that would be like telling a drowning man to just you know, like, not drown. I put up with that for three horrible years that probably shaved some time off my life. I wish I had left way before I did.
Some things I have figured out while being unemployed/job hunting:
If you need a break, take one. Mental health is dramatically underrated in our culture. We’re all raised with this mentality that we have to be busy and productive 24-7. I’m not telling you to take a permanent ticket to lazytown, but if all you’re being met with is rejection, or no interviews at all, just walk away for a little bit. It’s better to come back refreshed than to read bitter in an interview. If you sound bitter and cynical, nobody will ever give you a job.
Make up something the interviewer can’t disprove to explain gaps in your employment. Never tell them you have been searching all that time and not gotten hired, which is totally not your fault, by the way, but they read that as a red flag not to hire you. It’s totally unfair, but true.
Which leads me to another point: Unless you have experienced this misery first-hand, nobody, especially HR people, have absolutely no clue what it’s like to be looking for work right now. It breaks my heart knowing that there are so many worthless jerks who are employed, and so many great people who are not.
EVERYONE lies. Don’t completely fabricate things like education, though I’m pretty sure very few companies actually check that. But don’t feel bad about embellishing your skills. At my old job I would work with the most incompetent retards with super-fancy careers and even fancier paychecks and think “How in the world did they get that job?” The answer: They flat-out lied about their qualifications. And guess who got to fix their stuff and make them look good to their bosses? ME! You’re welcome.
The level of both apathy and ineptitude of “the system” is a major problem right now. I wish I knew a way to fix it, but I dont. The only thing we can do is keep moving. My heart goes out to all those brilliant people out there who just can’t seem to catch a break. At least you’re not alone.