The Forgotten Ones

It is never easy to lose a job. And sometimes it is even more difficult to find a new one, especially when you have been at it for months and in some cases, even years. Unfortunately, our economy has been very tumultuous and there are many people in this country who have just been forgotten. Not because they lack the skills or experience, but because they have been out of work a little bit too long. Their resumes get passed over quickly because people think, if someone hasn’t picked them up yet, there must be something wrong with them.

We also run into people who have breaks in employment based on illness, a loved one’s illness, or their choice to raise their children for a few years. Does this make them any less qualified than any other candidate?

According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 4.1 million Americans who are considered “long-term unemployed,” defined as being jobless for 27 weeks or more. These workers account for 37.3 percent of all unemployed people.  In addition to these folks, there are 2.1 million “marginally attached to the workforce.”  That means they wanted and were available for work but were not counted among the long-term unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.  That’s a lot of potential talent out there.

The truth is, these folks know a lot. All of that experience does not de-materialize just because someone has been unplugged for a while. Yes, they may need to brush up on some skills. But unemployment runs out. If you have ever been on unemployment you know you would rather be doing something you love than looking for a job or waiting for a tiny check.

A lot of this pool of experience can be affordable to employers, because these people are just looking for an opportunity. Furthermore, most employers weigh these things as some of the most important assets to a team:

  • Positive attitude
  • Responsible and dependable
  • Adaptable
  • Honest
  • Self-confident
  • Motivated to learn
  • Strong work ethic

A lot of the forgotten people have all of that. The rest can often be learned on the job. For them it will not just be a job, but it will be a whole new beginning and a valuable fresh start.

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