Sometimes, it pays to be unemployed. Smart employers with an eye for nuance and an intelligent long-term business strategy are usually not turned off by unemployment. In fact, some of them actually see this as an asset. So if you’re not currently working and you’re looking for a way back onto the career ladder, keep these employers at the top of your list of priorities, and be sure to emphasize the following aspects of your candidacy, if they’re true.
Why Smart Companies See Unemployment as an Asset
Sure, you’re unemployed. But that doesn’t mean your job search is going to be more difficult. Here are five reasons why you’re actually more hire able.
1. Unemployed candidates are less expensive.
This may not be true in your case, but if it is, wise employers will recognize this as a benefit. If you’ve been obligated to scale back your salary expectations in order to step back into the workforce, don’t regret this decision. It’s a strategic and logical move that will pay off well if employers can see that what they’re getting is worth far more then what they’re being asked to pay.
2. Unemployed candidates are more willing to adapt to workplace culture.
If you’re unemployed (especially if you’ve been on the market for a long time), you probably aren’t inclined to go to the mat and fight bitterly over every nitpicking issue or minor personality conflict that arises in the workplace. Unemployed candidates are usually more easy-going, tireless, patient, and flexible than those who have spent decades working for only one employer and who have had their personality quirks accommodated at every turn.
3. Unemployed candidates are often under-employed, which can be a benefit to those who hire them.
Employers may not need someone with a master’s degree for the role of associate account manager. But if they can find these extra credentials in a candidate who’s willing to accept this position, why turn this person away?
4. Unemployed candidates often have skills and experiences outside of a narrow path.
Most candidates who have been unemployed for six months or more haven’t been simply sitting in front of a screen submitting resumes all day during this time. The job search requires a certain degree of time and investment, but outside of search, valuable candidates have also been attending to other things. They’ve been volunteering, taking courses, taking care of family members, picking up new skills, facing new challenges, and having a wide range of experiences that those chained to cubicles haven’t.
5. Unemployed candidates will be generally better adjusted.
Wide experience—and a little bit of hardship—brings perspective. Unemployment can be a kind of trial by fire, and those who have been through it are usually more grateful for small blessings and generally easier to get along with. They’re better able to enjoy the fundamental rewards of working for a living, which can make them a positive influence and a serious asset to workplace culture. They’re also more graceful in the face of criticism, they have broader approach to problem solving, and they’re less afraid of risk and change.
If any of these qualities describe you, make sure this comes through in your applications and interviews. Smart employers will embrace these traits, which will help you discern those who deserve your talent and commitment from those who don’t.
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