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Job Magician Two Traps to Avoid
When You're Unemployed

You’re too scared when you’re unemployed. 

Don’t be. 

You had to have something more than the average Joe to get you where you were before you became unemployed.

You've been successful more often than not or no one would have paid you over $100,000. Dig deep and believe in yourself. Prepare yourself to avoid these traps, which can seem tempting, and that every unemployed job hunter will encounter.

Resist the grifters. The unemployed make such easy prey. You’re smart enough to avoid the vacuum cleaner sales job (actually, I think you’re smart enough to avoid all of the great pretenders – just make sure your BS filter is always switched to on), but the executive-level straight commission jobs, selling prepackaged consulting programs or some other type of supposed high-end services are no better. The math of the multi-level schemes never seems to make sense, nor do the Secrets of Internet Millions which are so valuable that they’ll sell them to you for $39.95 rather than make those millions themselves. At least these shell game shysters won’t require much of an investment from you. 

If you want to blow your life savings and be miserable at the same time, talk to the modern equivalent of the old covered wagon snake oil salesman, the franchise seller. They’ll let you finally be your own boss, and you’ll run a Subway sandwich shop, a carpet cleaning business or a health club. You may think you’re fed up with the corporate world until you’ve spent nine months running a Mailboxes, Etc., franchise like a friend of mine did.  Most of these people fail after a year or two, and those who don’t spend their days working long hours for low pay doing mind-numbingly boring tasks.

Don’t even think about the band-aid job.  One of the fears people have with hiring someone who is unemployed is that they will say anything to get themselves employed:

  • “Sure I’ll relocate to Aardvark Corners – as soon as my son graduates from high school in 18 months.”
  • “I understand that I’m going to have to take a pay cut – there really aren’t any jobs available at my level any more.”
  • "Our kids have grown and my wife is used to me being away. I'll get an apartment, and go home on weekends.
  • “I really don’t want that demanding a job again.  A company your size sounds like it will be really fun.”

Every employer has heard your answers before, and most of them are going to figure out what you’re doing.  You’re going to take this job to fend off the bill collectors … and are going to keep on looking.

Even if unemployment is painful, taking a dog-dew job is a bad idea.  The appealing companies aren’t going to let you get away with this, so it’s only the desperate employers that operate on the edge of the trash heap that’ll hire you. These companies fire people far more frequently, and I’ve seen this start a vicious cycle of one-year jobs, at the end of which no one wants to touch the candidate.  In addition, it’s awfully tough to approach a new employer when you started your current job only nine months ago – I’ve run into too many job-hunters trying to do this, and I almost always pass.  Aim for consulting gigs, contract assignments or selling your blood rather than taking the band-aid job.




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