Unemployment

I was walking to my Commencement Ceremony with two of my pals from college. It was a May morning wearing the disguise of a mid-August afternoon – uncomfortably humid and the sun was merciless. Related: 5 Things You Should Be Doing If You’re Unemployed On the way to campus, an older woman stopped us in our tracks. “Congratulations,” she began with a smile beaming at us like the hot sun “you guys should be so proud of yourselves.” Graduation is a big deal. It is the culmination of your career as a student and the beginning of the rest of your life. Taking that step is something worthy of congratulations, yet I didn’t feel like being congratulated. Maybe it was because all my classmates and I kept hearing about for weeks leading up to graduation was how hard it was going to be for us to find full-time work so we could pay off our loans so that we could finally begin our lives. Or maybe it was because we were about to be handed a ton of responsibility, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Graduation is not to be a scary day, but it is quickly becoming one. For some, jobs were already lined up or maybe interviews were on the horizon. But, for many, the only certainty was that loans were going to start kicking in very soon. Finding a job in this day and age is a whole new animal compared to what it was like even five years ago. Most likely, you’re going to spend hours on your computer, scouring the likes of Indeed, Monster, and CareerBuilder. How do you go about getting an interview in this seemingly hopeless situation? Well, there are a few tips for those trying to sort through these murky waters.

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Leaving your job and relocating with your partner can be a challenging feat. Between the stress of moving and getting comfortable in your new home, it can be hard to find work. So, how can you overcome the 'unemployment stigma' that goes along with it? Related: 3 Techniques To Fight Unemployment Stigma Here's what our approved career experts had to say:

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For almost all adults, work is one of the primary features of life. Many people devote more than forty hours every week at the office, so it's not unusual for them to be stressed when they're laid off. For most people, it's like being fired from their second home.

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Unemployment Insurance Fraud takes place when an individual conceals or misrepresents some information to get or increase unemployment insurance payments. Most often UI frauds imply making a false statement about one’s work and earnings. Sometimes the cases can also include work refusals, unreported travel, check forgeries, identity theft, inability to work, incarceration, perjury, non-availability for work, incorrect claims for dependent allowance, etc.

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One day last fall, the company I worked for over nine years gave me my three months notice. Just like that, the world I had created and built around that job in the hospitality industry as a customer service manager was demolished. Was I disappointed or shattered? Not at all. I was relieved for three reasons: A) I would never have had the courage to give up my job, B) I had gotten into a super comfort zone, and C) a decade ago, when I landed in Canada, I did not know that ‘every job is temporary.’ A few months after landing as an immigrant, I got into a full-time job in a private company (single owner), and my workplace was less than a seven-minute walk from my home. I had my bank, grocery shop, aesthetician and coffee shop where I would sit for hours on my days off reading or writing, sipping several cups of coffee and eating almond biscotti, and many other places that provided convenience for my routine in that same strip mall. My life was filled with comfort and happiness. I could wake up at 8 am for a 10 am shift and come home during my break and plan my meals. This comfort and convenience made me forget about my career growth, upgrading my skills and other features needed to move up the ladder. I thought the company would go on forever. Apparently, the owner/director of the company thought otherwise, and sold it to new management. (The recession was not the reason, and the company was making a decent amount of money.) I had no job and no clue what career options I was left with. Nine years of my life had just been written off in few minutes. It might sound a bit ridiculous that I never gave any thought to my career growth outside this company, but please look at it from an immigrant’s point of view—one who came with a teenage child as a single parent. Cut to the next day with me as an unemployed person. I'm trying to collect all the skills I developed working in the company. But how can I show my CSR skills apply in a different field? I have a bit of sales experience, a bit of human resource and admin and a bit of everything, but not enough to get me an opening in the job market. My experience (or lack of it) is another hindrance. I feel the right strategy would be to cast the net wider and not stick to one particular industry. Not leaving a single stone unturned, I'm trying everything, with no luck. I'm even trying going back to school, but I'll give up after two semesters. Seven months after losing my job with two semesters of school under my belt, I was still unemployed, except for an part-time writing job. I needed a regular paycheck and for that I had to get back into the workforce full-time, through one job or many. I had managed to connect with a handful of people while working and one of those connections helped me get an opening in the retail industry. That set the ball rolling for me, and I took up a few part-time jobs including freelance writing.

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