Posted by: careerworks | January 12, 2011

Unemployed workers find job offers — but should you take them

A aquaitance was offered a part-time job after about six months of being unemployed, she  decided to hold out for something better.

Eight months passed before she was offered another job. That, too, was part-time. This time, she accepted thinking this might be the last decent opportunity.

About 17 percent of unemployed workers have received at least one full- or part-time job offer, and almost all of those workers — 92 percent — turned down such an offer, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder.com. The reason most often cited — low pay.

The government’s extension of unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 99 weeks is a factor. If you’re making somewhere in the mid-20s and collecting almost $19,000 a year (in unemployment), you can rationalize staying home. But this is rarely the case for someone making $60,000 to $70,000 a year or more.

The study shows that the jobs people have turned down usually are customer-service positions paying $12 to $16 per hour.

Do unemployment benefits subsidize a job hunt so people can turn down offers in hopes of landing better ones?

Remember, job qualifications change during times of economic upheaval, and unemployed workers might not be qualified for positions they held or are looking for.

Unemployment benefits provide an opportunity to look for jobs, but jobs change; but what about some of the money being spent to upgrade their skills?

In my practice, if someone’s going to turn down a job, it’s most likely going to happen at the beginning of the search, holding out for the job they feel is coming, and in this market, many times it’s not there.

A legitimate offer must allow a worker to earn close to “the middle-class standard of living,”  Some say any job is a good job if you don’t have one, but is that true?

Maybe it’s time to rethink how we invest in people, especially during economic uncertainty. I hope that as we achieve our national employment goals (obviously this must come first), we take some time to learn and understand what tools to apply should we ever find ourselves in this situation again.

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