The High Cost of Accepting Unemployment Insurance

There is no shame in accepting Unemployment Insurance. I did, for a while, until clients returned. Not ashamed. Not embarrassed. One does what one needs to do in order to survive.

But…

If you decided not to look for work because you could get by on Unemployment, you will have a serious problem. That is something that goes to character. Employers will look at your resume, see that you have been unemployed since COVID began and will ask you, “What have you been doing in the past few months to find a job?”

Given that you cannot walk down the street without seeing “Help Wanted” signs in just about every store, “I’ve been looking but couldn’t find anything,” just won’t fly. Employers will hear, “I’d rather collect Unemployment than minimum wage.” They may also hear, “I’m too good for menial work.” Or, just simply, “I’ve got a huge ego.” And it is what the employers hear that matters, not what you say.

There is one, and only one, reason for not having a job these days: being a care giver. “I had to take care of my children,” or “I had to take care of my parent,” are the only (see below) credible gap fillers on a resume. Otherwise, you will look like someone who is fine sitting around all day watching television. No one wants to hire someone like that.

Of course, one other explanation is that you took advantage of Unemployment to advance your career by taking on-line courses. Be prepared to prove it. List all the classes on your resume, front and center. Otherwise, you will be placed in the same pile as the other (assumed) silly soap opera/idiotic talk show viewers. And when that happens, you can say good-bye to your reputation as a professional.

In other words, accepting Unemployment Insurance for no good reason can cost you your short-term, and perhaps long-term, future.