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Hi Tribe, Can we talk unemployment?

Primavera

TRIBE Member
For the first time in my 32 years on this planet, I am unemployed. Round of layoffs at my company that I had been at for over a decade.

After a month of unemployment all I can say is it's....boring. I'm thankfully collecting severance for the better part of the year so I'm not shitting myself or anything. Friends think I should travel (seemingly convinced that I'll be able to find another decent job in my field when I return and I should take advantage of this lengthy paid time off). I LOVE travel but don't think I could enjoy travelling while unemployed, the job hunt hanging over my head while on the road isn't something I can imagine liking.

Anyone gone through it in the last few years?
How long did it take you to land another permanent job?
Are you currently underemployed?
Did you find a job in your field?
Did you land your next job through networking (ie. through family, friends, neighbours, old coworkers, etc) or via conventional job hunting means?

THANKS TRIBE!
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
Was just off for 3 months after my contract ended, and found a great job building a new web app for a startup with a national brand.


So went through all the ups and downs associated with it. Watching Star Trek all day and eating Bon bons. Getting fat, and going to the gym etc.
 

ndrwrld

TRIBE Member
i would venture a guess that JamesM shit himself several times whilst not working.;)
I've been off for the winter, and can't wait to get back to work this spring.
 

djfear

TRIBE Member
For the first time in my 32 years on this planet, I am unemployed. Round of layoffs at my company that I had been at for over a decade.

After a month of unemployment all I can say is it's....boring. I'm thankfully collecting severance for the better part of the year so I'm not shitting myself or anything. Friends think I should travel (seemingly convinced that I'll be able to find another decent job in my field when I return and I should take advantage of this lengthy paid time off). I LOVE travel but don't think I could enjoy travelling while unemployed, the job hunt hanging over my head while on the road isn't something I can imagine liking.

Anyone gone through it in the last few years?
How long did it take you to land another permanent job?
Are you currently underemployed?
Did you find a job in your field?
Did you land your next job through networking (ie. through family, friends, neighbours, old coworkers, etc) or via conventional job hunting means?

THANKS TRIBE!
Theoretically speaking would EI kick in after your severance runs out in a year? So do you technically have 2 years of income if worst comes to worst? Not that I'm suggesting you go on EI but sometimes we're put in positions where it's inevitable.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Maybe find some sweet under the table gig if you can - really exploit the income potential of the severance!

But you know were I in your position I wouldn't even know where to start in that direction, just always thought if I was laid off (also at a big company long-term like you were, so I have to consider this from time to time) I would try and make the most of my severance time somehow...
 
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Blysspluss

TRIBE Member
Been there for a short period. Not much severance(I've changed employers about every 3 years for the last decade), so I was shitting my pants. I went with the underemployment thing for a time after 3 months off(ironically it took EI all of that time to actually cut me a cheque, which I got the day I started that next job).

Frankly, if you can swing it, DO the travel. The gap in employment is irrelevant and you'll have great stories to tell to charm them in interviews. When else are you going to have the time? Retirement?

I've only gotten that one underemployed gig via networking. The rest have been the old fashioned way. Spam out resumes to gigs I think I'll like, follow up to see where the selection process is at...maybe get an interview.

The interview is my everything. I'm always nervous as hell, but as I've progressed in my career it's gotten a helluva lot better...because I'm confident in what I do now. I know I'm decent, and even excellent at many parts of my job.

TL;DR : Travel.
 

Polymorph

TRIBE Member
y'know, maybe not travel abroad if you've got underlying anxieties about future employment, but for sure do some quality weekend travel. Y'know, like Mtl for the Jazz Fest or Ocheaga, or hell, even local Ontario regions you've never visited before.
Also, you can do what I did once. If you're in a decent rental situation with extra rooms, play the role of gracious good tourist host and do the Air BNB thing, or hell, maybe just be an UBER driver, just for kicks.

Being unemployed don't mean you can't make money.
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
I have no experience with time off in between placments... in fact last 2 years ago I was working at 2 different locations for a 3 month overlap. If I was off for a relatively long time I would definitely travel.
 

djfear

TRIBE Member
You could also travel on the cheap to reduce your loss of income. If you have a car then you can pack it with camping gear and just go drive down to the US and just camp everywhere. Cheap cheap cheap!!
 
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wickedken

TRIBE Member
I've gotten laid off a couple times now, both times in the summer. Wonderful. Once you get past the part where you felt unwanted (someone had to choose you), it's great, as you're on your way to realizing you've got to look for yourself. A lot of people take a really long vacation or try that business idea they've had in the back of their head.
 

the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
For the first time in my 32 years on this planet, I am unemployed. Round of layoffs at my company that I had been at for over a decade.

After a month of unemployment all I can say is it's....boring. I'm thankfully collecting severance for the better part of the year so I'm not shitting myself or anything. Friends think I should travel (seemingly convinced that I'll be able to find another decent job in my field when I return and I should take advantage of this lengthy paid time off). I LOVE travel but don't think I could enjoy travelling while unemployed, the job hunt hanging over my head while on the road isn't something I can imagine liking.

Anyone gone through it in the last few years?
How long did it take you to land another permanent job?
Are you currently underemployed?
Did you find a job in your field?
Did you land your next job through networking (ie. through family, friends, neighbours, old coworkers, etc) or via conventional job hunting means?

THANKS TRIBE!
I was first laid off from a professional gig (career job) back in 2011 after 9.5 years with the company. I was a bit bitter at first (talking like a week) and they offered me 8 months of severance, BUT they said I had to work for half of it (4 months of work and 4 months of non-working severance -according to labour laws, notice is notice so that counts as 8 months a severance).

So, I told them to go fuck themselves and quit 1 week and 1 day after my "severance" started.

That's when I discovered the wonderful world of contracting! I'm in IT and I've never looked back.

The first contracting gig came along by means of a reference. Someone was hunted by a recruiter for an Oracle developer and he was mainly Java. He remembered that I needed a gig so he referred me. That contract lasted almost 4 years.

After that contract ended, I worked my ass off during the previous contract so I decided to take the summer off of work (just last summer actually). I didn't really do a lot. Much like you, I would feel bad if I burned through money vacationing while my wife worked, etc. We took a two-week trip traveling a bit of the west coast, but that was it. Otherwise, I did a bunch of shit that I've been putting off for the last year. Built a gate for my fence, built heavy duty 12' shelves for my garage, took apart my motorcycle and put it back together, worked on my project car, etc.

When I decided it was time to get back into the swing of things, I signed up with recruiters and such. Recruiters sort of drag their feet so after waiting for two weeks, I got sick of waiting for them to call me back so I began cold-called them. I cold-called recruiters, found contracts and presented them to the recruiters, touched-based almost daily to let them know that I was serious, took some for lunch, etc. That was a process within itself. Two weeks after I started this process, I had about 7-8 versions of my resume.

About a week after I started really pushing recruiters (this last July), I got an interview with a large energy provider. I was stoked!! I walked in super confident, wore my nice suit, and everything was looking up!

I ended up bombing interview. I was perfect for it and I knew it too. It was my first interview in 4 years and I had no idea what to expect. I took interviews for granted and didn't refresh my basic PLSQL knowledge and absolutely shit the bed. I didn't know the answer to half the basic questions.

That made me doubt myself and my abilities. After a couple days of being down on myself, I flipped the switch and got motivated. I studied the shit that I should have known. I remembered the interview questions and researched them so as to not make the same mistakes again. I studied for shit that I wanted to know. I studied the shit that I knew I didn't know. Every interview thereafter, I scheduled them a week down the road and studied my ass off. From the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed, I studied.

I got offers for the next 3 interviews I had over the course of 3 weeks. I took a job at another large energy company in their billing department as a reporting specialist and developer. I was let go a couple days later because I didn't pass their security screen from an incident that happened a life time ago. I finally paid the piper. I was a bit devastated, but I knew that I knew my shit -going through that hard-ass process of studying my ass off, I knew I could do anything if I just put some elbow grease into it. I didn't realize it until I applied myself.

After being laid off, I put the word out that I was looking and a friend had a job at his place of work looking for a Business Analyst. I had never been a Business Analyst before, but I knew I could do it. I studied my brains out for a week and nailed the interview. I got the job. It was about 1.5 weeks after being let go at the last contract.

Now, I'm making 25% more than I was at the last contract. I worked so hard at this current contract in my new role that I was able to negotiate an additional 14% on top of my current rate.

Sorry, long story. For the first time in a long time, I impressed myself. I worked my ass off and it really, really paid off.
 

loopdokter

TRIBE Promoter
Theoretically speaking would EI kick in after your severance runs out in a year? So do you technically have 2 years of income if worst comes to worst? Not that I'm suggesting you go on EI but sometimes we're put in positions where it's inevitable.
As far as I'm aware EI doesn't work that way if you were severanced out. They factor that into your claim.
 

loopdokter

TRIBE Promoter
Now, I'm making 25% more than I was at the last contract. I worked so hard at this current contract in my new role that I was able to negotiate an additional 14% on top of my current rate.

Sorry, long story. For the first time in a long time, I impressed myself. I worked my ass off and it really, really paid off.
I'm so sick of working contracts in IT I've actually taken on the life of living like a hermit the last year. It's cost me a relationship and my savings and even my emotional stability, but never again will I go back down that road again.

If you're happy doing contracts, fair game to you. I absolutely refuse to work for an employer anymore that doesn't want to invest in their employees or have their hands tied when they're happy with my performance 'but it's a contract' and they're struck by budgetary constraints.

My sanity is worth oh so much more. That's no way to treat people and sadly it's becoming the new full time.

I'm looking at how I can work for me and put me to work. The 'man' isn't cutting it.
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
It depends a lot on your job obviously.

Companies generally do not make fast decisions about hiring. I heard it's about a month for every $10k in salary for full time "real" positions. Factor in that it's common to interview for six months at most places. Your severance won't last that long if you're looking for a professional, external hire position.

I don't know your financial position but I'd wager you'd be much better off making sure you have a job before going on travel. It can take a long time to actually sign the offer from initial interview, which itself is hard to get.

EI does not cover the bills unless you're married or have some kind of other income. But if you have other income, EI is reduced accordingly.

Contract work may be good for some people, but it doesn't compare to being a real, full time employee somewhere.

That's my conservative outlook. If you have support from a spouse then hey it might be a good time to start your own business. If not, you better start looking for a job ASAP because it will take longer than you think.

-jM
A&D
 
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JamesM

TRIBE Member
i would venture a guess that JamesM shit himself several times whilst not working.;)
Totally. You go through the I'm completely unemployable, no one want's me to work in their office phase.

Just got to hang in there. I also despise being on EI. But it's a valuable tool that you do pay into.
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
I'm so sick of working contracts in IT I've actually taken on the life of living like a hermit the last year. It's cost me a relationship and my savings and even my emotional stability, but never again will I go back down that road again.

If you're happy doing contracts, fair game to you. I absolutely refuse to work for an employer anymore that doesn't want to invest in their employees or have their hands tied when they're happy with my performance 'but it's a contract' and they're struck by budgetary constraints.

My sanity is worth oh so much more. That's no way to treat people and sadly it's becoming the new full time.

I'm looking at how I can work for me and put me to work. The 'man' isn't cutting it.
Same thing happened to me when I was in Toronto working for my old company right recently. consistent 3 month contracts renewed for 2 years. At one point they even went to a day to day basis for a month, and it pretty much sucked the life force out of me.

word. Not the way to do things.

So Now I have a wicked employer full time, and a straight up we want you forever type deal. And they have deep pockets. It happened really fast too. I simply saw an ad on a job search board, and applied.

We all hit it off, and bobs your uncle. I get to start a new web app from scratch.
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
I interviewed at a fairly major employer in Ontario; it's very possibly the largest employer in Ontario.... It is in the KW area anyway.

And at the offer meeting the most they would extend was "contract". I said "I don't need to work here on contract, I want full employee status."

So they changed contract to full time but with a year (A YEAR!) probation period. It's a Japanese company if you haven't figured this yet.

It's a side effect of American "hire at will" that they want to perpetuate in Canada.

There should be laws against contract working ad infinitum. This is one of the few cases where I support unions.

I'm happy now though. They fired me because I had an apple in my desk, whilst they removed my garbage bin.

-jM
A&D
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
Meh, when I went through the long break up at my last job. I basically built their systems for 5 years. They kept the bullshitters, except for the main man. They don't want to pay them off. like 15 years of duty.

I still do work for them on the side, and they won't send me a cheque. A billion dollar company acting like a bunch of gaylords.

dodging a measly $1000 cheque but I did the work immediately to save their ass.

Should have been a $3000 one to boot, they balked to $1000, then I never saw a cent.

Toronto business is for the birds. they're all fucking retarded to save face.
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
They all come cowering when shit goes tit's up, then run away. Cowards.

Welcome to Toronto business. As long as morons are still pulling 150k
 
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ndrwrld

TRIBE Member
Totally. You go through the I'm completely unemployable, no one want's me to work in their office phase.

Just got to hang in there. I also despise being on EI. But it's a valuable tool that you do pay into.
No dude, i totally saw you shitting all over yourself due to the bender you went on.
sorry.
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
Dude i've been to hell and back with regards to basically kicking ass.

Fucking normal people are too busy facebooking all day.

Now someone handed me the keys basically, and I don't even give a shit. Yeah, another successful web app.
 

ndrwrld

TRIBE Member
were the keys color coded ?

( hey, i'm taking the piss out of you, no insult )

congrats on the new job.
 

the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
I'm so sick of working contracts in IT I've actually taken on the life of living like a hermit the last year. It's cost me a relationship and my savings and even my emotional stability, but never again will I go back down that road again.

If you're happy doing contracts, fair game to you. I absolutely refuse to work for an employer anymore that doesn't want to invest in their employees or have their hands tied when they're happy with my performance 'but it's a contract' and they're struck by budgetary constraints.

My sanity is worth oh so much more. That's no way to treat people and sadly it's becoming the new full time.

I'm looking at how I can work for me and put me to work. The 'man' isn't cutting it.
Oh crazy. I'm having a completely different experience thus far. My previous four-year contract was awesome. Regular raises ($5-$10/hr/year), flexible hours, work-from-home benefits, etc.

My current PM loves me because I work my tush off. People speak well of me at work and say that I'm the only effective BSA on the group of 12. My PM will do whatever it takes to keep me. That blows that you had a waaaaaaay different experience!

Every contract that I've worked has been, in my opinion, no different than a permanent full time position with the difference being that I make 50% more contracting. You show up, you work, you have deadlines, you go home. I prefer contracting much more since, if you're going to work for someone, might as well make more money and pay less taxes.

I don't take anything under a 1 year contract and any position that I do take must offer possible extensions. I am sure there will be a time where I will have to fill the void with the odd contract that's less than a year or doesn't have extensions, but it sounds like I have been very fortunate to have had a positive experience thus far. What facet of IT are/were you in?
 
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