Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Unemployment as a career

Laurie over at Punk Rock HR posted recently asking colleagues to post ideas for job searching and strategies. It is a terrific post - read it here (of course, all her posts are terrific). One of my ideas was to encourage people to consider the Unemployment Office as a potential employer. Michigan can't get the applicants helped; claimants can wait for hours - 4 to 5 hours in line - before they can get help. Phones go unanswered. Website crashes. So the good news, and the not so good news, is that the Unemployment office just hired another batch of employees.

With insider information, I learned that these seem to be good jobs - full time jobs with state benefits. These employees will be paid to learn a trade, learning all about the unemployment system and looking at a relatively secure employment for the next couple of years ... at least in Michigan. This is not a bad area in which to work; many colleges and universities have specialists who handle unemployment. Employees will acquire a thorough understanding of the unemployment judicial and administrative process, employment practices of many employers, have insider scoop on a number of businesses and know who to avoid. That surely is worth something. And is relatively portable from state to state.

So if there is a bright side to this scenario, Michigan is hiring.


Steve Boese said...

That is incredibly ironic and also a bit depressing, 'the only place hiring is the unemployment office'. Thanks for pointing this out and for the great post.

Kerry said...

Wow, seriously, that is a great idea. I have a number of out-of-work HR friends, and what a great way to learn that system from the inside. That's going to be valuable knowledge, especially for an HR person.