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Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

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Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

Old 08-02-16, 05:40 PM
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Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

Last month was the 5 year anniversary of when I got laid off from my long-time staff job and was forced into the unknown abyss of Unemployment.

I was employed at FOX Sports for 14 years since I graduated from college in 1997. Back in 2011, they had massive cutbacks and cancelled the show I worked on, thus leaving me jobless. They actually gave me 1 month notice. Announced it to me and a few other colleagues in a meeting in early June and I was officially done in the 1st week of July. I got a 6 month severance, cashed out all my remaining sick and vacation time and I also cashed out my pension.

I admit, I was scared shitless. It was my 1st time experiencing that. Was wondering all kinds of things like how was I going to pay my bills, pay my rent, have any money saved for a rainy day.

Luckily a few colleagues and friends stepped up and offered to help me out. I somehow managed to get a 3-day per week part-time job around late August 2011. The job lasted about 3 months. I had a few slow periods here and there, but managed to survive with a few gigs here and there and collecting unemployment checks. Around May 2012, I was hired part-time at NFL Network and have worked there ever since. Around August 2012, I was hired by Pac-12 Network and have also worked there part-time ever since. Got hired by both places based off the recommendations of former colleagues who liked me and respected my skills. Really grateful that things turned out the way they did. I have 2 part-time jobs and make more money than I did when I was a full-time staff employee and I have time to take vacations in the summer during the slow season. Only thing that sucks is paying my medical, dental and vision out of pocket.

I do have a pension with NFL and in 2 years I'll be 100% vested. I also have a 401K with Pac-12 and transferred my previous 401K from FOX into it. So financially I'm doing okay now.

So for me, it took around 7 months before I finally found something stable and has lasted. What about the rest of you? What challenges did you have to face? I absolutely hated dealing with the California Unemployment offices. Just a pain in the ass. Luckily I haven't had to collect an unemployment check in almost 2 1/2 years.

Last edited by DJariya; 08-02-16 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 08-02-16, 05:56 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

That's a fantastic story. How exciting. I've always been self employed, so I've always felt scared shitless.
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Old 08-02-16, 06:02 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

Not since college. Luckily I've never been laid off of a job and every time I've quit one job I've already been hired at another so I've never had that unemployment gap. I'd be scared shitless of it ever happened to me and feel for those who have had to go through that.

I just started a new job last month and that is scary enough. I'm starting over with vacation and sick time and having no time in the bank leaves me with an uneasy feeling.

The most important thing, health insurance, worked out well where I managed to quit and start the new job in a time period that prevented a gap. And I didn't have to pay $1600 a month for Cobra. What a scam that shit is! No wonder it's named after a deadly venomous snake!
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Old 08-02-16, 06:08 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

About 3 months for me. I worked at one of the few large, stable video game companies for awhile before leaving to go to a startup. Unfortunately the start up didn't work out and failed after about 6+ months, and I was unemployed for a few months as I looked for other jobs. It was pretty stressful dealing with rent and bills during those few months, but I did collect a bit of unemployment at least.
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Old 08-02-16, 06:17 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

There was a time when I was unemployed for over a year. I started on unemployment and then my father became terminally ill, so I moved back to help my parents and lived off of savings for awhile.

Regarding CA unemployment, I actually found it really simple and didn't have any problems. It was also during the height of the recession, so it was easy to get overlooked. The only negative I found was if you wanted to speak with someone over the phone, forget it. There was a number to call, but the number always said they were too busy and to call back.
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Old 08-02-16, 06:21 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I haven't been unemployed since being laid off from a seasonal job during my college years. And since I was still a full time student then and didn't have any significant expenses, it wasn't too big a deal.
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Old 08-02-16, 06:22 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I have never not had a job since the age of 16.
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Old 08-02-16, 06:45 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I've been in the workforce for 20 years next month and have never known unemployment ever.
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Old 08-02-16, 06:58 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

After college, it was about six months.

I've currently been out of work for about four months. I've got unemployment, and I've been freelancing, but I'm not earning what I was yet. I recently started a freelance gig that pays double per hour what my regular job did, but at the moment they can only offer me 10-15 hours a week.

If I got up to 40 hours, I assume they would cut my pay from what it is now, which feels absurdly high.
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Old 08-02-16, 07:25 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I said a few weeks, but only because I'm assuming you don't consider temping to be stable. Whenever I have been between jobs, I have temped or done contract work for people (I've been in the admin biz for over thirty years). I've never filed for unemployment even though I've been involuntarily separated (laid off) more than once and probably could have.

When I haven't had a permanent gig, it's been because I actually PREFERRED temping, so I could concentrate on the freelance writing I did a lot of in my twenties. I would temp to pay the bills and write in my off hours. I quit doing that after my twenties because life without health insurance was just too scary. And I also worked a second job most of the time until well into my thirties.

I've been with my current organization for nine years, and that's a record for me. In my twenties, two or three years was about my limit. In my thirties, three to five years. Now I'm fifty-one, so I guess I'm settled down.
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Old 08-02-16, 07:46 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I've changed careers 3 times, so I've been unemployed a bunch of times, either because there was no work, I went back to school, or just decided to travel for a while. Now I'm retired.
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Old 08-02-16, 08:04 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

Got laid off in April of 98 and if I remember correctly did not find work until August, so about 4 months. It sucked because the previous year I had lost my job and was out of work for a couple months, so I did not really have time to save much money and essentially racked up a bunch of debt. Ended up having to borrow some money from my mother to get by.

Thankfully I haven't had any lapse in employment since then.
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Old 08-02-16, 08:22 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

There was about a year in my early twenties where I had no real employment, I just made extra cash by working a few odd jobs under the table, and flipping comic books and toys for profit. Luckily I was living at my parents, so I only really had to pay for my car insurance. Now with a wife, kids, job, mortgage, etc. I kind of look back fondly at those carefree years. Not that I would want to be in that situation in my forties.
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Old 08-02-16, 08:46 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I've been "unemployed" every May-August for the past 4 years. The 1st 3 was because I was substitute teaching, which obviously stops during the summers. This past year, I resigned from teaching position I'd filled in July to look for a different opportunity.
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Old 08-02-16, 08:52 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I started out answering phones for Papa John's when I was 14, back when there were only a handful of locations. I never knew unemployment until 3 years ago. Worked 10 years for a dude and he came up with some BS reasons to let me go so he could hire a buddy of his in my place.

That began a year long search for a gig. The first few weeks were a nice break. Got some gaming in, some movies, reading, things done around the house, etc. After about a month though, it was miserable. It felt weird doing those things in the middle of the day when I should be at work.

However, it was kind of a blessing in disguise (well other than my boss was an a*hole anyway). I got to go to the Elite 8, Final Four, and Championship game to see my Louisville Cardinals win it all(first time in 27 years, I was 10 the last time they won). Had I still worked for that guy, there wasn't a chance in hell I'd get off work to go. I kinda wish he let me go a few weeks sooner so I could have gone to see the Cards trounce Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

Being a stay at home dad for awhile was nice too. I got to go to all the school functions and stuff the old boss wouldn't ever let me leave the building for.

Ending to the story, found my current gig the exactly 1 year to the week I lost the old gig and unemployment ran out. I have no idea how people game the system and stay on it longer than a year.
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Old 08-02-16, 08:56 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

Unemployed for a few weeks (almost a full month) between January-February 2009.

Gotta hustle in those job interviews. I landed my current job (hired in January 2016) with a good closing argument, which I'm proud I actually thought of myself (and not some "interview trick" I learned from the internet)

On the flip side, after I left my other job this past January, a few months later, the company declared bankruptcy and went out of business. More than 50 employees lost their jobs and didn't get paid for their last week of work. Of course, they filed complaints but most still haven't received their last paycheck since March. And fortunately, they have all found new jobs at this point based on referrals.

Last edited by MLBFan24; 08-02-16 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 08-02-16, 09:06 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I was unemployed for 3 1/2 months from late May to early September in 2013, although I guess it was more like 3 months since I knew in August I would be going back to work. Honestly, that 3 months felt like FOREVER when I was out of work...I don't know how people get through 6 months or more. That three months included probably two dozen interviews and a whole lot of rejection. Kind of like my dating life.
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Old 08-02-16, 11:06 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I was unemployed for like 5 months back in like 2003. I was a customer service manager at Circuit City (and had worked there for 6 years) and got laid off when they started restructuring and getting rid of higher paid salaried employees to then hire on lower paying hourly workers. I couldn't find anything that was anywhere near what I was getting paid at Circuit City so after 5 or so months I made the move to Arizona where my mom and some other family had moved because they had a job lined up for me. They kept forwarding unemployment checks to me for quite a few months after I moved to Arizona too which I wasn't going to argue about.
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Old 08-02-16, 11:17 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I quit my first job after over six years and filled out applications the next day. One of the places I applied hired me on the spot. I've been there 33 years. I really miss my one day of unemployment. I've been paying into it for more than forty years and haven't received any back.
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Old 08-03-16, 12:06 AM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I was off work for about a 1 1/2 years but it was a blessing, I went back to school and my mom got sick during that time so I took care of her, I survived on California unemployment, and never had to touch my savings. I have always had a job, go in, interview and you have the position, now its like going before the parole board, I hate panel interviews. The last job I had, I had taken the Monday after the 4th off and my friend called me and told me they were letting everybody go, so when I got there the next day just packed up my stuff and waited for my check, found another job in 3 months for more money, and better benefits, and a little closer to home.
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Old 08-03-16, 07:46 AM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I have had three periods when i was unemployed. The first was when i was still living in England. I had just started a Government job that i immediately realized was gonna be a nightmare and with a bunch of jerks. Started Monday, got to know the one cool guy there who would travel like 2 hours every day to get to work (literally two bus trips a train journey and a walk), and he mentioned that he always got to work like 5 mins late, which seemed pretty true. Tuesday morning and the Boss is complaining to this guy about time keeping. Another day passes and i am already feeling like i wanna get the hell out. Wednesday morning and the Boss asks for a team meeting where he shouts and screams about time keeping (not mentioning names) and says that anyone who does not get with the program is out the door. This was the moment for me, i stood up grabbed my jacket and walked out. I could not have given less of a shit. At that time things were pretty damn good in the UK and i knew that i would have a new job in no time. I made a few calls that day, had an interview on Thursday and had a new job to go to by Monday.

This new job was working for the Electricity Company as a Team Coordinator for their Data Team. It was an ok job, but nothing wow. After a few months of working there i found out my girlfriend at the time was coming to visit and we talked about having a week in Paris. I spoke to my boss and asked for the time off to which they said no. So i thought about what i wanted to do. I pulled a sickie that week as my girlfriend was traveling a distance and i was not gonna let her down. I knew full well what was probably gonna happen, but i did not give a shit. Sure enough the Monday morning i walk in the team are all heads down and sheepish when i talk to them. My boss calls me in and says they are firing me. I tell her its not a problem at all as i was not particularly happy with the job. This was another case where i literally went home, made a few calls and within a couple of days had a new job. The new job was actually one of the best jobs i ever had. I headed a team of about 120 people working on mortgages for a National Bank. I got to saunter around talking to the hot chicks in the team, my boss would take me and some of the team out for drinking sessions most nights and the pay was stellar. They also promoted me in the first month to a Managerial job in one of their mortgage divisions, however it was at this point that i was already getting things sorted to move to Puerto Rico to be with my fiance. It hurt like hell to leave that job as i was loving it. But life is about chances.

So the last i was unemployed was back in 2001 when i first moved to PR. I had applied for a job online in PR and got it and a start date. I arrived on the island and i had one week before i was to start work. During that week i decided to head to the company to check in with them and get a little ahead on being prepared. It was at this point that they decided to tell me that the job had fallen through. After years of living here this is the kind of thing i have come to expect from PR. People who feel no sense of responsibility and simply dont give a shit. To say i was pissed off was an understatement. So for the next 3 months i was living off the money i brought with me and literally walking 8 hours a day 5 days a week around the city going door to door at companies with my resume and trying to find work. In the end i managed to find a job (at the place where i still work) but they told me that due to bureaucratic bullshit and paperwork actually getting a pay check to me might take some time. I worked for them 6 full months without once receiving a pay check. They finally got it all to me (which was glorious), but that was a tough time of working without getting paid.
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Old 08-03-16, 04:43 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I was unemployed for around 3 months a few years ago. My wife got a job in SF, so I quit my job and went up to San Francisco with no prospects. Took about 3 months before I landed a job with PAC 12 Networks (small world, OP) and have been there for over 3 years.

Had a bit of a scare for a few months when my wife accepted a job in Portland, and I had to tell my current employer I was moving. We agreed to continue working until the season was over, and then they told me they would not allow me to work remotely. However, due to some lucky breaks, they changed their mind and I am staying full-time working remotely.
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Old 08-03-16, 05:00 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

I put a few weeks, because there was a period between high school and college that I was unemployed before starting my workstudy and part-time cafeteria job at the university. That's about it.

But really I've been working since I was 17, so, 20 years now. Up until I was like 19 or so I generally worked 2 part time jobs and went to school at the same time.
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Old 08-03-16, 06:11 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

Most thankfully, since obtaining my degrees, I've never known unemployment. Things have never been easy, but thankfully the work has always been stable, even in the 2001 and 2008 recessions. Now, with a 2016-17 depression looming and massively increased healthcare costs, who knows???
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Old 08-03-16, 06:59 PM
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Re: Longest period of time you were unemployed or didn't have stable work?

3 months. I actually got laid off and separated from my first wife on the same day back in '95 and I went ahead and took advantage of the unemployment to get my self settled in a new place and work through the divorce and such. Other than that I have either been working or on a short, planned transitional hiatus between jobs since I started delivering papers at 13.
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