My last lay off was in 2009. Since then I have been unemployed, taken a seasonal gig twice, and over the summer temped somewhere I thought would go permanent that didn't.
I think a lot about the hiring bias against the unemployed. I think a lot about my now floaty resume. I think a lot about the fact that I've been laid off twice now.
I've been told that historically speaking the perception is that during a layoff the best people are kept, so people who have been laid off are the less-thans. Today, some businesses have let the bias go, but others still have it. When you've been laid off twice and risen to the occasion by rolling with the punches, taking on new challenges, and generally working your ass off, all while weathering financial demise and demoralization with the most positive attitude you can muster, this can be frustrating.
I think about the fact that I've been laid off twice. I think about the fact that it is because I am loyal.
See, when your company is reorganizing and/or struggling, you ask people to hang on with you. You don't give raises or you cut salaries, you lay people off or cut hours, and you ask the people remaining to please stay.
I'm a stayer. I've been laid off twice because I don't leave easy. Before my first lay off I was investigating moving within the larger company, which probably made me a lay off target in my division, but actually I was the one trying to stay. Before my second lay off I was hoping to survive the bad times, but more importantly, I wasn't going to leave while they still needed me.
I stayed until the day I wasn't needed anymore. Because that's the kind of employee I am: Loyal.
It's beyond the pale to ask that of people and then harbor a bias against laid-off people. There's an entire segment of workers out here who are the stayers who were asked to leave.
So to every potential employer who looks at my resume and doesn't count my last two years and my two layoffs against me, Thank You. I say in interviews that whether I liked it or not, my two layoffs have made me a better employee. I've learned tons of new things, worked in a variety of environments, and learned to take on new challenges like never before.
Laid off people are the troopers. Looking for a new company to serve in.