What was it like to find a job during the recession?

Updated on : December 7, 2021 by Evan Simpson



What was it like to find a job during the recession?

During the Dot Com collapse, eBay had about 50 open positions, and after interviewing a few people, they decided to have a job fair. I showed up, along with 5,000 other people. There were lines snaking through the parking lot, television news crews, and each interview lasted about 20 minutes.

When looking for work during a recession, there are few jobs and many applicants. People will tend to look for jobs they wouldn't have considered during boom times. If you apply for a job and are on the short list, you can summarily decline for ridiculous reasons, like they saw your resume on too much man.

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During the Dot Com collapse, eBay had about 50 open positions, and after interviewing a few people, they decided to have a job fair. I showed up, along with 5,000 other people. There were lines snaking through the parking lot, television news crews, and each interview lasted about 20 minutes.

When looking for work during a recession, there are few jobs and many applicants. People will tend to look for jobs they wouldn't have considered during boom times. If you apply for a job and you're on the short list, you can summarily decline it for ridiculous reasons, like if your resume was seen on too many job boards. Job descriptions will include many requirements, including some that are basically impossible or rare; For example, jobs that require 10 years of experience in technologies that only emerged 5 years ago or 10 years of experience on a mainframe from the 1960s or experience in a database where the database company closed in the 1960s. 1980.

Some scammers will come up with various types of scams. Some will be companies that find out how desperate job seekers are, so they will "hire only if we find someone really, really good," which means lots of interviews, but often no one is hired. Some will post jobs that pay minimum wage but require expert-level skills: "If you don't like it, don't apply!" (I met a guy who got one of those and it was ridiculous - they were making a jewelry website with no budget, no design or blueprint, just hoping cheap engineers would somehow make it happen.) Some will offer jobs. no salary, just equity or even just experience / something to put on your resume.

The abilities of most people will be partially atrophied; they have no way of practicing and maintaining their skills. Some people give up, perhaps going back to school and changing careers, or just getting jobs with little or no skill. There will be several people who will start looking for work in groups; I liked these. People will look for work, but they will also do other things with their time, such as hanging out, gardening, remodeling the home, etc.

Many will seek government jobs, especially for teachers, and appreciate them for their stability and pensions. School districts will be super happy, they will be very demanding and they will take revenge on the teachers who left them during the boom.

If you find a job, you will pay less than you did before, and you will likely be stuck with the lowest pay rate for years. The job will probably suck.

My plan would be threefold: (1) wait for the recession to pass, which is why low-cost living and high savings are important during boom years; (2) have a way to maintain your skills with personal projects, etc. and, (3) only look seriously for a job and take a job when the job market recovers. The desperate "get a job, any job" move can really roll you back 10 years or more, and if you could have waited the recession without a job, you would often be better off.

EDIT: Maybe it's obvious, but of course a lot of startups closed during the Dot Com Bust and I heard the same thing during the Great Recession. Funding is completely depleted and startups can hold on for 6 to 12 months in the hope that funding will come back, but then everyone is laid off. But, at big tech companies, employees are much safer - only limited layoffs, not all. So if you fear a recession, it is much better to work at a tech giant than at a smaller company.

I was a recent college graduate when the Great Recession hit. He had probably been working for about two years before everything went wrong. Contrary to what older people want you to think, the ones who had the hardest time getting a job were young college graduates. Experience was king. Everyone wanted to hire people who could "get started." It was the beginning of the era of “we don't want to train anyone”. The era of "it takes 10 years of experience doing this job that a monkey can do."

Don't have enough experience for the good jobs? Check.

Too much education for retail jobs. Check.

I was unable to pay your student

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I was a recent college graduate when the Great Recession hit. He had probably been working for about two years before everything went wrong. Contrary to what older people want you to think, the ones who had the hardest time getting a job were young college graduates. Experience was king. Everyone wanted to hire people who could "get started." It was the beginning of the era of “we don't want to train anyone”. The era of "it takes 10 years of experience doing this job that a monkey can do."

Don't have enough experience for the good jobs? Check.

Too much education for retail jobs. Check.

He couldn't pay off his fast food student loan (much less anything else). Check.

When I showed up at work one day and found the doors closed because the company went bankrupt overnight (closed without giving our last 3 weeks of pay), it took me nine months of resumes to land a new, entry-level job that pays. slightly above the minimum wage. It was just one of the two interviews that I was called to and I lived in one of the highest-employment areas in the country.

Fortunately, I lived in a place with very cheap rent and, with a little frugality, I saved a little from my unemployment check and did not have to take out of my savings.

If you're young and educated when a recession hits, prepare for it to hit you worse than everyone else. You're going to have too much or too little of everything employers want.

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