Top 5 Reasons Not to Collect Unemployment
It has been a long, long year. There isn’t a doubt. Through the turmoil, many had to enter into the world of unemployment – which is there to support individuals during times like 2020.
Now we’re in 2021, and the landscape is changing. Vaccines are available, businesses are opening up (if they were closed before). Our world is different, and it will never be the same. New precautions will become old habit for us. And, we all have to get back to work.
Unemployment assistance has a solid purpose, don’t get me wrong. And even today, there are still valid COVID-related reasons (or otherwise) to be accessing the resource – but put your thinking cap on for these 5 reasons why you should get back into the workforce, and not remain on unemployment:
- It costs you money in the long run. Data shows, unfortunately, that if you’re out of the workforce for 6 months or more, it is drastically more difficult to re-enter. In fact, data also shows that individuals are also more likely to drop out of the workforce altogether. If one does get a job, chances are it will be at a wage less than a previous wage earned.
- There is an opportunity cost. Businesses are hiring right now. They can’t find enough employees right now. Those taking positions right now are getting the leg up on you because they are learning new skills, growing their network, establishing themselves as a reliable and serious employee. They are even getting promoted right now. So get in there, be ahead of the others who will eventually have to get back in the game because their benefits will run out.
- Loss of benefits. Finding employment opens up easier access to benefits such as medical, dental and vision coverage, EAPs and so much more. Often, these benefits are supplemented in cost by the employer, which really means you are earning more! That cost of the benefits is part of your compensation package, and allows you to remain healthy, and seek care when needed. Other benefits, like retirement, should be thought about as well because these will have long-term effects on the future you.
- It takes a toll on your mental health. Humans on the whole are driven by purpose, driven to be connected (yes, even the introverts). Unemployment isn’t a vacation, and after a bit of time, the lack of purpose and ability to connect and contribute to a greater group wears on the mental and emotional health of each of us. We become grumpy, tired all of the time, frustrated, physically less agile, depressed, etc. Working provides a level of connection that can stave off these things, even in our more isolated times like COVID. And, when someone has a consistent income, they’re able to better plan their life and future – even if it’s not as much as they’d like it to be. It provides stability, and financial stresses subside a bit.
- Turning down an offered position could result in fraud. That’s right. Employment security does connect with businesses and could ask about recent job offers made and turned down. If they determine that an offer was declined for an unacceptable reason, they could then say that the claim was fraudulently filed. This could result in you having to repay the money, be fined, and possibly be ineligible for benefits in the future. Make special note: refusing a job because of the fear of COVID when going back to work is not a valid reason.
Ok, so here are two more, as a bonus:
- Gaps in resumes draw attention. As recruiters and human resource professionals, we understand that gaps in resumes are there for a variety of reasons. In fact, we talk with hiring managers and supervisors about identifying gaps, because this is a place where we can be curious about why. It is often that there are things being learned, skills being developed during these times that can lead to transferrable skills. Questions will be asked about this gap on your resume, so be ready to have strong answers as to why it was there, and what you may have done and learned to increase your value as an employee.
- Benefits will run out. They don’t last forever, and there will be a time where they won’t be extended by a congressional act. The eligibility for benefits will not be so flexible. Getting back to work sooner allows for your own “pool of money” to be replenished sooner, should you need it in the future.
For so many over this year, unemployment has been a lifeline. Understanding how it works, and the longer-term implications of not being in the workforce are important parts of planning your future as an employee as well as your personal life. Jobs are there, and even the non-ideal job during this time can lead to a rewarding career in the years to come.
If you’re struggling on where to start looking for a job, reach out! We’re ready to put you to work. Apply here or text JOBS to 253.853.3633.