Career Question: Has being unemployed long-term caused you to rethink your career choices or options?

Unemployment numbers are scary.  Being unemployed is scarier.  Millions of people are currently unemployed and have been for months.  If you’re among them, you understand the long-term unemployment stats intimately.


6.3 million people have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more.

8.3 million people have been forced to work part-time due to an inability to find full-time work or because their hours were cut.

2.5 million people were marginally attached to the workforce (they wanted and were available to work, looked but didn’t find work in the prior 12 months)

1.5 million people haven’t searched for work within the past month.

1.1 million people have given up!

14.8 million people are currently suffering from the “Pink Slip Plague”.

Only 4 million available jobs are posted online now.

(Source: Conference Board, Bureau of Labor Statistics)

So, the question is: Has being unemployed long-term caused you to rethink your career choices or options?

There’s no right or wrong answer.  But, we put the question to a friend and reader, Cedric Miller (50 years old, Fort Worth, TX resident, divorced father of 2, certified microsoft engineer) .  Here’s what we found.

Cedric was laid off from a job he’d had for nearly 20 years.  He had worked for a mid-sized company that builds components for commercial aircraft, but he’s been unemployed for 7 months (and counting).  Like most people, he initially panicked.  But, over the past 3 months, he’s mellowed.  Why?

Cedric explained that he decided to use the “opportunity” to simplify his life–not just financially (a necessity), but spiritually and every other way.

The most significant change he’d decided to make was to change careers.  Turns out, he never enjoyed his work.  He was there for the benefits and the job security.  He had two growing daughters when he first started out, but they’re grown now.  He was free to choose “a flighty, fun career, something he just wanted to do, not had to do”.

Thus far, he’s been a landscaper, a videographer for a wedding, a low-rent Geek Squad (of 1), and the maker of some pretty high-quality bootleg DVDs.  It’s taking him far longer to cobble together his old salary, but Cedric isn’t rushing back into the job market in search of his old job.

What about you?

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