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Reasons Why Someone May Be Unemployed (It’s Not ‘Laziness’)

March 19, 2020

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I always talk about autistic unemployment. I want to talk about other issues because I don’t want people to think that I only think autistic people are the only ones that struggle with employment. My blog is about smashing stereotypes. Who said I can’t smash the stereotype that unemployed people are lazy? Although my blog is about autism and the ND community NTs even struggle with employment although our issues are different. Even unemployed NTs are judged as lazy just as much as we are. So we should give them a pass on this.

Getting a job is not the same as getting candy on Halloween. The job market isn’t handing out jobs like shampoo samples.

I saw a post on Facebook from a girl that said she had a job at 15 and don’t understand how people are 19 and 20 and unemployed.  Let me dumb it down for her.

1. They’re Homeless

This is a legit reason to be unemployed. Here is why homeless people simply can’t get a job.

  1. You need access to the internet to fill out applications.
  2. The person may not be close to a library, may not be close to an internet cafe.
  3. May not even have a phone. They may not have access to an outlet to charge the phone.
  4. They may not be able to afford the bill to pay for the phone.
  5. You need decent clothes and need to be well-groomed for interviews that a homeless person may not have access to. They may not have access to a shower to stay clean. Nowhere to even store clothes/iron clothes for an interview etc.
  6. You need an address to put on the application. I found this article regarding the situation.
  7. Can’t afford transportation which you need to get to a job.
  8. They obviously won’t have access to a computer to even make a resume.
  9. Poor credit score.
  10. Stereotypes 
  11. Can’t afford transportation or gas.

Remember everyone’s situation is different.

2. Lack Of Transportation

Employers require reliable transportation. Not everyone has a car. If the person has to catch the bus, what if you have to be at work before the buses run or you get off when the buses stop running? Industries like retail change your work schedule. If the person can take the bus, for their first schedule, what if their schedule changes and they need a car that they don’t have to get to work for the next schedule.

Their family may only have one car that the parents need to get to work. In rural towns, buses don’t run every 20 minutes like in the city. In rural towns you need a car and simply can’t walk where you need to go. The moral of the story is that scheduling can be an issue for someone that relies on public transit and they don’t have friends or family close to taking them to/from work if they’re scheduled before/when buses stop running. Or they live too far from the jobs that are hiring.

3. Gaps In Employment

Employment gaps make employers suspicious. The reality is you moved to a new town and the hiring process in your new town is harder than you thought. However,

The potential employer will not know this. Or you have a military spouse/relative and moved near their base. Military families move a lot.  That can also cause you to have employment gaps if you were unable to seek employment during your husband/wife/son etc’s deployment in said area. Several factors can play a role in employment gaps. The employer may think they are unfit and pass them up w/o even knowing the truth behind their employment gaps.

4. It’s Harder For Unemployed Folks

It’s easier to get a job when you’re currently employed than if you are unemployed. Someone who is unemployed may not have connections. They may not have previous experience. When you put down your last job, your potential employer will call the last employer for a reference if required. How can an unemployed person with no experience get that?

5. Hiring Managers Are Picky

Hiring managers are picky when they are choosing who to hire. Most employers require a crazy amount of experience that someone, say a college student, won’t have. There are those assessments that you have to pass to be considered for a  job. If you don’t pass they won’t even look your way. I was looking for a freelance writing gig on Monster and I saw a graphic design job and the employer wanted 5 years of experience. Some people get turned down for ‘too much’ experience. Some managers take a while to decide who they want. Someone who is still in school or just finished will not have 5 years of experience.

6. Companies Losing Money

That ‘lazy’ person you mocked for being unemployed could have had a job. They probably got laid off. They probably had their hours cut majorly and quit. If a company loses money; If the employer can’t even afford to pay current employees, how do you expect them to be able to afford new hires? There are some chains from when I was younger that are extinct now like Domminck’s. The store you work at now there is no promise that it will be open 10 years from now.

7. School

Some folks are high school/college students and they want their attention 100% on school. Sometimes a job can make your grades slip. Scheduling for a job and school can also play a role. The student can’t find an employer that will work around their school schedule and commitments for their clubs/sports. It can be difficult for a high school kid to get hired if they can only do weekends. It all depends on the managers. These aren’t the case for everyone. Everyone’s obstacles are unique.

8. Not Enough Jobs

Their area may not have enough jobs for everyone. More towns have hirings than others. You can’t expect the market to hand out jobs like candy. Not all towns have enough jobs to hire everyone.

Even in general, employers have a tight number of spots open. Out of thousands. Out of thousands of applicants, only like 6 people will get called for an interview. It really depends on how many spots need to be filled.

We are not lazy

Boomers like to look down on us millennials as lazy but won’t get it that things are not the same as when they were young. Someone went off on me saying YouTubers had jobs before YouTube and did not ‘sit on their laptops waiting for cash.’ First, they are ‘sitting at their computer’ making videos to get that cash they are ‘waiting’ on. Does she think Youtuber’s video comes out of their ass? And they are waiting for cash like they’re waiting for a train? Even if I had a ‘real’ job, I still have to WAIT every other week to get paid! How does she think jobs pay, like the damn jackpot?

Learn how things work before you make ludicrous ass statements.

When judgmental people don’t think before they type. Second, when Pewdiepie was a teen there were more jobs and technology wasn’t as in as it is today. Now people can go on Amazon and buy whatever they want for a better price than in-store. Which can make Walmart lose money. She wasn’t telling me the ‘truth’, she was being ignorant. If the person can provide for themselves it’s a job.

Stop thinking the only job out there is a 9-5! The point is so many factors can make jobs disappear.

It’s unfortunate that not everyone was blessed with the chances you had. Also, YouTubers have to report what they make to the IRS.

Can we stop acting like we’re above these folks? You don’t know how hard they’re trying to get a job.

  • You don’t know how many applications they sent in
  • How many rejections they get
  • Or how they never hear back
  • Or how they had interviews and still had no job
  • If they have a medical condition and constantly have to go back and forth to doctors.
  • Or if their town is losing jobs

Job Barriers folks don’t think about

sometimes you can’t afford to get a job. If you live with someone on social security or you receive Medicaid that can be at risk if you get a job. You would not make enough to pay for insurance. How much you get on SS is based on the income in your household.

If the person has kids, they can’t afford daycare. So the other parent is the only one working. Hard to make it on only one check.

You need a phone for jobs to contact you if you are chosen for an interview. If you can’t pay your bill, the phone gets disconnected.

You need decent clothes for the interview.

Gas money/bus fare.

Lunch money. Not everyone has the luxury that parents/friends can fund them until they receive their first check.

If the job has a dress code and you can’t afford the proper attire. There are several reasons.

You can lose your job and not be in the position to find another due to the reasons listed.

There are so many reasons besides they are lazy. Help them.

If your folks own a store see if you can give them a spot.

If you need editors, artists, etc hop on Craig’s list and post an ad.

Teach them how to start their own business.

Do something to help them instead of acting like you’re better than them and mocking them.

There is also a stereotype that only unemployed people use food stamps. People who have jobs use them but don’t make enough money. Mind your own beeswax.

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1 Comment

  • Reply A Real-Life Situation Having No Time To Process-Autism Diaries – Gaming With Jazz January 2, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    […] I hate the stereotype that unemployed people are lazy. I explain why there can be other reasons a person may be unemployed. […]

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