Why Does Society Give The Cold Shoulder If Not Employed? Why Is That The First Question Asked?

Nowadays, Every time I go to church, or when I am out with people and I haven’t seen people in a while, the first question would be where do you work? I am honest with them and I do say I am looking for work right now, but people do not know how hard it is finding a job. I have heard that phrase before, if someone wants a job bad enough, they will get it, but sometimes that is not the case, I keep trying and trying, but its not happening, but I know one day it will. As soon as I say that, the person I talk to gives me this certain look then the cold shoulder and doesn’t even bother to continue the conversation sometimes and just goes away. I am just so tired when a person first asks you, “where do you work?” rather than other questions like what is your name? and to get to know you first before jumping into that job question, I mean yes a job is important to have, but a persons personality traits, and attitude are far more important than a person’s employment status.

Yes everyone needs an income to survive these days and a job is crucial to have for life, but not everything revolves around work, work shouldn’t overpower your life. Life is meant to be enjoyed and to be lived to fullest. I know some people have no choice in the matter, but seriously I am fed up of when people always ask that question. It is not only me in the community that is looking for work, but I look like I am the bad person who doesn’t have a job. I had some great jobs and I do have life and work experience, but I am just so tired of people telling me I have no life experience, I have no work experience. I surely do. No matter how long you work at a place, that is considered experience. I worked a place for a year, a year there, 8 months there. All these add up.

I had this amazing job in a logistics company and everyday I would go in and they would compliment me on how incredible of a job I am doing, they would tell me keep up the great work, your great at computers and communication and everything, and one day after almost finishing work, Myself and 3 other people were asked to come to the office and talk to the manager and the manager told all of us that we no longer need you, so today is your last day, we have to lay all of you off due to shortage of work. At that moment my world was shut down, and I had to drive home and I barely could. I got so discouraged and I cried for days, and I didn’t get out of my room, I had no appetite, and I was just so depressed. When I was driving home after being laid off, I was crying so heavily while driving and this person beside me saw how badly I was crying and she asked may I do something for you? Are you okay? I said I will be fine thank you, she said okay no problem, so I continued driving for another 5 minutes until I got home, I didn’t want to show that I got laid off my job so I just played it cool, then we went somewhere later that night and I just lost it. I started to cry and told my parents the news.

Since then I haven’t been able to look at the working world the same way ever. I was so discouraged and it effected me for a long time and it still is. Sometimes the people around me do not understand where I am coming from and do not understand what that did to me, and I do not make up excuses to not look for work, but on the contrary, I am looking for employment, I did not join linked in, and join employment websites for nothing. I am going crazy.

Just because someone doesn’t have a job, it doesn’t mean to give that person a cold shoulder and to forget about them. Life changes every minute. Things can happen, I don’t get it. The important thing is a persons personality and attitude, not their employment status. Sorry to say, but employment comes secondary… When your a down to earth and loving person with a good attitude, that is what should matter most. A person’s employment status of course shows independence, a source of income and everything to survive with the bills and among necessities of life, but I value a persons heart, soul and the way a person is. People need to stop asking that question. Is that important? Or is a persons personality trait and being more important? I find that a person is more important than an employment status.

Don’t get me wrong, employment is very important, but that should not be the first question asked. I am sorry to say. get to know someone first, then ask.

32 thoughts on “Why Does Society Give The Cold Shoulder If Not Employed? Why Is That The First Question Asked?

  1. Carmen Djemalian says:

    Employment has become a false identify for individuals and for others to evaluate through. Like you say, other more important elements will give a better idea of the person than employment, yet society has created that gauge unfortunately.

    What I find quite sad is when women value men on their employment for marriage, when men value a woman’s parents’ employment for marriage… Totally ridiculous! Are you marrying the job??? and is a high paying job equivalent to a good and happy life??? That’s where divorces happen! (and I see it happen)

  2. Teresita says:

    Hello! I always enjoy when I have time to read your blog…I have nominated you for the “One Lovely Blog” award. Keep writing and I will keep appreciating! Check out nomination here:
    One Lovely Blog Award

  3. essaalroc says:

    just because you can even get a job doesn’t mean its the right job for you. I’ve done the whole unemployed thing. I totally know where you are right now. But give yourself time and give yourself a break. It will happen when it will happens and you’ll know its right when it does. Don’t make the mistake of just going for the money like I did. Good luck. 🙂

  4. xxxxxxxxxxxx says:

    Finding ajob is fairly difficult but finding a job that you will enjoy working for the rest of your life or fror a long time whichever may be is very difficult, those people who asks you if you are working or if you have a job are curious and want to show off what they are working and sometimes are show offs sometimes people judge you buy your work to see where you have reached in life and what you have accomplished, a job is necessary to survive in most people in some cases it is home making cleaning cooking doing house chores and looking after family members, these type of chores are sometimes more stressful than regular day jobs, cause you’re home most of the time and not enjoying other people’s company, so whenever someone asks you if you have a job you just tell them yes I do and it is at home at the moment, or maybe writing a book one day , I know you have probably done many different jobs and graduated few levels in carrier so no worries, just enjoy life concentrate in one thing that you like most and do not give up until you find it or do it, who cares others as long as you are happy and willing.

  5. earthdrifter says:

    Society tends to condition us to believe that we must prepare ourselves for a good status or money making gig. There is pressure to have a good job. Salaries are super unequal. I agree with your post. It’s superficial to meet someone and say something along the lines of: “Am, I’m sorry, but, what d’you do?” Often it’s just a harmless way to start a conversation, or keep one going, but I agree that it’s too personal. I feel it’s better for people to find something else to talk about and judge the person on who they seem to be as a person and not by what they do for a living. Of course it’s better if we don’t judge at all. 🙂

  6. hammynotthehamster says:

    Seeking employment is certainly difficult, certainly in these uncertain times. Obtaining a job you love is nigh on impossible, especially in the more competitive sectors – unless you have the financial stability (eg. from parents) to embark upon the a career where you may well have to work for extended periods without being paid at all in internships for ‘work experience’.

    That said though, I’d be very surprised if someone was to ask about your employment status before asking your name. Though it’s by all means not the most important feature of a person’s identify, it can reveal interesting characteristics about them, their drives, their interests and passions. At a basic level it can simply illuminate what it is they do for 9 hours a day. No, it’s not the most valuable information to discover, and no people should certainly not brush you off for being unemployed, but I do think it can be quite telling.

  7. tinerowan says:

    I used to work for this certain institution and at the beginning people made it sound like I should be honored to be working for such a great person, but then 3 months into the job, I wanted to quit. The labor relations was terrible, the direct supervisor was awful and it was just hell. Finally, I quit and I somehow covered it up with taking up postgraduate studies (which is true), but even more so, I really had no intention of staying.

    Nowadays, when people ask me what I do, I tell them honestly what I do but in a more fun and creative way that make them envious that I actually quit my job lol. What I’m saying is, people may also depend on your attitude towards unemployment. If you’re insecure about it, they might sense your insecurity and will prey on it. On the other hand, if you’re happy and living your life, they get insecure about their lives. In any case, if they become judgmental, you know who you are. They don’t feed you or provide the roof over your head, so you shouldn’t care about what they say.

    On another note, good luck with the job hunt! You can do it! 🙂

  8. Missus Tribble says:

    I was a carer to the elderly with dementia for some years; I wanted to train and become a staff nurse to follow in my grandmother’s footsteps.

    I am now far too disabled for that job or any other, and will never work again. When people ask me and I’m honest, they either want to know more about my disability or they begin to behave as though they might catch it from me.

    People who decide your worth as a human being on whether or not you have a job or disability are not worth knowing.

  9. paulaacton says:

    The sad thing is that for most of us we have to work in soul sucking jobs while we live in hope our dream job will come along, it is easier to get a job if you already have one and as that gap on your cv grows it gets harder to get back into work one thing you could consider is looking into voluntary work at local charity shops, care homes etc while it might not pay it will give you different experiences to add to your cv and new references from different people and who knows you may find your dream job while doing it

  10. TammyeHoney says:

    Why should you settle for a job that you will be miserable with for the rest of your life…until someone else is paying your bills it is none of their business…that is rude…I obtained several jobs by starting with volunteering at the place I had in mind to see if I would like the environment…while there a few times a week it was easier to hear of insider tips of upcoming job openings. Best of luck with your venture… Try picking a job close to a hobby they are the ones that normally will last the longest or perhaps go into business yourself…or just tell the nosy people that is what you are doing…lol…

  11. mcolmo says:

    Unfortunately, this society values and judges you for the job you have and not for who truly are. I agree with you. I work to live and pay my bills but that job is not who I am. Don’t let it bring you down and don’t give up.

  12. scroungelady says:

    It’s a cultural thing. People in North America tend to define their identity by their work. I agree with you that work is something we do, not something we are. Best to say you are a writer when asked about your “job”.

  13. seakist says:

    Not having a job is the best time to recreate your own job! Four years ago I was very unhappy at my job. It was a dream job, I was a journalist for an award-winning newspaper, but my co-writers were catty and I was seated next to someone who talked too much, distracting me from my work. I finally decided to leave — and then I started my own business! I am so happy!! I love every day. Every day is a blessing!

    So I have major respect for people who don’t work and take their time finding something they love!

  14. XX says:

    Hi Talin,

    Although you probably won’t even read this comment (since I’ve never seen you reply to anyone’s comment before…), I just need to say that this particular post has me confused. I respect and support your decision to put your emotions and your thoughts out on the Internet, but I strongly believe that you do need to follow your own advice, and that you need to believe what you decide to preach.

    How can one so harshly criticize bullies and judgemental people, and not follow their own words? You generalize widely in most of your posts about “society”, and to be honest, I don’t understand who exactly you’re talking about… I totally understand if your feelings of discouragement follow an unpleasant encounter with someone specific, but to generalize to our society and accuse it of being too concerned with employment is pointless. We live in this society, accept it, or live marginally. Both are completely fine. However, if you don’t want to accept it and decide to simply complain -this is where I find a problem.

    Personally, I have worked my whole life towards the goal of financial security. I have been working non-stop since the age of 16. I busted my butt for years in school, got a good degree, and found a great job where my financial security was guaranteed, because I knew that in today’s world, I had no other way of living prosperously and in a completely luxurious and safe manner. This was important to me, because I did not want money to be a worry for me. I find it so much easier to find a balance in my life when I don’t need to worry constantly about my pay checks. I do think it is important to surround myself with people that have the same goals, that are at least somewhat innovative or creative, or that take initiative, because I believe that the better your environment, the better your network, and the more stimulated your mind. Does this make me a snob, an elitist or part of the problematic section of this society? Don’t think so. I just prefer to make friends with people who have similar interests. However, if you get out of your usual circle once in a while, you might realize that there are other people in this world who are doing wonderful, amazing, mind-blowing, crazy things.

    “I am honest with them and I do say I am looking for work right now, but people do not know how hard it is finding a job. I have heard that phrase before, if someone wants a job bad enough, they will get it, but sometimes that is not the case, I keep trying and trying, but its not happening, but I know one day it will.”
    Our society is full of resources and helpful people. If you don’t know how to get through an interview, how to make a proper CV, or how to promote yourself in the right ways, all you need to do is ask for help. There is more to finding a job than putting yourself out there on websites like LinkedIn. Some employers might actually prefer traditional ways. You actually need to seek employers out and compete for a position. Your future employer needs to feel convinced that you are a great asset to the company/organization. You need to realize that employment/income is a HUGE part of society, and that it is not necessarily an “evil” (once you get to understand it). It does not need to be your priority, but you need to realize that one day, you will need to depend on yourself. One day, you will no longer be young or healthy enough (God forbid) to start looking for a job; where will the money come from then? Ask yourself how comfortably you want to live in the future.

    Maybe this all might seem harsh and aggressive, and that is truly not my intention, but if you are going to submit a critique of society, it has to be well thought out. You need to understand society before deciding that it is stupid for being a certain way. If you don’t like living in a capitalist society that promotes and values employment, then you should maybe condone that specific facet. It is, after all, this society that has given you the rights and the freedom of speech to display your disagreement. There are pros and cons to everything. You cannot be so idealistic all the time.

    Nevertheless, everyone does have different priorities and life experiences, and in my eyes, a stay-at-home mom is just as precious and important to our society as a career-oriented one.
    Nobody is worthless. You just have to find the right fit. Also, realize that any job is a learning experience. I think I learned more about people when I was a teenager working in retail than I ever have anywhere else.

    I only know you through Facebook, so please do not take this as an attack on your person or on your feelings. I hope you decide to take the constructive criticism that many of your readers send to you. If you believe yourself to be insightful enough to give advice, you should be able to take it too.

    Best regards, and good luck.

    • Harry Hagopian says:

      She may or may not read it, but we’ll never know because Talin, unlike most bloggers, does not show “blogger etiquette” by responding to her comments. I don’t get it. So many people read her posts and take the time to comment. You will never see a comment from her on any of these posts. She is truely living in her own little Talin world.

  15. XX says:

    Hi Talin,

    Although you probably won’t even read this comment (since I’ve never seen you reply to anyone’s comment before…), I just need to say that this particular post has me confused. I respect and support your decision to put your emotions and your thoughts out on the Internet, but I strongly believe that you do need to follow your own advice, and that you need to believe what you decide to preach.

    How can one so harshly criticize bullies and judgemental people, and not follow their own words? You generalize widely in most of your posts about “society”, and to be honest, I don’t understand who exactly you’re talking about… I totally understand if your feelings of discouragement follow an unpleasant encounter with someone specific, but to generalize to our society and accuse it of being too concerned with employment is pointless. We live in this society; accept it, or live marginally. Both are completely fine. However, if you don’t want to accept it and decide to simply complain -this is where I find a problem.

    Personally, I have worked my whole life towards the goal of financial security. I have been working non-stop since the age of 16. I busted my butt for years in school, got a good degree, and found a great job where my financial security was guaranteed, because I knew that in today’s world, I had no other way of living prosperously and in a completely luxurious and safe manner. This was important to me, because I did not want money to be a worry for me. I find it so much easier to find a balance in my life when I don’t need to worry constantly about my pay checks. I do think it is important to surround myself with people that have the same goals, that are at least somewhat innovative or creative, or that take initiative, because I believe that the better your environment, the better your network, and the more stimulated your mind. Does this make me a snob, an elitist or part of the problematic section of this society? Don’t think so. I just prefer to make friends with people who have similar interests. However, if you get out of your usual circle once in a while, you might realize that there are other people in this world who are doing wonderful, amazing, mind-blowing, crazy things.

    “I am honest with them and I do say I am looking for work right now, but people do not know how hard it is finding a job. I have heard that phrase before, if someone wants a job bad enough, they will get it, but sometimes that is not the case, I keep trying and trying, but its not happening, but I know one day it will.”
    Our society is full of resources and helpful people. If you don’t know how to get through an interview, how to make a proper CV, or how to promote yourself in the right ways, all you need to do is ask for help. There is more to finding a job than putting yourself out there on websites like LinkedIn. Some employers might actually prefer traditional ways. You actually need to seek employers out and compete for a position. Your future employer needs to feel convinced that you are a great asset to the company/organization. You need to realize that employment/income is a HUGE part of society, and that it is not necessarily an “evil” (once you get to understand it). It does not need to be your priority, but you need to realize that one day, you will need to depend on yourself. One day, you will no longer be young or healthy enough (God forbid) to start looking for a job; where will the money come from then? Ask yourself how comfortably you want to live in the future.

    Maybe this all might seem harsh and aggressive, and that is truly not my intention, but if you are going to submit a critique of society, it has to be well thought out. You need to understand society before deciding that it is stupid for being a certain way. If you don’t like living in a capitalist society that promotes and values employment, then you should maybe condone that specific facet. It is, after all, this society that has given you the rights and the freedom of speech to display your disagreement. There are pros and cons to everything. You cannot be so idealistic all the time.

    Nevertheless, everyone does have different priorities and life experiences, and in my eyes, a stay-at-home mom is just as precious and important to our society as a career-oriented one.
    Nobody is worthless. You just have to find the right fit. Also, realize that any job is a learning experience. I think I learned more about people when I was a teenager working in retail than I ever have anywhere else.

    I only know you through Facebook, so please do not take this as an attack on your person or on your feelings. I hope you decide to take the constructive criticism that many of your readers send to you. If you believe yourself to be insightful enough to give advice, you should be able to take it too.

    Best regards, and good luck.

  16. whatsnormality says:

    great post, I agree with you completely!
    This is such a bad economic time for everybody to be identifying each other based upon thier employment status or income. it took me 2 years to find my first part time job, for goodness’ sake, and I although I’m not particularly fond of cleaning day-old food from the drains of the restaurant I work in, I’m pretty thankful to be getting some hours this summer and saving up for university in the fall; many of my friends can’t even say that they have that.

  17. Sudelicious says:

    Keep your head up. People feel safe when they put others in boxes. Stating your occupation makes this easier for others to categorise you. Something bigger and better is on its way to you…I am sure of it.

  18. Mapassion5 says:

    I really feel you and I understand where you are coming from. I had the same problem and I was always embarrassed, uncomfortable till one uncomfortable question that I put in God’s hands, gave me the job which I even call “my carrier” today. May be God wants to give you something better. who knows. Good luck

  19. bellesogni says:

    You are not obligated to answer anyone’s questions, particularly ones from ignorant or insensitive people. The next time someone you don’t know asks you that question, immediately introduce yourself with a big smile then walk away. Either it will confuse them, or make them realize how rude they were being. If it’s someone you know, just quickly ask them a question. Or say, “I could always upgrade. You’re pretty smart. Heard of any good positions?” That puts them in the spotlight and since you complimented their intelligence, they usually will feel the need to help you or risk looking stupid. Try it.

  20. cpasquelene says:

    this is so true. My husband emigrated to South Africa for me and has had such difficulty finding a job in the hospitality industry over here. He has all the qualifications and experience but he is never called back. Other people don’t understand this and keep telling me what a booming industry the hospitality industry is but most of the time its given to people of color with a South African ID. It’s frustrating! I’m tired of explaining and after 2 years of struggling we are considering Europe again but it’s not any better there either although he will be in his home country.

  21. Liza says:

    I just want to quickly comment that your attitude is everything, this post honestly portrays as negative not positive when you talk about how you are unemployed and can’t find work and go into church and talk about it. If you talk about it, it sounds like you don’t say it with a big smile. If you did, you would know that people are certainly praying for you! I know my church is always praying for people, including myself who are struggling to look for work, we know people in my city (this is DC where it all started anyway) so if your city isin’t up to par, they need to get with the program.
    But at the same time, scripture says that we must find joy and praise God through all our trails in times like this regardless of our situations and He will bless us.
    Much love and grace and will be praying that God will bless you with the job of your dreams!

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