[Reader Submitted] Do you know someone out of a job? Is your neighbor out of a job? Maybe your brother, friend…..?? Did you ever think what they are going through? Did you ever sit down and REALLY think if there is anything that YOU can do for them? I am currently out of a job for a long time already. I went to school, obtained a degree but there is simply nothing out there-nothing. I have friends, neighbors and worse yet, VERY close(I mean biologically) relatives who all know I’ve been looking for a job for all this time. Some people will try everything they possibly can to try to get me a job. Unfortunately a larger number of people seem completely oblivious to my situation. What’s most surprising is which people are in which group. The people who are most helpful and will stop at nothing never knew me before I began looking for a job. The people who do nothing are the neighbors, friends and RELATIVES! Yes, they ask me what’s doing with my job search. They even feign sympathy. However, their “sympathetic” looks and tones don’t mean much when they don’t do a thing to help me. Now, I know some of you will say that maybe I’m taking my bitterness out on people who really care….The truth can sometimes hurt but in my PARTICULAR case I know for a fact that these same “sympathetic” relatives have had clear opportunities to help me out but have turned their heads the other way. Why would they do such a thing, you’ll ask. The answer-They will not “put themselves down” to asking someone they know if they have a job for me. It is beneath their dignity to ask people for a referral…..In one case a relative was best friends with the sister in-law of the president of the firm I interviewed at and yet never asked her BEST FRIEND to put in a good word for me. I never got the job there. Yes, I will get an e-mail here and there with some obscure job that has been circulating on the internet for about six weeks already. But to ask a former employer, to ask a friend, boss….that they won’t do. Again we are talking about people who “care” for me.
As for neighbors and friends; I think they simply never put much thought to it. I go about my daily routine so why sound any alarms? When someone C’V gets sick or passes away at a young age….everyone gets a jostle. When there’s a dead person walking amongst you, not much thought is put to it. Please don’t get me wrong; the chesed in the Frum community is unbelievable and any charity done elsewhere in the world pales in comparison. I do not mean to chip away at that in any way whatsoever-one would need to be utterly blind to not see the amazing chesed done in our communities. I am merely trying to make a point by saying that an unemployed individual doesn’t call as much attention to their plight. That is because they still walk around healthy B’H. Their day still has some semblance of normalcy to it (at least to the public’s eye). In reality, this person is in a coma. His life is one of misery, one of despair. The pressure in the house is palpable. The piles of bills, tuition….don’t stop coming and yet there is no end in sight.
So why did I sit down to write this letter? This is clearly a letter written by someone with bitter feelings, why would I do it?? I am doing it to bring awareness to people out there about the opportunity as well as responsibility that they have when faced with someone they know being out of a job. How many people do you know who got their degree, spent fortunes of money and now cannot find a job? Is your brother out of a job? Your neighbor? Do you ever wonder why your neighbor doesn’t seem himself? Maybe he doesn’t schmooz as much as he used to. Maybe he misses Minyan here and there. Do something! Yes, he and his family may put on a show as if everything is going just fine. As I said, in virtually all instances it is a SHOW. Don’t fall for it! They are likely struggling terribly and are just keeping quiet. Go over to him or her. Say a nice word. Make them feel that you truly care for them. Don’t make them feel uncomfortable though. Don’t be intrusive. However, don’t for a second think that because everything is the same as last year on the outside, that it is the same when they close their doors at night. And most importantly; DO something with actions not just words. Sit down with your spouse and try to brainstorm. Maybe there’s a contact you forgot about that can be of help. Maybe your father in-law’s neighbor who has that successful business knows of something. Even if they don’t need anyone themselves, MANY times they will know of something elsewhere. Don’t forget; businessmen have friends and acquaintances too. Trust me, if you put your head to it, you’ll be surprised at how many people you know, directly or indirectly, who may be of help.
We should all merit to always have enough parnossah and we should not have to come unto one another.
I will daven.
when I heard my friend didnt have a job, and he knows mortgages
I took the phone and called two companies to try to get him a job
use your brains, think whom you know and be the shadchon
it’s mamesh hatzolas nefoshos
u know a neighbor or friend knows someone ? don’t wait for them to offer – be aggressive – u ask them to speak up for u – some ppl don’t think or need a push – they may not do something on their own but with a push they might.
I know exactly what youre going through. In fact, it sounds like I could have written this article, if I would be as good a writer as you… I would just like to add the following:
Without a doubt like you said, we are unique in chesed… However, most of it is done after the fact. For example, if you see someone driving a car making a lot of noise, would you chase after him and offer help? Of course not. However, if that same car was on the side of the Parkway, then a hundred cars would stop to offer assistance within minutes…
I can give many examples (probably some better ones), but the point is the same. A person without a job for an extended period of time, is in a matzav of sakanah. I personally know of a few who have turned to alcohol, drugs and major depression while they are trying to cope with the devastation of not being able to earn a livelihood. Forget about the toll it takes on the spouse and kids… Beleive it or not, there are those that have even committed suicide due to this!
Why wait for someone to lose their house, health, or life c”v!? If any of these would happen, there would be emergency campaigns to raise money. And we would all give because mi kiamcha yisroel. I recently told someone that half of the peoples response to a person without a job is”oh, the economy stinks and everyone is in the same boat.” While the other half actually listens to you, half of those might sympathize but wont do anything and the other half might actually try. So, maybe one out of four people will actually try to help someone without a job, how pathetic! I also have well connected, wealthy relatives who dont give a bleep and havent made one phone call on my behalf. Yet, they give tzedakah, sponsor books and run to every simcha and dinner, blah blah blah….
Its frustrating no doubt, but the main objectives are to keep trying, daven for others in the same situation and try to stay positive. Maybe take on some extra learning sedorim if possible. You cant let your children see you in a depressed state on a daily basis. The Rambam writes (and this is not a quote), that giving someone a job is a higher form of chesed than giving tzedakah. Hatzlocha rabbah to you, (myself) and everyone else in the same situation!
I 100% agree with you. I think people may be afraid to offer help on the chance that it won’t work out. But that iis wrong! The biggest help is to just try. It will give your friend a feeling that he has options and value, even if its not the right opportunity at the end.
I would like to offer you a job. Can you please email me your resume to [email protected]
I think you are heading down the road of depression because of your unemployment. This is quite common. While I do sympathize with you, only a depressed and bitter person suddenly sees all his “caring” community members as “uncaring.” As someone in the field of trying to find jobs for others, I can attest to the extreme difficulty of accomplishing success. It’s like the shidduch saga; do you really know how many phone calls people tried making on your behalf? Do you really think that people who “care” about you are turning their heads at “clear opportunities” for helping you? I suggest you try and remain positive … in the state you are, it will be difficult for you to find a job. People want upbeat coworkers and employees. Hang in there … the One Who truly and always cares, will not abandon you.
For a practical tip – your goal should be to submit your resume to at least one person/company each day. Then you offer up a prayer saying that you truly did your best for today and the rest is up to the One Who runs our world.
Make sure your resume is professional and the same goes for interview presentation. And lock that bitterness up until such time that you can take it out, laugh about it, … and use its memory to spur you on for helping others.
I feel your pain. It’s been almost three years for me. It still hurts as much as the day I was “let go.” It gets harder to be motivated when you’re in a depressed state. Also, there’s not much out there.
my husband has been out of a job for more than a year, the only suggestions he gets are low paying jobs without benefits and when he tries to point out that with that kind of income we would be going more into debt ( a family of 5 ). you get kicked off any programs and you have to shell out $12,000 a year for a lousy health insurance plan. They get frustrated and stop suggesting.
meanwhile my in-laws know people in realestate ( which my husband was in untill the economhy crashed ) but they dont want to “bother them” and “see you shouldve stayed in learning…”
we are a family that puts on a good show but the shalom bayis is never the same. the stress, the depression…
we are in pain and afraid to cry out because people callously say – just take any kind of job – just work.
dont get me wrong, my husband is dying to get a job and get out of the house but it just HAS to make sense!
Respond to #6
Nice of you to offer…
Which field/industry you in?
The initiative done in NY to hire from our community should be done also in Lakewood. For example why shouldn’t the Lakewood banks have Lakewood people employed? or why shouldn’t Yiddishe businesses employ their own brothers instead of hiring people outside our community. I will never forget how I was once on the phone trying to make a sale on a B2B product, but after trying many times the guy said that he has signed up with a goyishe company! (When it’s well known that the goyish company is of a lesser quality). The irony is that this guy recently complains that people go to his competition, but doesn’t see that maybe Hashem is paying him back for not giving parnassah for his own brothers.
Employeeing a Yid is the biggesest form of tzedakah, and let’s not fool ourselves thinking that goyishe businesses are better in quality etc. They are mostly better in PR and nothing more.
To the individual who posted at 10:17 AM:
You suggest that I may be heading down the path of depression. You don’t know me,but I am an extremely optimistic individual who always stands sure the end is near. However we are human and I have my limits too,I guess.
You then go on to question whether I am correct in my “assumption” that people who “care” about me would turn their backs on “clear” opportunities. I will clarify as apparently you did not properly understand my letter. I clearly say that people who NEVER knew me will do anything to help. As for neighbors and friends I explained that I believe they are just “fooled” into a false belief that all is fine next door. They know I don’t have a job but I look,walk,talk and dress just fine. That mitigates the severity of the situation in their eyes. Not a “tayna” on them.just the facts(in my opinion). As for family,I believe they do not even SEE the “clear” opportunities when it is inconvenient for them to do so. I hate to say it but,yes,I do know for a fact of such situations that have happened in my job search. Thank you for your inspiring words though.
As another person in the writers situation I would say that I have the most difficulty with the feelings of pity.When people ask “what is doing” when nothing is, I feel like such a loser admitting it.
Although no one in my family has been able to help me with a job one thing they have done is find me either private clients or one day or more temp jobs so I shouldn’t lose touch with my training or my self esteem. For my part I’m willing to d any type of schlock work on a temporary basis (in private) because one of the worst things I have with being unemployed is having too much free time.
As much as the frum businesses do hire from the community, however, many of them have been laying off people to cut their overhead costs. While this is a necessity, what happens many times is that you have a worker, say a property manager, who has been working diligently for 5 plus years, with occasional pay raises and benefits. Now the economy drops and you have to scale back. So, you make a simple cheshbon, why pay that guy $75k/yr when I can hire someone new (especially a goy without a family) for $50k or less.
I just wonder if anyone ever asks shailos when it comes to these things, or its all in the name of business, expenses, cutting costs… therefore alts is muttar. I guess the real problem I have with this is when those same bosses make million dollar weddings, live in mega million dollar mansions, have personal drivers… And they just took away a guys parnossah for a lousy $25k!!
I actually do know one large business owner here in town who went to Eretz Yisroel a couple years ago to speak to the gedolim before having to let go a bunch of workers. Ashrecha!
I’ve been unemployed for almost 2 years. Do you know what it’s like being treated like a criminal for not having tuition? Why would anyone be depressed after being treated like a shmatta? Please don’t edit this out. I can’t pay tuition, I have to borrow just for food.
Number 13 -(also unemployed)
Would you be willing to shlep heavy boxes? I know someone that can use someone (if willing to work) but usually most guys are not willing to shlep. I dont think its a major job but if you don’t mind i would gladly ask. you can email me at [email protected]
After i wrote this i noticed you wrote in private. This is a job doing deliveries.
Perhaps a support group should start
Instead of trying to solve all the worlds problems every individual should try to help ONE individual. If u own a business, think of a vendor or service that isn’t being provided by “amcha” & suggest to someone u know that needs parnosah to stray that service…..
to anyone in this situation R”L
you are all going through a test from Hashem based on Bitachon & emunah (faith & trust in hashem). theres one thing about yiddishkeit that every yid-from conservativde to chassidish etc…-knows & that is that if a person couldn’t pass a test Hashem wouldn’t give him the test.
So noone can ask hashem why is my son sick C”V or why is my daughter not married yet C”V etc…
so based on above i can tell you that
Becoming a Baal Betuchen & Emuna (Faith & trust) is no simple matter. A person can’t just say, let me have faith in hashem, it is a long & Difficult journey. Becoming a person of Betuchen & Emuna in Hashem is an average of a 30 year journey minimum. (not from when your born, but from when the journey starts) Do you know what these 30 years are? The first 10 percent of the journey is learning every mussar sefer in the world, the other 90 percent of the journey is passing every single Nisayon (test) with Ahava (love) etc… , from accidents to robberies to deaths Chas V’Shalom etc… A true person of Faith knows the mishna in pirkei Avos that says the good & bad is all for the good every minute of the day , 24-7. Every Nisayon that a person gets from Hashem & passes, brings him closer & closer to Hashem & every test that a person experiences gets harder & harder, but a person can never ask Hashem why something bad is happening, because we all know that if a person was not able to pass a test then Hashem would never give it to him. Nothing in the world will effect a person of Bitachon, no matter what happens, cause he knows that everything Hashem does is for the good. Do you know what the reward for being a person of Faith & trust is? The reward is worth more then all the money in the world, the reward is the gift of Happiness, you get to be the happiest person in the world cause nothing in the world will effect you. Now can you tell me a better reward then that?.
Although you definitely are right(although I’m not quite sure what you base your numbers on-30 years,10%….!!), my child’s school administrator won’t accept such speeches. Neither will my mortgage holder,JCP&L, NJNGS or NJAW. I’m not sure that this is what one in this situation needs to be told.
Actually there is a widely accepted opinion (from R’ Tzadok I believe) that we ARE given tests that are beyond our control so that after we fail we can pick ourselves up and become greater. Please check before making such bold statements.
don’t let the numbers scare you, you are quite off. Chances are that unless you would be making quite a large salary, your children will still be eligible for familycare which really isn’t expensive (they group the kids together for one rate – we are paying abt 166 a month altogether for all the kids, but many ppl pay less) and you and your husband can get a plan for about $5-600 bucks a month. altogether, it’s more like 8k. we are also in your situation, but instead of saying it’s not worth it, we work, as many jobs as we can each, and we don’t limit ourselves to any kind of job. We lost all the programs – about 15k worth and believe me, it’s very tough, but knowing we cover the bills makes it worth it. And the best part is that we’re too busy to be depressed. And with Siyata Dishmaya it starts to get easier as you get used to it. Check the BP, start sending your resume everywhere, get that first job – even if it’s nowhere near what you wanted – and things wil fall into place. Don’t limit yourself. a person can do much more htan he would believe.
I feel your pain and frustration. I am a recent graduate who has not yet found employment, and, in a similar manner, have found that those closest to me have not done as much as some total strangers that really cared and out themselves out. I have also found, that I assume people would realize on their own the connections they have, or “take a hint” from our conversations, and for one reason or another they do not, but if I directly ask can you call/email so and so and put in a good word for me they will do so. These requests are humbling and hurt my sense of pride, but sometimes people are so caught up in their own life they do not see your world unless you put it in their face…Enough rambling… just want to say I feel for us and hope we find parnassa b’karov…
all these schools & companys etc… not accepting this is part of the test from Hashem & to ALWAYS turn straight to hashem for help
based on this i can give you another message from Hashem
the KEY to success in Judaism if you have faith in Hashem, Hashem has faith in you. (that you will do hisמצות). Theres nothing wrong with getting Chizzuk from a rebbe or a Rosh Yeshiva & learning from their ways etc… theres also nothing wrong with getting a bracha from a rebbe BUT getting a bracha from a rebbe & depending on it AKA: coming home & telling your wife we just got a bracha that were going to have a child or be rich or our daughter is going to have a refu’ah shleima etc… is a lack of Faith in Hashem. The Chovos Halevavos says in the chapter of faith that a person cannot have faith in 2 things (AKA Hashem & a Rebbe, Rav or friend) for when he does, he loses both. (he then brings a mashal (parable) of a Rabbi who needed tapes of his speeches made to sell so he asked 2 of his members to help make them, but he knew if he would ask them together, each one would say the other one is doing it so i don’t need to do it. Instead the Rabbi brought each one in separately & asked each one & was successful.) For when you depend on 2 you lose both.
Sad truth is so many of us are in the same situtation. I wonder each month if and how I will be able to pay my bills. And my wife is having a hard time dealing with me doing “nothing”. But what can I do?
to #7 there are only so many times you can send out resumes and go at it before you lose your mind. If I thought I felt like a loser before I sent out resumes…. I dont even bother anymore unless something maybe nogaya comes up but that brings nothing either.
I need a respectable job, I need something that I will feel good about myself and productive but there is nothing out there that can pay a man a decent salary- at least I havent found anything. I wish I could just pop open my own business but you need money for that too so thats out the window.
I really have a hard time getting up in the morning knowing that my day will bring me nothing- just like the day before that and the day before that for months… or is it over a year? I lost track. Its a lose lose situation and can make a man feel like not much of a man.
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I don’t understand what’s goin on here.there is a big tzaddik by the name of duvi honig who has dedicated his whole life!!!to helping all of you!his place is called “learn and network kollel”you can’t imagine how many jobs have been found thru his networking program!!besides the thurs nite chizuk shmoozen and the tues nite business seminers..it has been an undertaking of duvis to form a support group with chavrusas in a true toridik atmoshere..plus there is heaven food to feed your bodies not just your souls!!give him a call and get yourselves a chavrusah!!noone can help you until you’ve tried to help yourselves!!hatzlocha to u all!hope to meet you in kollel!it has changed my life and given me new air to breath!!
I like how you say it is important to help your neighbor weather they ask for help or not, what happens if the neighbor is not Jewish, you just walk by and leave him to his fate. That what it sounds like here. I remember the comments when Negba lost the bus rutes…..all those Jewish drivers out of work.
Then there are those, like me, who have “jobs” but no job.
What bothers me most are those that get you to take their wonderful courses, with all their promises, and then do absolutely nothing for you.
Zebach Elokim ruach nishbarah, lev nishbar vinidkeh Elokim lo tibzeh.
Zivach lelokim todah… ikraeini biyom tzarah, achaletzcha utichabidani.
Zoveiach todah yichabidanini, vsam derech erenu byesha Elokim.
Todah al hatzrot.
Byesha Elokim daykah.
From the tone of your comments, it is obvious you are a young family – where your biggest issue(s) are your house, insurance, utilities and tuition. May Hashem bentch you that you have parnassa beharchava very soon and that you will have grown from the experience.
But think about people who are older than you. Think about the father-in-law who committed himself to support 2,3,4 sons in law, the father who has to make one chasuna after another, the father of a shidduch age girl who cannot get shidduchim for his daughter because he can’t make a financial commitment. And he is usually in or near his fifties – who’s hiring him? Very often he longer has a father and/or shver to help him. Why, just last year (or the ones before) he was earning well into six digits – and now he has nothing. He also can’t go on Jersey Care, HUD, etc…
May the Ribono Shel Olam has rachmanos on all of his children and provide all of their needs bederech kovod.
Can the scoop start posting the schdule for the learn n network kollel?I heard there are amazing oppurtunties there n the guys really enjoy it..would like more info so I can join..tziku limitzvos
To “anon1” (#29)
Jews are like brothers to one another. We all stood together at Mount Sinai and accepted G-D’s Torah. We are actually commanded to look out for one another. Wouldn’t you look out for your brother more than for a stranger? Maybe not! Well we do. And just as an aside(to completely refute your accusation),I once had a Non-Jewish neighbor who had moved in near me(a renter). He once told me with tears in his eyes that I was the only one in the neighborhood who welcomed him. And,mind you, the neighborhood was 99% Non-Jewish! I helped out a non-Jewish neighbor when he was going through a rough time. These are just a few examples- I can go on and on. But this all is really irrelevant. Yes, it is true that Jews feel a responsibilty to one another. I believe that is a noble trait not one to be bashed. If only YOU would care just a bit about your neighbors the world would be a better place. Don’t criticize us until you can claim that at the very least you will do for YOUR neighbor(the Non-Jewish one) what we will do for our brethren. I don’t even want to ask how much YOU will do for your JEWISH neighbor!!
i have a job that i can offer. you can email resume or a little about yourself or what you are looking to do [email protected]
If this thread will now turn into a forum where people can suggest open jobs – please make it the featued story. It will be a great to’eles and potentially help many, many people.
To the writer of this letter. I understand that you are in a difficult situation as are many people. That should be of some comfort to you as your difficult situation is not unique to you, and is hared by many.
It does seem that you are being overly harsch on your relatives and friends. You mentioned “…..In one case a relative was best friends with the sister in-law of the president of the firm I interviewed at and yet never asked her BEST FRIEND to put in a good word for me”
You mentioned this as if being best friends with the sister-in law of the president could have assured you a job. The reality is that a sister in law has very little say in who her brother n law hires. Even to bring up suggestions in how he hires can cause a great deal of strain in a family relationship.
I am sure many of the other people that interviewed for the job were unemployed and in similiar situations as well. I don’t mean to harp on one point, I am just using it to illustrate that you may have unreasonable expectations.
There are reasons why some people don’t hire family. What if they hire them and it doesn’t work out. Can you fire your brother, nephew, or cousin. Many businesses themselves are in fragile economic condition, and the owners cannot afford to take the risk, of having a “white elephant” on the payroll.
It is important to realize that your ecenomic condition is not under your control, and more importantly, cannot be negatively impacted by others actions, or inactions.
You have to make your hishtadlus, including in some cases asking people to speak on your behalf, but in the end “hakol beday shamayim”.
It has been suggested by many people that in such situations it is helpful to learn Chovos Halvavos Shar Habitachon. I am not writng this as someone who is superior and better, I have been in a similiar situation in the past, and realize that in this economy, may very well be in the future.
Almost every entry level job(at least in my industry) is currently being filled via ‘connection’ within the company. Yes, that “good word’ can make the difference between getting or not getting a job. “Assured a job”- NO but that’s not what I asked for. I asked that a close relative be willing to “bend down” a bit and ask his/her best friend for a recommendation. That does not cause family rifts….. I have had interviews ONLY because someone in the company knew this one or that one who knew me. Same goes for almost every single friend of mine who was hired within the last year.
Maybe Bill Gates will drop a hundred Mil…. In Lakewood to help the temporary unemployed until the economy turns around.
I see you are still blaming others for your current situation. I can tell you from the other side of the coin, I would not want my wife offering her opinion on who I should hire.
Trying to keep a business afloat is difficult enough having the added pressure of trying to keep shalom bayis and make the right business decision is extremely stressfull. For that reason most wives would not get involved in who there husbands hire, as they are intelligent enough to realize this.
You mentioned that the ones who know you the least are quicker to help you. The reason is very simple. If I call a friend of mine, and tell him I know a guy who is looking for a job, my friend feels no pressure to give him that job and may give him an interview and hire him, or not based on his merits.
If I call a friend of mine and tell him my brother is looking for a job, this creates and awkward situation, as my friend will feel like he has no choice but to offer him a job.
Blaming the rest of the world for your situation is just going to compound the difficulty you are facing. You are going to alienate yourself from your friends and family. Whether you say anything to them or not, poeple can sense when there is tension.
The fact that this is posted on a mostly jewish forum is a tragedy. While I don’t claim to have such a high madregah of Bitachon, I would never write and advertise a lack of bitachon in a public forum.
The article could have just been written with the goal of making people more aware of ways they can help, however it was written in a way that you are blaming others for your current situation.
I understand that you are in a difficult situation and was hesitant to speak so strongly, but the fact that somene is flaunting a lack of Bitachon in a public forum needed to be addressed.
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