Unemployment impacts everyone!

June 3, 2010 at 10:00 pm 7 comments

Written by Esther Denn, CCAM, ARM

Since the economy tanked last year, unemployment has impacted the property management industry.  Foreclosures have reduced operating income for homeowner associations, commercial income declined due to business closures, and the apartment industry reduced rents and occupancy from prior years.  Companies are cutting back and reluctant to fill job vacancies.

I asked a friend and colleague with commercial property management experience in Orange County, California, what her job search experience has been since being laid off several months ago.  Here is what she had to say.

Gosh, that is a hard one! I am probably registered with at least three temp agencies and I have only had two assignments in six months.  Of the few interviews I have been lucky to have, they all said they had received 200 applicants!  The ads I respond to, which I feel I am perfect for, I am not getting calls.”

“My advice is to not apply for jobs that don’t fit your resume or experience. I would say just to be prepared to answer questions like “what are your strengths, weaknesses, and what you hated about your last job.”  They are giving tests such as words to describe yourself, rate 1-4 (such as 1= not likely me, 2=somewhat me, etc…)  Not sure what that was for, nor did they say how we did.”

“Research the company’s website and be up on it! (At a company I had two interviews with, I looked for their website but it was under construction.  Another interview I had, the company website was not memorable – I first looked at it before I applied for the job.  I should have reviewed it again before the interview because they asked me questions about their website and I felt pretty dumb!  They asked me who their clients were and what I thought of their site!”

To gain perspective, the unemployment figures for California during the month of March 2010 were at 13%.  California ranks third in the nation on unemployment.  In Orange County, California, where my business is based, the unemployment rate was at 10.1% as of March 2010.  As of April 2010, the United States unemployment rate is at 9.5%.

However, this story is not new.  When I lived in Houston, Texas during the 80’s, unemployment was a huge challenge.  I was a single parent out of work and competing for jobs during a time when all seemed hopeless.  Experience, painful as it is, teaches us we can overcome life’s challenges.  Following are some suggestions to try when the going gets tough.

  • Think outside the box.  Look for ways to distinguish you from the pack.  When I was unemployed in the 80’s, I contacted the ABC affiliate in Houston and asked them to do an interview on unemployment.  They asked me to round up other unemployed people at my home so they could interview us together.  As a result of the story airing on the 6:00 pm news, I got a job.
  • Temporary Solutions. Sign up for temp work.  Use your hobbies to make and sell goods.  Make room for new opportunities by clearing the clutter in your home and donating it or selling it on Ebay or Craigs List.
  • Volunteer.  Look for opportunities to help others.  It is in giving that we receive.  You never know where your next lead is coming from so be ready.
  • Network.  Attend industry events and join networking groups that hold a particular interest.  Use networking as an opportunity to get out, ward off depression, and meet others in your similar shoes.  View your contacts as an opportunity to help others.
  • Attitude of gratitude.  Focus on what you have to be grateful for.  Start with the basics – life, health, food, family, friends, Country.  Know that others are counting on you.
  • Keep the faith. You have innate talents and abilities to succeed and overcome life’s challenges. Remember, when one door closes, another door opens.  Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
  • Take time to reflect. Did you like your job?  What do you really want to do?  Write about it and set goals for yourself.  Bobbe Somer wrote, “We move towards the things we think about whether we mean to or not.  If you are thinking negativity, that is where you are headed.  Before your ship can come in, you have to send the ship out.”
  • Invite positivity. Hang around positive people who uplift you and encourage you. Attend a place of worship, find a mentor, or start your own group.
  • Quiet time. Enjoy the beauty of nature, meditate, pray and set aside a quiet time to clear your mind.  When was the last time you went to the beach or sat at the park?  You will recharge your mind and allow new ideas to enter.
  • Listen to uplifting music.  Music reaches the heart of the wounded soul.  Check out http://www.youtube.com for your favorite songs and look for videos by Mary Mary entitled “Get Up” and “The God in Me.”  You will be motivated to keep on keeping on.
  • Reach out to others for help. Humility is the great leveler and a teaching tool. If you are used to being in control and in charge, allow yourself to accept help from others.

Off and on over the years, I have personally experienced periods of unemployment in my own life.  The tips listed above have helped me during my job search as well as all areas of my life.  Currently, I am underemployed as I build up my business and take on temp assignments to fill the financial gaps.  I remember that I am a survivor and that gives me courage to press on.  My good thoughts and prayers are with everyone to be successful, particularly when life throws us a curve.


Entry filed under: Customer Service, Property Management. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

The sales pitch is passe’ First impressions are often lasting ones

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dottie Quinn  |  June 3, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Great article!

    • 2. Property Manager's Corner  |  June 3, 2010 at 11:50 pm

      Thank you Dottie!

      Esther Denn, CCAM & ARM Certified Community Association Manager Accredited Residential Manager

      eDenn Property Management (949) 716-2179 Office (866) 723-2160 Fax esther@epm.occoxmail.com eDennProperty.com

      visit my blog @ pmfrontlines.wordpress.com

  • 3. gloria benaroch  |  June 4, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    great article i love the thinking of the box you did in the 80″s

    • 4. Property Manager's Corner  |  June 5, 2010 at 1:37 am

      Hi Gloria, thank you so much for the comments. There was an article in the Orange County Register yesterday about a woman who was unemployed and volunteering. Great example of out of the box thinking and I bet she lands a job!

  • 5. Mickey Hillis  |  June 6, 2010 at 1:08 am

    Esther: Thank you for framing the unemployment issue so graciously. Unemployment, like every other life challenge can help us grow. Trust me; I am a single mother of two without any prospects in the pipeline. However, I realize that I can grow from the experience, volunteer with CAI and take this unexpected and challenging event as an OPPORTUNITY. We are most creative when in stressful or trying times — We will survive!

  • 6. Jane Crick  |  July 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Esther, good encouraging article. I am currently unemployed, and am relating to no call backs, especially from the Temp agents. A week a go I decided I can dedicate a portion of my day to seeking employment and after that I am going to go serve, and have fun. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • 7. Property Manager's Corner  |  July 1, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      Thank you Jane for the positive feedback. My good thoughts are prayers are with you that your next job be one of empowerment and provide both satisfaction and financial reward.

      Esther Denn, CCAM & ARM Certified Community Association Manager Accredited Residential Manager

      eDenn Property Management (949) 716-2179 Office (866) 723-2160 Fax esther@epm.occoxmail.com eDennProperty.com

      visit my blog @ pmfrontlines.wordpress.com

      2010 CACM Vision Award Nominee for Communications


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