Being out of work is not something anyone looks forward to, save for retirement… or a chance lottery win. If you find yourself unemployed, there are certain terms you should familiarize yourself with in order to be best prepared and equipped to get back into the workforce.

These words are used by employers, agents, the Department of Labor, and others who will be involved during your time unemployed and on your way back to a new job. Hopefully, your unemployment period will be brief, but knowledge is power, so make your time fruitful by learning these terms and getting yourself out there for a fresh start.

Able and Available: When it comes to unemployment lingo, this means you must be ready to work and able to do so both mentally and physically. You must seek out work in your field to the best of your capabilities. Note: these terms are quite different when seen in an online dating profile.

Benefit: This is the amount of unemployment insurance that is paid to a claimant – the person who is seeking unemployment benefits. The money benefits you, therefore the make-sense terminology.

Benefit Year: Sorry, you won't get a full year of benefits, but instead this refers to the one-year time period starting the Monday after the week the claimant files for benefits. The claimant can receive 26 weeks of benefits. Let's hope a new job is landed before then.

Displaced Worker: A person who is 20 years or older who loses their job due to a company closing or moving or a change in company structure resulting in the abolishment of their position with the company. Don't worry, you're new place of business will come along if you keep looking.

Extended Benefits: Bingo! These are the additional weeks of benefits a claimant can get during periods of high unemployment.

Fired: A favorite term from The Apprentice, being fired means you did something wrong at work such as violating a rule or procedure, got into a dispute or fight, or were excessively absent or late for work. Next time, don't do that.

Full-Time Worker: A person who works 35 or more hours per week. Needless to say, a part-timer works less than 35 hours/week.

Job Leavers: These are the folks who quit or voluntarily leave their place of employment and begin seeking new work right away. Well, at least they made the choice to go.

Lack of Work: Some folks lose their job under a claim of "lack of work." Perhaps a division shut down, your job was seasonal, or there was a company restructure. What's lacking in one place can be strong someplace else, if you're a "glass half-full" kinda person.

Let Go: While it sounds similar to the popular song from Frozen, being "let go" means you were fired or discharged because you didn't meet performance standards or the proper qualifications or production as set forth by the employer.

Long-Term Unemployed: Still jobless after 27 weeks or more? Then you are considered "long-term unemployed." Probably not the best thing you've been called.

Mass Layoff: When 50 people or more file initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits within a 5-week period from a sole institution. Massively disruptive to that company!

Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA): The number you're hoping for – this is the highest amount a claimant is eligible to receive within the benefit year.

New Entrants: Welcome to the "real world!" These are the newbies who are joining the labor force for the very first time.

Occupational Illness: This is a sickness, condition, or disorder that resulted from being injured on the job or caused by exposure to factors that caused a disease or illness either acute or chronic. Boredom doesn't qualify.

Reason for Separation: This is why you no longer work. Perhaps you were fired, got let go, or quit. Hey, not everyone's meant to be together.

Re-certify: Each week, you need to prove that you are still unemployed yet actively looking for work. Yes, that weekly reminder is really something an unemployed person looks forward to.

Statutory Week: This is the week of a full 7 days beginning with a Monday. In case you're wondering, a regular week starts with Sunday.

Unemployment Rate: This is the number of people unemployed as a percentage of the entire labor force. Let's hope this rate goes down.

Waiting Period: No money, mo' problems. This is the unpaid time that a claimant does not begin to receive benefits. Benefits begin after a full week of unemployment. If you work at all during that week, your unpaid period will extend to the following week.

Are you currently unemployed? For information about what your next steps should be, please visit USA.gov. Here you will learn learn about apply for unemployment benefits, seek jobs, understand about workers' compensation, how to extend your health coverage, and more.

You can file for unemployment at Unemployment Assist as well. Good luck!

Are you better understanding unemployment? Be smart and serious. A new job is on the horizon if you put your time and effort into seeking a return to employmentville. May the work force be with you.

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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