As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

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B4Xt3r
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As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by B4Xt3r »

Hi Guys,

As a percent of your career length, how much time did you spend unemployed not by your choice? One input to how much I save is some $$ put aside for when I'm unemployed due to job loss (i.e., unexpectantly and not by choice). Of course, how much $$ is required depends on how much time you spend unemployed and that's what I'm curious about.

I'll start.

Young in my career, about ~6 yrs, and so far thankfully/luckily I have spent 0 months unemployed unexpectantly.

Thanks,

-b4xt3r

Here is an updated post later in this thread: viewtopic.php?p=7907580#p7907580
Last edited by B4Xt3r on Wed Jun 12, 2024 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
livesoft
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by livesoft »

Zero percent.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by jebmke »

Zero. Throughout my career I focused on things that were designed to reduce the chance.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by YeahBuddy »

Less than 0.1%. I can't say zero because I was once laid off, decades ago. I obtained employment quickly after. I now hold 2 jobs, in case something happens at job # 1, or as a retirement gig after job #1.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by dcabler »

B4Xt3r wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:32 am Hi Guys,

As a percent of your career length, how much time did you spend unemployed not by your choice? One input to how much I save is some $$ put aside for when I'm unemployed due to job loss (i.e., unexpectantly and not by choice). Of course, how much $$ is required depends on how much time you spend unemployed and that's what I'm curious about.

I'll start.

Young in my career, about ~6 yrs, and so far thankfully/luckily I have spent 0 months unemployed unexpectantly.

Thanks,

-b4xt3r
Just under 3.4% out of a 39.5 year career.
There were 3 times where I was between jobs for anywhere from 1 to 3 months, but there was 1 time where it took 10 months to find the next gig. If it weren't for that one, it would have been closer to 1%.

I worked in a part of the tech industry known for frequent layoffs. As a manager, most of the time I was the one delivering the bad news. But a few times, I was also the recipient.

Still, the industry I worked in was known for pretty good pay and variable comp that could be quite lucrative over time (Stock options in the beginning, then RSUs later. ESPP and corporate bonuses as well). I voluntarily exited at age 63 but could have done so at age 60 or 61, from a financial standpoint without a lifestyle change.

Cheers.
Last edited by dcabler on Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by KlangFool »

B4Xt3r wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:32 am Hi Guys,

As a percent of your career length, how much time did you spend unemployed not by your choice? One input to how much I save is some $$ put aside for when I'm unemployed due to job loss (i.e., unexpectantly and not by choice). Of course, how much $$ is required depends on how much time you spend unemployed and that's what I'm curious about.

I'll start.

Young in my career, about ~6 yrs, and so far thankfully/luckily I have spent 0 months unemployed unexpectantly.

Thanks,

-b4xt3r
When you asked the wrong question, you will never get the right answer!

The correct question is what is the longest unemployment period. It is not the percentage. I have been unemployed for more than 1 year a few times.

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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Very little. I was once laid off and got another job while still being paid severance.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by fizxman »

In my current career, one year total (once for four months and another for eight months) out of 14 years. If I include my previous career, it's one year out of 17. So 6-7%.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

About one year during the 1981/82 recession. I guess the sun was shining part of that time, but I don't remember it.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by Nivek »

0% for 27 years with the same mega corp. Multiple layoffs/job cuts over the years but for the most part, not impacted. Last round during COVID had me move to a new role but happy with it.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by z3r0c00l »

Very lucky so far, just a single summer temporarily laid off at current company. Co-worker with seniority was safe, but decided to move on soon after and they hired me back. Got severance and vacation paid out, then rehired and vacation reinstated. Typical short-sighted choice by company that cost far more than just keeping me around. Most lucrative year for me (2013) until 2020 hit.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by RickBoglehead »

KlangFool wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:52 am
B4Xt3r wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:32 am Hi Guys,

As a percent of your career length, how much time did you spend unemployed not by your choice? One input to how much I save is some $$ put aside for when I'm unemployed due to job loss (i.e., unexpectantly and not by choice). Of course, how much $$ is required depends on how much time you spend unemployed and that's what I'm curious about.

I'll start.

Young in my career, about ~6 yrs, and so far thankfully/luckily I have spent 0 months unemployed unexpectantly.

Thanks,

-b4xt3r
When you asked the wrong question, you will never get the right answer!

The correct question is what is the longest unemployment period. It is not the percentage. I have been unemployed for more than 1 year a few times.

KlangFool
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by jebmke »

It is unclear to me how the experiences of others in this regard is useful information.

I started in the late 70s. It was a very different time than for someone who may be more recently started in their career.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
legalwriter1
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by legalwriter1 »

I was unemployed for one month after taking the bar exam until I got a job in March 2002 (one month out of 22 years, or about 0.3%). I graduated from law school in December 2001 right after 9/11 and pretty much every government employer had hiring freezes. I took 2 months to study for the bar exam in Jan/Feb 2002. My wife was working at the time that brought in a little money. I got a job with my pre-law school employer within a few weeks after taking the bar exam in March 2002 as a recent law school graduate and waiting for my bar exam results. It was a law-related job with a legal publisher with good benefits. Ever since I have been bar admitted, I have had a job. As a lawyer, I can always go solo.

My dad was a mechanical engineer who did project-based work. He made good money but after the project was done, he would be unemployed. My dad told me that when you are unemployed, your full-time job should be looking for a job 40 hours a week.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by dcabler »

jebmke wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:29 am It is unclear to me how the experiences of others in this regard is useful information.

I started in the late 70s. It was a very different time than for someone who may be more recently started in their career.
Kinda like backtesting your portfolio. :D

cheers.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by LadyGeek »

I removed an off-topic post and reply relating to unemployment during COVID.

Please stay on-topic.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by jebmke »

dcabler wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:31 am
jebmke wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:29 am It is unclear to me how the experiences of others in this regard is useful information.

I started in the late 70s. It was a very different time than for someone who may be more recently started in their career.
Kinda like backtesting your portfolio. :D

cheers.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by oldfatguy »

A few months total, over the past 30 years.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by Colorado14 »

Never.

Part of this is likely due to luck, some due to skill/hard working attitude/being a team player and some due to choosing solid companies to work. I certainly didn't earn as much money as some on these forums, but did very well despite (or because of) working in relatively conservative industries.

Retired at age 54, a bit over a year ago and employed since age 14.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by Sandtrap »

KlangFool wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:52 am
B4Xt3r wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:32 am Hi Guys,

As a percent of your career length, how much time did you spend unemployed not by your choice? One input to how much I save is some $$ put aside for when I'm unemployed due to job loss (i.e., unexpectantly and not by choice). Of course, how much $$ is required depends on how much time you spend unemployed and that's what I'm curious about.

I'll start.

Young in my career, about ~6 yrs, and so far thankfully/luckily I have spent 0 months unemployed unexpectantly.

Thanks,

-b4xt3r
When you asked the wrong question, you will never get the right answer!

The correct question is what is the longest unemployment period. It is not the percentage. I have been unemployed for more than 1 year a few times.

KlangFool
+1
Excellent.

to op: suggest editing your question using the "pencil icon" for better clarification and useful input from others.

j :D
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by Kenkat »

jebmke wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 7:00 am
dcabler wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:31 am
jebmke wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:29 am It is unclear to me how the experiences of others in this regard is useful information.

I started in the late 70s. It was a very different time than for someone who may be more recently started in their career.
Kinda like backtesting your portfolio. :D

cheers.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by Sandtrap »

As, how long a period of time was I unemployed not by choice?

For myself, no longer than several weeks at a time in my very early "young person" years as an "employee"....I was always looking for work when I felt like something at work was not right.

Until I resolved never to be; fired, layed off, forced to quit, driven out, phased out, by a; boss, company, superior wannable, etc... and built up my own successful businesses over a lifetime.

My logic, I could never fire myself if it was my own company, and I gave no control over my life to another.

Self employment as a business owner worked for me with a degree in business/finance/economics, and a very strong business mentorship in family, extended family, business friends and networking, and a ruthless conviction that I could do far better on my own in all ways over a lifetime than being an "employee".
It's a path that is not for most as the failure rate is very high.

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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by toomanysidehustles »

49 years old, zero percent.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by fourwheelcycle »

Both retired. Zero for me, zero for my wife.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Mid forties. Was laid off 2.5 months into my first job during the dot com bomb (end of 2000). Blessing in disguise as I got a mega corp job within 4-6 weeks.

Numerous friends and family are out of work. There is something in the air this year :(

I should plan/expect a full year of unemployment if laid off.
It’s rough out there in tech world.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by Kenkat »

I’ve worked for 4 different companies in my 35+ year career. 6 companies if you go by name (see below). I have fortunately never been laid off / out of work.

What I will add is that every one of those companies experienced some sort of merger or acquisition while I worked there. So there was often an element of career uncertainty lingering while these were in progress. Two of them were net positives in the end, making the newly branded companies stronger and offering opportunities for growth, one resulted in the company no longer existing and requiring me to find a new job and one materially changed the nature of the company and my job so I left on my own.

I always tried to have at least 1 year of expenses available just in case the worst occurred.
Last edited by Kenkat on Tue Jun 11, 2024 8:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by Ollie123 »

Me: None
Wife: Maybe ~4%? We haven't kept perfect track of these, but around 6-7 months (aggregate) over 12 years if we don't count things like gaps during moves and things like that which weren't TRULY by choice as we tried to avoid them, but not the same as a layoff.

Admittedly this is obviously industry-specific, but I do think by and large I do think the risk of long-term unemployment gets somewhat overblown here. It is heavily dependent on individual circumstances. We have a lot of posters in the tech world, which can be a bit more volatile so perhaps that is why. I'm an academic applying for tenure at a flagship state institution. While academia is not as stable as it once was, I'm in far better shape than most. They can theoretically cut my salary by around 35% at any point as only my base salary is tenured, but given we aim to save almost that much each year we have plenty of breathing room to adjust even by reducing savings for a bit. If they want to get rid of me they are obligated to give a full 365 days notice even before tenure. There's no nice way to put it, but someone who is generally difficult to get along with or bad at their job is also at greater risk. Someone working for the only company in town whose spouse also works for the same company is at greater risk. A family with only one earner (or a huge disparity in earners) is at greater risk for suddenly losing ALL their income than a dual earner household with folks in different companies fields (basically the same principle as stock diversification).

I'm a "prepare for the worst" kinda guy and our finances are structured to weather that (and in fact, we're building up our HYSA cash reserves right now despite having ~6 months of regular spending or ~9 months of "cut it to the bone" spending if my wife and I both lost our jobs at the same time - I'd like to get this to a full year). That said, I'm not sure I could name a single person (besides apparently Klangfool) who has been unemployed for a full year even once. 6 months or a bit longer yes. People who claim to be "unemployed and can't find work" but also apply for fewer jobs over 6 months than my wife did within 48 hours of her last layoff....also yes...but at some point I don't really consider that "not by choice." I'm also a clinician and while I might lose my mind if I had to jump into full-time clinical work, if I'm 6 months in with no leads on other gigs I'm at least starting a part-time private practice to help pay my bills while I keep looking.

Long story short - the average is a nice bar, but adjusting some for your individual risk makes sense.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by rich126 »

Retired. Zero.

In most cases you can tell when a company is in trouble and you should move on at that point. And if you aren't doing a good job, it should be obvious to you.

I always tried to take a few weeks or more off when I changed jobs. It helps to recharge your batteries. And unless you absolutely have no choice, avoid jobs that require a ton of hours, in most cases it is time given away you'll never get back.

As you get older mid 40s until retirement, make sure you keep learning new skills. Too many people, especially in tech, get comfortable with doing something and don't take a step back to realize it is a dead technology and no one else would hire you for it. If you have to continue doing that kind of work make sure you learn something else to go with it.

Watching people getting let go of jobs when performance wasn't a factor is not pleasant and usually caused me to move to another company.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I suppose it depends on what you would call my career.

As an engineer of 38 years, zero.

As a technician before that, zero.

Before finishing community college, working at the ski/bike shop, unjustifiably fired. Because I was full time in community college, I had to wait until I graduated, then took 2 weeks of unemployment before finding my first technician job. So in 50 years of working, 2 weeks, so 0.076923% of my total working years.

Funny thing, back then, I had to show up, in person at the unemployment office to report jobs I attempted to get and interviews completed and upcoming interviews. I was in the interview for the job I took during my scheduled unemployment office appointment time. The unemployment person scolded me for not making it to my appointment. A week later, I was working.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias

Please be aware of the survivorship bias.

Only those that survived the unemployment not by choice will be posting here. For those that did not survive, they are homeless somewhere and will not be posting here. We do have a forum member that survived the homelessness too.

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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by smitcat »

We were each 'unemployed' twice for less than 2 weeks on each occasion over 40 years,
So maybe 5-6 weeks total out of maybe 4,160 as a guess.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by oilrig »

Ive been in my career for 14 years, was always good at escaping layoffs by recognizing warning signs and leaving before layoffs happened, then covid happened. I got laid off in 2020 during the height of covid and then again in 2023 during the big wave of tech layoffs.

To answer your question, Ive been laid off twice for 4 months each time, for a total of 8 months unemployed in 14 years. I did take one month off before starting a new job another time.

Layoffs are very, very common these days. Ive always been a top performer, good reviews, steady promotions and raises etc. But none of that matters. I think for younger people who are newer to the workforce, it is likely they will be laid off at least once, maybe twice in their career. I have former coworkers who were laid off twice in the same year recently! Its best to mentally prepare for this and always have multiple streams of income and save a large percentage of your salary.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by smitcat »

Best to look at some facts and data.
Unemploymewnt rates in the US by year charted for various levels of education.....

https://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-s ... inment.htm
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by upwind »

0% so far in late 50s. Last job change had 2 full time jobs for one week. But I was a psych major so we have all heard about the high demand and strong employment prospects over and over by now.

However, I have certainly felt the bottom could fall out at anytime. Previous job we had round after round of layoffs. I full expected to be laid off during an outsourcing not to mention concerned about earlier rounds. Some how I survived as I watched the disaster unfold.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by BernardShakey »

0.0% - I consider myself very fortunate and am grateful.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by SnowBog »

Sandtrap wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 7:47 am
KlangFool wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:52 am
B4Xt3r wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:32 am Hi Guys,

As a percent of your career length, how much time did you spend unemployed not by your choice? One input to how much I save is some $$ put aside for when I'm unemployed due to job loss (i.e., unexpectantly and not by choice). Of course, how much $$ is required depends on how much time you spend unemployed and that's what I'm curious about.

I'll start.

Young in my career, about ~6 yrs, and so far thankfully/luckily I have spent 0 months unemployed unexpectantly.

Thanks,

-b4xt3r
When you asked the wrong question, you will never get the right answer!

The correct question is what is the longest unemployment period. It is not the percentage. I have been unemployed for more than 1 year a few times.

KlangFool
+1
Excellent.

to op: suggest editing your question using the "pencil icon" for better clarification and useful input from others.

j :D
Another +1...

And you have to factor in that there could be a variety of circumstances - not just "getting laid off"...

I've had coworkers who had to take time off - likely unpaid time off at some point - to deal with sick family members. That could extend to parents if they lack the means to provide for themselves (another great example of "prioritize your own retirement first" before college/etc. - last thing you want to be is a financial burden to your children some day).

It could also be your own medical situation that takes you away from work, and a good reminder to consider both short- and long-term disability for this reason. My spouse ended up having a medical situation - including surgery - that kept them out of work for months. Luckily, they had short-term disability, but that pays a fraction of their normal income. Equally lucky, they were able to resume their previous job/duties - which isn't always the case.

And to the original question about being laid off - keep in mind there is a huge factor of "luck" involved there. It's one thing to have an issue with "your job" and/or "your employer" while things are going well, as you are likely to get rehired quickly (assuming you do things like keep your resume up-to-date, continue to have in-demand skills, etc.). It's a massive difference when "your industry" and/or "profession" are directly impacted - as there could be thousands of people with similar skills just like you all fighting for a decreasing number of jobs. And if that occurs during a broader economic downturn where the number of "available" jobs is decreasing as businesses are contracting (if not closing), and things can get bleak.

So as to your original question, for myself it would be 0%, for my spouse around 2% - but neither are "meaningful" numbers to us.

If it helps to think of it this way, you could ask the question "what percentage of people have had a house replaced via home insurance" and get similar results. I've never had a house replaced (and only had minor claims on my insurance) - yet I continue to maintain home insurance because the cost/risk of not having insurance is too high.

IMHO planning for being "unemployed" is the same, if your plan is "I hope it never happens" but you can't adapt, that's a bad situation. IMHO you should plan that "when it happens, here's how I'll handle it." If it never happens, then all the better for you.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by kleiner »

Zero involuntary unemployment for me too. I was fortunate to be able to work without any layoff for 29 years.
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by whodidntante »

0.1%

I used to spend a lot of time thinking about it or preparing for it. Now position is "meh. I have money." MehFI
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

I’ll play - I’m still employed but the longest stretch of unemployment was 17 months. I was employed in banking which has cycles of boom/bust. Ageism is a real phenomena. Since my career is still ongoing, unable to provide a percentage.

My advice, build a strong network and active list of Industry contacts. In addition, a good savings and investing habit will save you when/if rough times hit. Had I listened to “outside” cookie cutter advice on saving 3-6 months of expenses I would have been up the creek. Save as your means allow and learn to be flexible. The idea of allocating a certain percentage as an unemployment fund? Money is fungible, so long as it is accessible without harsh penalties to access it (think retirement plan or 401k plan loans which are due and payable in event of job loss) then, the entire portfolio becomes your emergency fund.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
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mhc
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by mhc »

0%

I retired last year. I was never fired, laid off, asked to leave, or anything like that.

I certainly had times where I was making plans for my next job if I got laid off. I saw so many people laid off over my career that I think it negatively affected me. I was quite happy to retire and put all that behind me.
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gavinsiu
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by gavinsiu »

I think cumulatively, I probably spend may be about 2 years out of work in my career. Most of the downtime was during the post 2000 dot com bubble burst where I would work for a new place, spend a few months and get laid off. There were a few near misses where my department gets downsized and i end up frantically getting another position within the company or somewhere else. I am in IT.

My wife's career is more stable since she worked for a university.

My mom worked for a single company for most of her life and was often laid off for months at a time when the going gets slow and then asked back when production started back. She was in manufacturering.
cadreamer2015
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by cadreamer2015 »

I was laid off and unemployed once for 5 months in a 42 year career. But I got 90 days WARN period and then about 13 weeks of severance. So less than 1%.
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keystone
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by keystone »

B4Xt3r wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:32 am Hi Guys,

As a percent of your career length, how much time did you spend unemployed not by your choice? One input to how much I save is some $$ put aside for when I'm unemployed due to job loss (i.e., unexpectantly and not by choice). Of course, how much $$ is required depends on how much time you spend unemployed and that's what I'm curious about.

I'll start.

Young in my career, about ~6 yrs, and so far thankfully/luckily I have spent 0 months unemployed unexpectantly.

Thanks,

-b4xt3r
Zero. I was in accounting and I've never seen a shortage of accounting work available at any point in my career. Being an above average performer doesn't hurt either.
jebmke
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by jebmke »

keystone wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 9:34 am Zero. I was in accounting and I've never seen a shortage of accounting work available at any point in my career. Being an above average performer doesn't hurt either.
Interesting. I laid off quite a few in accounting in my day. Very situation and country dependent though. I agree, keeping up one's performance (and especially skill level) and being flexible are important for staying employed.
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keystone
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by keystone »

jebmke wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 9:39 am
keystone wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 9:34 am Zero. I was in accounting and I've never seen a shortage of accounting work available at any point in my career. Being an above average performer doesn't hurt either.
Interesting. I laid off quite a few in accounting in my day. Very situation and country dependent though. I agree, keeping up one's performance (and especially skill level) and being flexible are important for staying employed.
Yes, situation matters for sure. I tended to work for smaller organizations and as long as they were able to stay afloat, they would need an accountant in place. Even for organizations that are shutting down, quite often the accountants are the last to remain on the payroll.
ThankYouJack
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by ThankYouJack »

0. I may be underemployed/underpaid some, but I don't need to chase $ at this point of life.

I did quit a job in my 20's so I could travel. It took a little longer than expected to get a job when I returned (about 2 months) but the new job paid quite a bit more.
carolinaman
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by carolinaman »

Zero. I was blessed and worked in a different era than today. Having employment gaps I believe is more common today. 98% of my employment was with 3 organizations over a 46 year period.
MathWizard
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by MathWizard »

Zero.

I was fortunate.

I was also directly bringing in outside money, though my position did not require it, which would make justifying firing me problematic.

By the time I retired, I was bringing in 6x my total compensation in addition to the required work for my company.
Last edited by MathWizard on Wed Jun 12, 2024 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DrChronzworth
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by DrChronzworth »

Growing up my dad spent a year unemployed- it was very unpleasant time since my mother was a homemaker. They had a ton of savings so it worked out but that has lasted with me since then.

That being said statistics is probably more helpful than anecdote - given the responses to this thread an observer who knew nothing about the economy would conclude the USA has worker turnover comparable to the Soviet Union or some other economy where employment was guaranteed for life!
Last edited by DrChronzworth on Tue Jun 11, 2024 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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CyclingDuo
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Re: As a percent of your career, how much time did you spend unemployed not by choice?

Post by CyclingDuo »

B4Xt3r wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:32 amAs a percent of your career length, how much time did you spend unemployed not by your choice? One input to how much I save is some $$ put aside for when I'm unemployed due to job loss (i.e., unexpectantly and not by choice). Of course, how much $$ is required depends on how much time you spend unemployed and that's what I'm curious about.

I'll start.

Young in my career, about ~6 yrs, and so far thankfully/luckily I have spent 0 months unemployed unexpectantly.

Thanks,

-b4xt3r
Fortunately, only 2.5 months out of the 468 career months I have worked thus far were unemployed unexpectedly, and not by choice = .00534%

During those 2.5 months of unemployment, I invested everything that I received from unemployment due to both a dual income household at the time, and my final paychecks (from academia) not ending until three months after I was officially finished with my final semester at that institution. I only sat still for a week, then was surprised how active one has to be - at least in our state - to receive unemployment. It involved keeping track of all records, having to apply for a set minimum number of jobs per week, checking in with the unemployment personnel that was assigned to me, meeting with her to present all of my records, attending job interviews, a lengthy exam for placement hosted by the unemployment office, and pretty much all of that kept me busy, and on task for the 2.5 months until I landed employment.

You are correct in planning on how you would fund your expenses due to an involuntary layoff. Keep in mind, there might be a severance, unemployment insurance from your state, and - if you are married or with a working partner - a dual income in the household to help cover expenses during the downtime.

During those 2.5 months, and for a year or two following - we hunkered down on our household expenses just in case things did not unfold in a positive way (due to being in my mid to late 50's during the time). In other words, I didn't totally trust year one, year two, and year three that I was out of the woods. Started to trust it a lot more in years 4, 5, and now approaching the end of year 6 - all of which I have taken one year at a time.

In addition to the financial planning of surviving a layoff, also keep tabs on your current skillset and continued training to be marketable if and when the time comes that you are forced to seek new employment. Keep everything up to date regarding resume and experience. I wouldn't wish the experience on anyone, but in retrospect certainly now realize it happens, and to be prepared financially and emotionally for what one has to go through during the process.

All the best.

CyclingDuo
"Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist." - Morgan Housel | "Pick a bushel, save a peck!" - Grandpa
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