What the Housing Market Can Teach the Unemployed

Published on 05 February 2010 by 360JobInterview in News


Being unemployed might not make you think of the housing market, but maybe it should. After all, there are  plenty more connections between the two than just the payments. In fact, the modern history of the housing market can tell us a lot about getting a job and dealing with unemployment.


Determining an Asking Price

When selling a home, we examine the surrounding market, determine what other similar houses are selling for, and examine the one we’re selling. Then, we set the asking price as high as we think we can in the hopes of turning a decent profit.

sap puppy What the Housing Market Can Teach the Unemployed

Job hunting works much the same way. We assess and tally up our skills. Then, we look around to see what kind of salary others in our respective industries are getting before comparing our skills to theirs. This gives us the chance to set an expected salary that we’ll give to prospective employers. The idea of this is that we’ll make the most money per year possible. It’s not just our per hour rates either. Benefits, holidays, bonuses, commission — they all come into play here.


Dealing With Multiple Offers

Ideally, homeowners looking to sell their home want to bring in multiple offers fairly soon after putting it on the market. This could set off a bidding war and drive up the price until it climbs higher than the asking price. The sellers can then look at all the variables for each contract and choose the one that best suits their needs.

crystal ball What the Housing Market Can Teach the Unemployed

In a perfect world, we like our quest for a new job to end much the same way. We receive multiple job offers with various set salaries, holidays, and other stipulations. Then, we can play one against the other to get the best deal or simply leave it before choosing the deal that suits us best. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Not even frequently, and particularly not in today’s market.


What Happens When We Don’t ‘Sell’

It’s no secret that the housing market has staled. Homes that would have sold in a matter of a couple months are now sitting for a year or more, and some aren’t even getting any interest. This has caused sellers to drop their asking prices in an effort to target a larger market and generate the increased attention necessary to sell.

The job market has experienced a similar problem. Millions of people have been forced out of work, lost hours, or taken pay cuts in the last few years. Follow that up by the fact that there are very few good paying jobs available, and you have the kind of job market employers salivate over.

When a position opens, particularly a good paying one, employers receive hundreds of applications. They can afford to be extremely picky about who they hire and they can take their time doing it. And, if you don’t take the job or try fighting for a better deal, chances are pretty good the employer isn’t going to be worried. After all, there is an entire stack of applicants willing to take your place.

While this has done away with job security in many instances, it’s also done something to salaries.

US Housing Market Activity 20072 What the Housing Market Can Teach the Unemployed

You see, when a home doesn’t sell after a certain period of time, the seller will bring down the price in order to get new interest and hopefully sell it. Otherwise, the length of time a house has been on the market becomes a negative selling point. In fact, buyers will often skip these homes altogether, often with the thought that there are reasons the home has been on the market for such a long time.

Job seekers who have been out of work for a significant amount of time experience the same thing. Employers don’t like to see large gaps in employment history, nor does the thought of someone being unemployed for a long period of time seem appealing.

It’s sort of like a tray of desserts. If everyone leaves one certain kind of treat in favor of the others, eventually you’ll ask yourself what’s wrong with that one dessert that would cause everyone to avoid it. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it. Not in the least. It could just be that the other kinds appear more appetizing at first.

So, if you’ve been unemployed for a long time and want to get back to work, you’ll want to consider accepting a smaller salary. Of course, you’d be making less than you want, but something is better than nothing. And, after you get the chance to prove yourself, you can use the opportunity to show your true worth and become an indispensable member of the team. You’ll see your salary increase and you might even be making more than you asked for initially.

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