Top 5 Unemployment Gift Don'ts

Tis the season, as they say, and I'm sure there's someone unemployed on your list given the nation's 10 percent unemployment rate.

You, in fact, may be that very jobless person. If so, please post this list in a prominent place, say on your refrigerator or forehead, for likely gifters to see and learn.

Oddly enough, the best holiday unemployment gift is not a job. A job would be nice, yes, presuming it's the right job and not just any job. But what the unemployed really could use is money. Especially since they have way more time for shopping. Second best gift: Lifetime membership in a good, solid wine of the month club. You can buy me that. I won't say no.



Most definitely under no circumstances should you get an unemployed person the following:


1. A résumé revamp.

This does not count as a gift. Do it for free if you're skilled in the area, but don't bestow your presumed talents upon someone and call it a present. Plus, you're just reminding them that they don't have a job. And they'll only want to punch you in the face for it.

(The same goes for sessions with career counselors, therapists, life coaches, and unemployment whisperers. This is not a gift. This is an intervention. Wait until after the holidays.)


2. A dog, gerbil, rabbit, ferret, or any kind of pet.

Just because the unemployed are home a lot doesn't mean they want something to take care of. They're busy taking care of themselves. Or wallowing.

Plus, pets cost money. Unless it's a pet that can make money, like a trained monkey, and it comes with a little fez and can dance. That's a pretty good gift.


3. Anything that says "Save Your Money, Spendthrift!" either literally or figuratively.

That means no wallets, piggy banks, socks for keeping pennies, coin collecting machines, change purses emblazoned with bank logos, or discount coupons to the local package store. Be a mensch and just give the money itself, okay?


4. A clipboard.

Actually, this is a bad gift for anyone except maybe my fourth grade P.E. teacher. (For her, throw in a lanyard whistle and a gift card to Modell's. You'll have a friend for life.)


5. A nice "interview suit."

Unless specifically asked for, identified, and put on hold at a specified store, this is going to go badly. Same with books on career change, handmade interview flashcards, and brochures to clown college. If you can't resist the urge to help, give the best gift of all: nothing. That's right. Don't say a word to your unemployed friend or family member about their joblessness. Not a word.

Silence is beautiful.

What other gifts would be the worst if you're unemployed? The best? Tell us in the comments below.


Next: Five Job Hunting-Holiday Presents to Give Yourself >>

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

13 Comments

Filter by:
Shirley

robert, I work in Human Resources and wanted to let you know unemployment was designed for anyone who has become unemployed, with no fault of their own. If you were discharged you should have no problem receiving the benifit. You only have a certain amount of time to file the appeal though, I would suggest checking the time line as well.

January 07 2010 at 8:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shirley

robert, I work in Human Resources and wanted to let you know unemployment was designed for anyone who has become unemployed, with no fault of their own. If you were discharged you should have no problem receiving the benifit. You only have a certain amount of time to file the appeal though, I would suggest checking the time line as well.

January 07 2010 at 8:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Richman

A Grocery card, or any gift card or CASH.

January 04 2010 at 7:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
robert

what 2 do if your not reciving any unemployment.youv ben turned down??.its so hard 2 find a job after getin dischared.no money coming in at all.handed out 20 resume.and still nothing.coud b losing my vehicle.any sugeston

December 31 2009 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to robert's comment
Jen Doll

Robert, depending on why you were turned down, you may be able to appeal. Have you gone to your state unemployment office, either online or in person, to discuss? The good news is that jobless claims are down, which means that, fingers crossed, there will be more work in 2010...

January 03 2010 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ZAZZ

Document if it was a conspriaciry such as for discrimination on race or health issue and if you were not getting the appropriate help or assistance from the immediate supervisor for the issue you were let go over. It is a proven guilt on the supervisors side and you need to send that letter to the corporate office of the business for negotiation before taking it to the EEOC or local discrimation board of your state!

ZAZZ

January 07 2010 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Crystal Day

I would have liked a gas gift card, money or movie pass so i can forget the harsh economy.

December 29 2009 at 11:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
VREID

I would love, love, love for someone to give me a gift certificate to a hair salon. Since I have always gotten foils, it's not cheap! But need to look good for any interviews (she says hopefully!)

December 29 2009 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cal52

I am unemployed and fresh out of college. I got a Visa gift card from a family member, but I would like to have had the cash to put in my checking account to cover a small bill or whatever.

December 29 2009 at 1:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jen Doll

jazz, gift cards are a great idea, and if you have a credit card with points you can sometimes even get them for "free"... I ended up buying a lot of my gifts this holiday with them.

And Lolli, I can't speak for every unemployed person, but I would LOVE a spa day...

December 19 2009 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jen Doll's comment
JJSteenland

Wow, so true, I just found myself laid-off, and job hunting right now is ridiculous. I think gift cards are a great idea as well. I just hate the gift cards to best buy or somewhere completely useless to me. I personally prefer to just get visa gift cards to help with my repair bill on my car,(someone just plowed into my poor under-insured infinity the other day during all the snow) but while unemployed any help with bills helps greatly, so visa gift cards, food store, wal-mart, sensible gift cards are great.

December 23 2009 at 9:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lolli

agift certificate for a day at a spa. Unemployment is very stressful and you need to revamp and look your best for new opportunities.

December 18 2009 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jake4226

gift cards - dining out, department stores, grocery stores! we may be unemployed, but there are still things we want and need. gift cards are great! even somewhere like walmart where i can get mylanta for my upset stomach (from worrying about income) and then hit the food section for something special i can't afford right now. GIFT CARDS !!!!!!

December 17 2009 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

Week of Oct 19 - 26
View All

Featured Writers

Meet the team

Picks From the Web