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How to Deal With Unwanted Advice During Unemployment

Author : Steven De Nazareth

Updated : June 11th, 2019

The art of handling unsolicited and unwanted advice is one that every individual should practice and learn. This skill is even more important when you are unemployed. From relatives to friends, professionals to even future employers, the individuals around you will always have an opinion on what you should be doing next – and going on the defense or offense is never the answer. This point in your life is when networking and relationship building is most important, so tactfully handling advice from every Tom, Dick, and Harry can reduce your stress levels and allow the other person to feel wanted without you having to really follow through.

Dealing With Unwanted Advice During Unemployment

When sincere intentions are countered with hostility, or even instructions and control are met with outright rude refusal, sentiments can be hurt and bonds forged over years and decades can be broken for no fault of either party. It’s all about the art of balancing, knowing how to set boundaries so as to not invite more advice, but yet not offend the other; aggression and offensive remarks are pretty much off the table.  

Intention – Positive or Counter-productive?

You will have to come up with a mechanism to differentiate between advice that is well-intended and just plain instructional or controlling. Is the information helpful, appropriate or at least coming from a positive place? Often our guard is up to such an extent that we shut out even advice that may really make a difference, or that comes from a loved one who would be hurt if we responded with anger.

At the end of the day, advice backed by fact is most beneficial when it comes to professional growth. When in doubt about information that is being thrown your way, looking for official facts regarding laws, resources, and training from websites of authority can help you filter the useful from everything else.

Relationship Dynamics

There are times when being too accepting of advice can be just as harmful as being close-minded and guarded.

Relationship dynamics, especially those that are official and professional, are set based on status and power to a great extent. There are times when you may seem at a lower position just by being too accepting of advice, or even looked at as someone who can’t hold their own.

Of course, on the flipside, there are situations wherein a simple acknowledgment of the others opinions and advice can strengthen the relationship and give the other confidence in your trust and loyalty.

Acknowledgment

Keeping a dynamic in place, or knowing when a particular rapport or network source is important for future endeavors. A functional relationship can be reason enough for you to politely acknowledge advice that comes your way, thank them for their opinion and tell them you will keep it in mind.

Of course, it isn’t always this easy, and accepting the advice most often leads to follow-up conversations and more thoughts and judgments. Use simple tactics to change the topic and curtail the conversation, pivoting away from the unsolicited opinions without hurting sentiments or sounding egoistic.  

Limits and boundaries

With relationships which are less official and advice that comes without any base or real assistance, set boundaries and let the other know that you aren’t available for such conversation. Use simple statements like “I will manage on my own and get back to you in case I need” or “I have a different way of working around these issues”. These can gently affirm that you are not the kind of the person who is up for such discussions.

If it continues, firmly tell them that you are not up for advice and opinions at this time. Remember that in situations that are harassing and causing you stress, it is fine to be firm and take some distance. In fact, in the long run, it may even be better for your rapport than constant bombardment and negative interaction.

Your approach

If your closest friend or confidant is the one that is the source of unwanted advice, then it’s a good idea to discuss your problems with someone else for a given period of time. Constantly discussing your issues with the same individual and getting into a dynamic where monologues and opinions are overbearing can destroy the bond for life.

Friends often hope to help or reaffirm the friendship itself and their own importance. Be aware that the person you approach for comfort at best is working towards genuine problem solving and in the worst case scenario is feeling inconsequential and is hoping to make up for it.

5 Responses and how they function

Having understood the bigger picture, here are five responses that you can choose to use depending on the situation you are caught in.

  1. “Thank you, I will get to it and keep you posted” 

    Now, this is in the best-case scenario, where the person on the other side is genuinely being helpful. It can also work wonders when you are getting advice from an individual with whom a professional relationship will be beneficial in the future – especially if it’s advice you are receiving in a job interview itself.

  1. “I will look into it”/ “I will keep it in mind” 

    On the plus side, it can handle the situation at that moment, and you can quickly steer the conversation in other directions. Cons: There is a possibility that the individual will get back to you in a few days to follow up, leading to more dialog.

  1. “Thank you, that’s a good plan, I will look into if it will work for me”

    This cuts out the certainty, accepting the other’s view but letting them know that situations, problems and appropriate solutions may vary from person to person.
  1. “Interesting, but I have other ways of handling it at the moment”/ “I am not available for advice right now” 

    As a statement, this one will help you tackle a situation where an overbearing individual is waiting for you to act on his or her advice immediately. It is fine to let the person know in certain situations that you are not up for such conversations, and hope that you were polite enough to have not offended them.

  1. “I’m sorry, I see your point, but I do not believe in that approach” 

    Worst case scenario, there are times when someone may nudge you in the direction of doing something that may not be in line with your value system and principles or maybe altogether immoral – even a simple act of pulling strings to get a job for example. Making it clear that you aren’t ready to sway only makes you look stronger, so don’t hesitate to make that clear.

Reaching out

Knowing that there are others who face the same problems as you are, and may be able to help in ways other than just giving one-sided advice, can possibly make a big difference in your way of approaching people. FileUnemployment.org brings you a community section, where people from across states can reach out to each other and discuss issues that they are attempting to tackle. In fact, sometimes all it takes is a conversation with an absolute stranger to gain some clarity, instead of constantly being faced with advice from a loved one.

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  1. I applied for unemployment on 8-1 and was approved. I received my letter of eligibility and debit card about a week ago. I did not file my intitial bi weekly claim because I missed the deadline by 1 day (didn’t realize they would be closed on Saturday). When I logged on it said I would have to reopen a claim because mine had been closed. I filled out the online form to deactivate the claim. My question is this: will I have another waiting week? And will unemployment have to contact my employer all over again to verify my wages and go through the entire process all over again or will they just reopen the claim with a new date window to file?

  2. Lost my job in 10/2018 due to plant closure, collected vacation and severance pay. Opened a claim in 1/2019. Got an on the job training job through career link in 5/2019 worked one week and became very sick and was off for two weeks VA could not find anything wrong but gave me medication for the symptoms and an excuse to return to work, prior to returning got a call from my recruiter at career link telling me the position was filled so i did not return. Reopened my claim, a few weeks later got a letter informing me the employer had appealed and said i did not return, had a hearing and the employer did not show but i lost and got a 2500.00 over payment. Got a temp job through an agency but have only worked 4 days in two weeks. Reopened my claim and was told i need to earn 2604.00 from current employer before it can be opened, did i do something wrong? Still applying for work but am days away from losing everything, need income to pay bills. PLEASE HELP

    1. Rodney,

      Your eligibility to claim UI benefits depends on multiple factors including monetary eligibility. If you’ve been officially told about the shortage of earnings, there’s nothing much one can do. If you’re still confident of winning the appeal, please make a strong case.

      1. I live in KY but my base wages were from earnings in GA when I lived there. I’ve exhausted my benefits in KY. Am I able to now file through GA since my earnings through 10/18 came from there?

        1. Dee,

          As much as I am aware, Unemployment Insurance is a one time cycle. Please call the Unemployment Office in GA for more.

  3. The hours at work have been cut due to lack of business for every department.
    So all full-time positions are now part-time.
    How do I file for partial unemployment?
    The only options I see (in Texas) are for full unemployment.

    1. Eric,

      You should be able to claim partial UI benefits. Please consider applying online until full hours are restored.

    1. William,

      If everything goes well, it should not take more than 7-10 business days (waiting week). Please call the Claims Center for more.

  4. I was employed by a VA company for 5 years, my contract ended yesterday (07/31/19), however, I worked remotely for those 5 years and live in FL, which state do I apply to for my unemployment benefits?

    1. Oscar,

      Please check with your employer if they remitted UI taxes into the system. Contract workers are generally not eligible.

        1. Oscar,

          In that case, please go ahead and apply if your employer remitted UI taxes into the system.

    2. You apply in Virginia…however, I worked seasonally and they used a ‘quarter’ that was empty, so even though my employer paid in, I only got a 1/3 of what I should have received. Figured that out later :/ They will also question WHY you aren’t able and available to work IN Virginia. They froze my account for about a month.

  5. I worked 37 years with the same company in Texas. On July 2nd of 2018, I was let go due to workforce reduction. I signed up for benefits several months later and now have drawn my 26 weeks of benefit. Is there any program currently open in Texas or federally that will extend additional money while job seeking?

    1. Lonnie,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  6. I have been an employee of my company for 34 yrs. My position is being eliminated but I have been offered another position for less money. It is a much more physical job that I am not sure I can perform well. I am 75. If I try to fulfill the position and cannot do it, will I still be able to get benefits if I quit? They want me to try it for a couple of weeks to see if I am strong enough and if I can afford the cut in pay.

    1. Lynda,

      I suggest you call the Unemployment Office to find out about eligibility before making a decision on continuation.

      1. I recently lost my job..i was late for work and they took me off the schedule..never told me i was fired..didnt ask for uniforms back. Another cook was andd has been late for work and he didnt get taken off the schedule.can i still get unemployment?

        1. Kandie,

          Please note UI benefits are only offered to claimants who lose employment due to no fault of their own. You can call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  7. Are there any training benefits or programs that will pay for an advanced degree, such as a PhD which is needed to become more employable?

    1. There are multiple training programs administered by the Labor Department in each state. For more info, please call visit the official website of the Unemployment Office.

  8. I’m about to exhaust my Unemployment benefits. I was laid off from my first job and
    found employment then I lost my job and became unemployed again. I applied for benefits and have have almost exhausted my benefits but have not found employment. Can I file for an extension?

    1. Deanna,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  9. After reading your article it’s still not clear to me about requirements surrounding moving to another state and completing/continuing to collect. I have 8 weeks eligibility left, I am moving from MA to FL. The end of your article says: “Since it’s all virtual (online), you may still consider the option of continuing your claims from the base state even if you move to a different one until completion. As a responsible claimant, it’s your duty to inform the base state about your movement to ensure there are no hassles in the near future.”

    So it sounds like even once I am in new state I am eligible to continue to collect from my base state. I can just continue to do my required weekly job search and reporting to and filing in my base state (I do it via phone call-in). No need to complicate things by doing some crazy state transfer of benefits. Benefits also done via direct bank deposit and no need to change anything. Do I even need to tell my base state I am now living in a new state? Why? Thank you.

    1. Paul,

      For the ease of understanding, each state has its specific rules and laws with regard to administering Unemployment Benefits. It might be an obligation for a claimant to inform about the movement. For clarification, please call the Unemployment Office and speak to a representative.

  10. I was recently fired from my work 25-June-2019/due to me not meeting their “standards/ expectations” i submitted my UE claim on 28-June and have not received any pay as of today, 19-July. The status is currently “adjudication in progress,” my question is, should i be worried this will be denied? I read the FAQ on the UE webpage and it said only a couple applications require the adjudication process. How long does this process usually take to get the final answer of whether I’m denied or approved? The website stated it susuallt takes ~25 days for the adjudication process, does this mean once that’s done then i still have to wait another 2-6 weeks for final processing after? THANK YOU SOO MUCH to whomever is able to provide me with some answers/ input.

    Sincerely,
    Talia
    ** this is my first time ever being fired or having to file for unemployment so i really have nooooo idea what is standard or normal or whatever. I feel like an idiot with my simple questions but it would bring me so much relief having them answered, truly

    1. Talia,

      I can understand your reason for the anxiety. Adjudication is a fact-finding process where both the claimant and the employer will get an opportunity to present their case. During this process, make sure to produce supporting documents that amplify your stance. For all you know, the adjudication can be a lengthy process.

      Best Wishes!

  11. I was permanently severanced from my job due to a Co. Reorg & received my last severance pay last week. I called UE & was told that I should now do my application online since I will no longer be getting funds & still without a job & that this coming Sunday regardless of knowing if I will or will not get benefits yet that I should still file a weekly claim in case of UE back pay.
    So my question is, do I still have to report 4 jobs applied to within this week, even if I do not know if I will be approved/denied for benefits until possibly next week anyway?

    1. Lynda,

      You should continue to report the job applications as long as you’ve been asked to do so. There will be a “Waiting Period” and the first payment will take about 7-10 days after which they’ll flow much quicker. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  12. I tried to transfer from one state to another. When I left Montana I was told there would be no problem transferring. When I arrived in North Carolina I had trouble reaching the area manager by phone. When he finally called me back he said to meet him for lunch to discuss when and where I would be working. He did not show up for lunch. Then he never returned any of my calls. I went PA to visit a friend a few weeks later and tried there. I met with the hiring manager and was told there should not be a problem doing the transfer since I was still in the system. I called the store a few times and they said it was still pending. Then I was terminated without even a phone call. Am I eligible for unemployment and if so do I file in Montana or North Carolina. I still have a Montana drivers license but I am living in NC.

    1. Stacey,

      As long as you were unemployed involuntarily, you should be able to claim UI benefits. Please consider applying.

  13. I have worked for 32+ years and recently have become unable to work due to health reasons, so I have had to resign from my job. I have contacted SS and will be able to apply for disability but it will take awhile to process. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? I live in WV.

    1. Sandra,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for more.

  14. I had to quit my job at Walmart in Fairmont West Virginia and moved back to my home state ky, I’ve got a son with drug problems and 3 older sisters that are not doing so well in health cause of their age. I didn’t understand about the transfer part they had at Walmart that I could put a date when I could start back because of my car problems I thought when I left I had to go in like in s few days, I’ve applied here at Walmart in Winchester ky 40391 two times already plus dollar store, speedway, truck stop, bp, a few other places it’s been going on 7 months without a job I live with my son and its getting harder on him paying rent and utilities and food, not to mention our personal hygiene stuff I really need help I have no income coming in to help him and his wife out I get foodstamps and Medicaid I was praying I could qualify for unemployment PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Vicky,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

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