A reader writes:
I have been laid off for almost 10 months now. I have been working hard for this time to secure another position. I am currently concerned that the length of time I have been out of work is against me when I interview. I have had several interviewing managers ask me what I have been doing all this time. My answer is truthful that I took a little family time off when first laid off, have been helping aging parents and volunteering to help other seniors, taking some IT classes and mostly looking for a new position.
Many people keep telling me this amount of time is not a big deal, especially in the area I live where the unemployment rate is somewhat high at this time. In your opinion, how is this time off viewed by hiring managers?
I think it's far less about the time off itself and much more about how you frame it. Your answer seems perfect to me -- you're caring for family members, volunteering, and improving your skills -- and wouldn't raise red flags for me.
Anyone else feel differently?