Part ⅡReading Comprehension(Skimming and Scanning)(15 minutes)
Directions: In this part, you will have 15 minutes to go over the passage quickly and answer the questions on Answer Sheet 1.
For questions 1~4, mark Y (for YES)if the statement agrees with the information given in the passage; N (for NO)if the statement contradicts the information given in the passage; NG (for NOT GIVEN)if the information is not given in the passage. For questions 5~10, complete the sentences with the information given in the passage.
Even as the economy improves, a jobless executive may face up to a year or more of unemployment. This is a lot of time, especially for hard-charging high-performers who are not used to having any free time. While some job seekers spend hundreds－even thousands－of hours discovering daytime television, others seem to thrive on activities that boost their professional careers or resolve family issues when they aren't working.
Having an extended period of free time in the prime of one's life can in fact be a unique opportunity to service, professional education or personal growth.
For Lisa Perez, the wakeup call was burned pork chops. An executive who previously hadn't been particularly interested in home and health, she had become obsessed with homemaking during a stint of unemployment.
She realized that cleaning and organizing her home wasn't helping her job search. Nevertheless, "I made lists of 50 things to do every day," says Ms. Perez, a political and public-relations consultant in Scottsdale, Ariz. "My house was spotless, just so I'd have something to do."
One day, her boyfriend didn't arrive on time for dinner because he had to work late, and her pork chops were ruined. She threw a fit. "I'd never been a person like that," she says. "So I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself, and go out and do something productive."
Ms. Perez, 35, resolved to become an active volunteer for the duration of her search. She gave her time to a health-care concern, a housing program and a political campaign.
The work bolstered her self-confidence. "Volunteering takes the focus off of you. One thing you have that's still valuable is your time. And, of course, you learn that there are thousands of people with a life that's much worse than yours," she says.
Volunteer assignments are also great ways to meet powerful and well-connected people. Over a six-month period, her volunteering evolved into working as a paid consultant and then as a full-time employee, a job she still holds today. In all, she was unemployed for eight months.
Before her job loss, she thought she didn't have time to volunteer while working. "Now, even though I have a demanding job, I still of what I got out of it," says Ms. Perez.
Gene Bellavance, a 36-year-old information-technology project manager, took another route during his unemployment. When he was laid off from a steel company near Cleveland, he knew his immediate prospects were bleak. He expected his search to take a year. He faced a decision: take a job that would set back his career or hold out for an offer he really wanted.
Mr. Bellavance, single and virtually debt free, shifted his finances into survival mode. He cashed out his pension, sold his house, unloaded things he didn't need at garage sales, and rented an apartment with a roommate. Then, he says, "I signed up for every benefit I could find."
But he wasn't just waiting out the year. He spent the rest of his search updating his skills, including becoming certified in new database and project-management software. "You have to invest in yourself," Mr. Bellavance says. "I estimated what technology was going to be the most beneficial and chose applications that were going to be pervasive, that were right for my market, and that were going to ensure top pay."
In addition to income from the occasional IT-consulting assignment, he relied on a combination of displaced-worker-retraining grants and unemployment benefits. "I went out and found the classes, submitted the paperwork, and dealt with the bureaucracy. You have to stay after them, keeping your benefits moving forward. It's up to you to make it work with your overall transition plan," he says.
His job search was one month shy of the full year he'd expected. He looked for work during his training and says he would have finished the certification programs even if he'd been hired before completing them.
"People should not feel guilty"about accepting government aid, he says. "I saw this in a lot of people. They felt they were some kind of loser for taking benefits. My advice is: Get all you can. You've been paying for these programs in your entire career, and you may as well start to benefit from them."
In addition to pursuing training or volunteering, some displaced careerists use their time off work to attend to family matters. Many executives rediscover their children or find time to help their parents.
Stanford Rappaport held three jobs in San Francisco, including high-tech and teaching positions. When he was laid off from the high-tech job last year, he knew it might be a long slog before he could get another post like it in the Bay Area. "I was able to do the math," says Mr. Rappaport, 46. " The number of people laid off: huge; and the number of available jobs: miniscule. At the time, I thought it might be two or three years before the tech industry recovered."
Mr. Rappaport's remaining job, a part-time faculty position with City College of San Francisco, didn't pay enough to support him. After a couple of months of searching with no results, he decided to escape the Northern California jobs meltdown. "My plan," he says, "was to get out of an expensive living situation, and either seek work in another section of the U.S. or overseas, for those two years." Mr. Rappaport, who speaks five languages, had worked overseas before.
Before he found an assignment, his Arkansas-based mother was diagnosed with a serious chronic illness, and he was called into duty as a son. Mr. Rappaport was able to help his mother get her affairs in order not to interrupt his search by using a San Francisco mail drop and cellphone. "I continued to look for work in California while I was in Fayetteville, Ark., helping my mother through this crisis."
He took his mother to medical appointments, made repairs on her house, bought her a better car, and straightened out her legal and financial affairs. "I even got to go through my father's effects, which in the five years since he had died were simply piled in boxes in his office," he says.
Mr. Rappaport's stay in Arkansas lasted six months. "It's amazing that at this stage I had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time with my mother and improve her life and get a lot of things done for her. Most people never have that opportunity. I'm very thankful that I had the chance. It was absolutely worth it," he says.
One of the unexpected benefits was the huge boost in confidence he gained from his role as caregiver. He'd been feeling depressed and defeated when he left California, but after returning, he felt renewed. He landed a job with a former employer after returning to San Francisco and remains a part-time faculty member.
Discovery and Exploration
Instead of spending time off lamenting your unemployed status, ask yourself: "Is there something I've always wanted to do but haven't because of the demands of my job?"
Felice Fisk, a 29-year-old in Seattle, recently left an account-manager position at a contract-furniture company. During seven months of unemployment, she took an interest in fine-art painting and completed 18 pieces before returning to work. "I found the art work, or some kind of creative outlet, to be really beneficial," she says. She's now an interior designer for an interior-design firm.
Michael Ross, 42, a former IT administrator in El Cerrito, Calif., recently spent his 10 months of unemployment playing guitar and exploring his lifelong interest in scriptwriting and the movie business. "After 18 years at my former employer and how hard I had worked, I knew I had to recover, to get restored," he says. "I looked at this as an opportunity, rather than a penalty. This was very much about clearing space for me."
At the executive level, even a very efficient and successful job search may be quite lengthy. It makes sense to spend that time in an enriching and productive manner. These job seekers pursued service, continuing education and shoring up family bonds. How you'll look back on a period of unemployment depends on what you do with it.
1. This passage mainly tells that being unemployed is not all bad.
2. Lisa Perez found a new interest in homemaking during the period of unemployment.
3. Lisa Perez was always optimistic during the period of her unemployment.
4. After she got a new job, Lisa Perez regretted that she had not done volunteering work earlier.
5. Unemployment means a lot of time, especially for those hard-charging executives who are not used to having any ____________ time.
6. Being a volunteer is helpful because volunteer assignments can provide you with chances to meet ____________ people.
7. Mr. Bellavance cashed out his pension, sold his house and unloaded things he didn't need at garage after losing his job in order to change his finances into ____________ mode.
8. When unemployed, some careerists take the opportunity to family matters in addition to pursuing training or volunteering.
9. The role as caregiver brought about a huge boost in ____________ to Mr. Rappaport. After returning from California, he felt renewed.
10. Michael Ross resigned and spent his unemployment time playing guitar and exploring his lifelong interest in scriptwriting and the movie business for he looked at this as an ______________________ , rather than a penalty.
Part Ⅱ Reading Comprehension (Skimming and Scanning)
1. Y 文章第二段指出"在人生的黄金时期有持续的空余时间事实上是一次独特的机会，可以让你专心从事志愿工作，或继续深造。"在后面的段落里作者分可以给人带来其它方面的收获。因此可以得出结论，失业并不完全是件坏事。 2. N 标题Community Involvement第一段最后一句话中的obsess一词意思为"困扰"，可以看出Perez并不愿意从事家务劳动。另外根据该标题中第二段也可得出此结论。 3. N 根据文章标题Community Involvement中第三段的最后一句话"我决定不再自怨自艾，出去做些有意义的事情"，可以看出她也曾在失业期间十分失落。 4. NG 题目中指出Lisa Perez在得到新工作后后悔没有早点做义务工作，而这一点在文章中并没有提到。文章标题Community Involvemet的最后一段只提到Perez决定不管以后的工作多么繁忙，她也会抽出时间从事义务工作。 5. free 参见文章第一段第一、二句话。 6. powerful and well-connected Community Involvement倒数第二段的第一句话。 7. survival Continuing Education中第二段。 8. attend to Family Matters中第一段的第一句话。 9. confidence Family Matters中最后一段的第一、二句。 10. opportunity 参见文章倒数第二段。