(Note: This is the first of likely several posts over the next month or so that were written a while back and saved in drafts (this might be the only one — I haven’t gone through them all yet!) I’m attempting to clean out the folder, so if they seem worthy of publishing, I will do so. If not, they get deleted!)
What is going on in the world of employment?
Realize that employment rates seem to be going up, but it’s not easy to track people who are without work and can no longer collect unemployment benefits. I personally know people who have been out of work for a while and who can’t seem to find a way to get back into the employed world.
Part of the problem, no doubt, is credentials. Another part is outsourcing. Another part is flat-out downsizing.
I truly feel bad for future generations. With computers and cheap labor overseas, there are going to be people without work.
But this post isn’t just about that, rather how things have changed as things are more and more competitive. When a job attracts some 200 applications, things get lost it seems. And what happened to the personal touch? People spend hours on cover letters and getting things right. They at least deserve a form letter, don’t they?
During my 2.5 years of unemployment, I didn’t always get notification that my application was received – even with some electronic ones, which can be set up to automatically give notice. And it was highly rare to hear back from places, even after an interview.
Sometimes, too, you just have to wonder about the whole situation.
When I got out of college – with my master’s degree – I had a lot of experience. Not all that experience was what a daily newspaper would want, and I got that. But it’s not like I had never worked under a daily deadline before.
Anyway, out of college I started to freelance at my local daily. It had always been my goal to not work there, because I wanted to go beyond local. But interviews at other papers didn’t work out. So I started freelancing there. From there, it became part-time. They opened a search for a spot that opened. It was split between two of us who were working … then the other went to another full-time spot at the paper. I had basically been told that one of us would get it… so it seemed like it would be mine, right?
A search happened. I interviewed – again. It was offered to somebody else who ended up not taking it. They advertised for it … again. Seriously, a second time. Another offer to somebody else.
I have to be honest – if I had any other viable options, I likely would have taken them.
They waited nearly two weeks for this person – TWO WEEKS! – to give an answer. They never got it. It was offered to me, and I basically had to say yes what they were offering (though, honestly, I should have tried to get more – nobody else was accepting the position at this point. Live and learn).
That gave me the start of the next seven years. I always remembered that, though. And I always pushed myself to get pretty better, in spite of everything. I did things wrong, sure. But I did way more right. And I won some awards and was a pretty model employee.
Until they decided my position was no longer needed, which then started me to eventually land on my feet much better than before.
It also made me remember a few other times I was brought in for interviews and how bizarre things could be, though none are more bizarre than asking about my feelings about dogs. Many of the places I applied to barely acknowledged they received my resume, let alone once they made a decision. That even happened at a few places where I actually had an interview!
I have friends still searching. They are qualified for many of the jobs out there. But they don’t ever know where they stand. The lack of communication is crazy. All they want to know is where they stand in the big scheme of things.
So where did things go so wrong? Why are there no more personal responses? Or even a form letter? Why are people kept in the dark, yet told not to call to follow up? It seems rude to me. And I also understand that with so many applications, it might not be feasible to answer everybody. But a form letter? A form e-mail?
Where are we going in the future? Is it going to get worse? Will it get better? Only time will tell. But it can be very scary to think about when looking at the big picture. For those of you — me included — who are employed, be thankful for what you have as it’s a crazy world out there.
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