Category Archives: Uncategorized

… change the attitudes towards work in getting a job

Unfortunately, our country has developed a societal attitude that work is a right not a privilege… We all need to develop more of an immigrant attitude… I really don’t need to describe that in detail, because we all know what an immigrant attitude is… Secondly we need to communicate that it’s going to be very, very, very, very hard to find a job… It isn’t something you simply sign up for like you do with all the other entitlements… Along the same line ,people have to realize that they may have to take a pay cut and start out in a lower position than they had before in order to get their foot back in the door… We then need to prepare people for the emotional strain that looking for a job is… I’m always amazed that people don’t expect how psychologically difficult it’s going be to find a job… Engage in talking to someone who’s been out of work for more than a year and you can hear the tension in their voice and almost feel the depleted spirit… People need to be aware that the competition for a job is phenomenal… There are at least 8 to 10 very well-qualified candidates for every job and just because people think they are qualified doesn’t mean they are going to get hired or that the hiring authority thinks they are qualified …Looking for a job successfully is a sheer numbers thing… Most people don’t try hard enough to get enough interviews, which is the first mistake… Then, when they don’t get a job right away, they give up way too easily, quit way too soon and then claim they can’t find a job… They claim that there are just “no jobs out there” it takes an average of 16 interviews to get a job… it takes talking to 10 hiring authorities to get one interview… and it takes 100 calls to speak with one hiring authority… In short, it is very diligent, hard work with tons of rejection and refusal… And lastly in this list is to quit cursing the darkness… Complaining bitching and moaning about the way things are does absolutely no good…

… other issues that discourage people from looking for and taking a job

Some of these are practical and some are social issues… some of them drive me nuts because they ring with “entitlements”… others are simply facts of life…

The cost of child care is too high… the cost of childcare is the single largest expense for families in almost half of the states in the nation and has been growing steadily, outweighing cost of food and housing… the cost of child care can surpass that of in-state tuition at four-year public colleges in 31 states… unfortunately the largest demographic hit is single mothers… the National Institutes of Health says that low income single mothers with young childcare challenges can be a significant barrier to even finding a job… it’s not a uncommon for child care to absorb one quarter of what the mothers earn

People don’t want to or can’t commute ….in a recent poll by MRINetwork 75% of almost 600 people said “they would turn down a job offer because of the long commute”…

Maintaining your place in the benefits system is a full-time, arduous job… government programs have become very strict about who receive benefits… even though the numbers of people receiving government benefits is staggering, people have to spend a lot of time actually working with the programs to stay in the parameters… government offices are packed every day in this country… they require appointments, paperwork, filing, re-filing and re-qualifying, literally standing in line all day for unemployment, Social Security insurance, disability and food assistance programs are daunting… trying to keep up with this challenge and then go out to job hunt takes a super effort, zapping a person’s energy and attitude.

Feeling stigmatized by potential employers… study after study has shown that resumes of people who are out of work for 27 weeks or more are automatically eliminated… in a recent study, 5000 identical resumes except for the fact that half reflected being unemployed for more than 27 weeks were sent to prospective employers…not one  of the candidates out of work for more than 27 weeks were invited to interview… So the concern for being stigmatized is real.

next week: solutions

..why people don’t want to work

entitlements often pay more than having a job… the idea that entitlements actually help people find a job… especially unemployment insurance… is dubious… economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research reported in 2013 that unemployment was worse in places which benefits… It seems that the longer people are on unemployment, it is an incentive not to get a job…

We present job Opportunities to unemployed candidates all the time and often hear, “I can make more than that on unemployment… so I’m not going on the interview”… one study found that there were 101 million people participating in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the Department of Agriculture and there were only 97 million people working in full-time jobs…. You read it right, the number of Americans receiving government benefits outnumbers those with full-time jobs

The new Affordable Care Act has this same kind of perverse twist affecting the labor market… the CBO states that means tested subsidies,  Obamacare phases out  incomes rise and that some people will choose to stay poor and either accept lesser jobs than they might be capable of or get out of the workforce completely… disincentive to become unemployed or cut back on time or in exchange for healthcare subsidies will cost 2.3 million jobs by 2021… the intent to help people is a deterrent to work … it encourages those on this subsidy to “stay poor.”

There is a “attitude” of entitlement that, “there just ought to be a job for everyone and they should be easy to get”… the promise of a regulated economic equality, rather than the promise of equal opportunity to jobs leads people to think that looking for a job should be no harder than simply asking “where is my job?” and then expecting it to miraculously show up or have someone give it to them in the same way they do their healthcare… their unemployment… and their food stamps… the attitude of entitlement promotes the idea that getting a job is a “right” and should be easy to do…

Next week will talk about some of the reasons that people get discouraged about the job market

…the Willis Report

I’ve been on the Gerri Willis show, the Willis Report on FoxBusiness every other week for the past couple of months… it’s really fun and exciting…She always had some very interesting topics…

Yesterday the topic was the recent survey done by Harris poll of 1500 unemployed adult Americans… the major headline was that 47% of these people say that they have completely given up looking for a job…Gerri’s questions were… what’s your reaction to thiswhy are people giving up so easily and,… should the American taxpayers be paying for this group …???

There are more than 4 million people in the United States in this boat… people believe that there are actually no jobs out there… they believe the unemployment compensation is helping them… and overall they blame the economy…

According to the latest data, it takes the average person 17 weeks… about four months to either find a job or stop looking for one… the Council of Economic Advisers has found that a person being unemployed for five weeks or less has a 31% chance of getting a job… once they’ve been unemployed between 27 and 52 weeks, those odds drop to 12%… and what happens once your unemployed for more than a year… your odds drop to 9%… 34% of these people are men between the ages of 25 to 54 and 29% are women of the same age… 18% are young workers under 25… 15% are workers on the cost of the traditional retirement age between 55 and 64 years old… and the remaining 4% are people who are 65 years or older but would still like to work

Over the next two or three weeks I’m going to share with you the reasons I see… from in the trenches… of why people have such a hard time finding a job and why they don’t go to work

The First Reason is that looking for a job as well as losing your job is the fourth most emotional thing that people do…next to death of a spouse, death of a child, death of a parent, coupled with divorce, the fourth most emotional thing that people do is look for a job… they are just plain scared…

For most people this fear leads to massive action and they get up off their duff and really try hard to look for a job… and, if they do it within the first five weeks of being laid off they have a 31% chance of doing that… however, because of fear, lots of people decide to take a little time off, accept severance and do nothing for a while, take a vacation, go back to school… they do anything except what they ought to do which is look for a job

The second thing they do is to apply for entitlements offered by the government…. this is a well-intentioned social policy but it has done nothing but enabled a whole bunch of people to not only become dependent upon the government but become disincented to finding a job…

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book, David and Goliath speaks about the inverted U theory regarding social policies that start out as a “good thing” but wind up making things worse… unemployment insurance, disability insurance, food stamps and many other programs instituted to “help” unemployed people actually provide them an incentive to not find a job.

People can often collect more money from unemployment insurance, food stamps,  disability insurance and other government programs than they can by finding a job… economists at the national Bureau of economic research reported that unemployment was worse in places with generous benefits… the new Affordable Care Act has the same kind of perverse to twist affecting the labor market….the CBO states that means tested subsidies for Obama care phase out as income rises and that some people would choose to stay poorer and either accept lesser jobs than they might be capable of or get out of the workforce completely… this incentive to become unemployed or cut back on time worked in exchange for healthcare subsidies will cost 2.3 million jobs by 2021… the intent to “help” is a deterrent to work and encourages those on this subsidy to “stay poor”

Government programs designed to help the unemployed has a tendency to keep them employed… more next week

…good for Ken… a little luck and a little skill

Ken interviewed for a first line managers job… his background is pretty perfect but unfortunately he was flat… no enthusiasm or fire in the belly… he came  in third, even though his experience and background were better than the other candidates who interviewed…

The most impressive candidate was invited back and did a great job in the second interview in front of a group of people and looked like he was going to the offer… but a “backdoor” reference by the  VP wasn’t good at all he was quickly eliminated…

The second candidate wasn’t stellar in her initial interview but they brought her back… unfortunately, even though her skills were solid, she was so serious and tense in a group interview..( that is the problem I have with group interviews… I hate them…they are unfair to a candidate and to  a company… but, obviously I don’t write the rules)… bottom line was she choked and wasn’t the same effervescent, friendly, engaging candidate that the hiring authority initially interviewed… she bombed and just plain didn’t connect with them… so she was out…

In spite of Ken’s Initial interview flatness, he followed up with the hiring authority, etc… the initial interviewing authority wasn’t wild about bringing him back, but it was better than starting all over so, as with the rest of the candidates, he sent information for Ken to use in making a presentation to the group and invited him back for a group interview…

Ken prepared well… went to Starbucks and got a vinti “black eye,” drinking it before the interview … hiring authority said that he did great and they are now checking his references… it all looks good for Ken

a little luck and a little skill never hurt anyone

… Angela’s angst… a lesson

Up until September of last year, Angela had a relatively good inside sales job for a kid three years out of school… her company constantly told her how great she was… how good she was and how well she would eventually do in outside sales. When it was clear that the company was not going to promote her to outside sales, she started looking for a job… we tried to explain to her about what the market would bear for her based on her experience…for four or five months showed her a number of opportunities that were good, solid “one step up” from the job she had and a decent future…

Unfortunately, Angela was reading her own press clippings and was convinced that she should take no  less than an absolutely stellar position…these were two or three levels beyond her … it was hard to get interviews for her because even though her track record was good, she just didn’t have enough experience…when we got her interviews commensurate with her experience she’d simply tell us that she was “better than that” and wouldn’t go…When we did get her interviews like she wanted, she didn’t get past the initial interview… She’d get frustrated and downright mad because they wouldn’t hire her

This went on for a few months to the point where Angela just wouldn’t even consider even going on an interview that wasn’t exactly what she wanted… obviously we weren’t motivated to get her  interviews because we couldn’t convince her that the positions she was qualified for weren’t what she ideally wanted…

The other day Angela calls and says she’s now ready to get back into the market… she says that she has been humbled by the whole experience… it turns out that she got frustrated with her old job and, continuing with her egotistical ideas, quit the job she had, thinking that if she looked for a job full time she’d be better off.

Well, she tells us she looked for a job for about a month and she realized she needed an income so, thinking she could interview while she was working, took a job in retail… She has been there six months and hates it.. she now wants to find a job and she is frustrated to no end…

Here is the problem she’s created for herself… she has now been working in retail for six months and has to tell a prospective employer one of two things, either she hasn’t been working at all or she’s been working in retail… if she goes into an interview for sales and says she’s been out of work for six months, people are going to wonder why she’s been out of work so long… if she tells people that she’s been working retail for the last six months but wants to  get back in  sales they’re going to wonder, if she’s such a good salesperson, why did she take a job in retail

Angela now realizes the level of job she should take, if she can find it… and it’s going to be really hard to find… explaining what she’s been doing for the last six months but that she really wants to go into sales again and it is going to be very hard…

The angst Angela has caused herself wasn’t necessary

…that time the year again… graduation

This year isn’t any better than the last two years for graduates… 1.8 million of them will enter the workforce in May, June and July in an economy that is producing less than 150,000 jobs a month… 80% to 85% of the grads will move home after graduation… they will take  7 to 8 months to find any kind of job… they will be in debt on average $24,000…  60% of them will find a job that have nothing to do with their major…

Unfortunately the reality is that only 40% of college graduates ever visit the career Center at their University and the  majority of students don’t even start thinking about getting a job until near graduation… and to think, this is about the same place where students were the last three yearsis there a reason that students… who are supposed to be educated enough to realize “current events”… especially since those current events are affecting their future…

And the colleges and universities?… Institutions have a moral obligation to their graduates to prepare them for the job market… they don’t …academia has always taken the attitude that their job is to educate students and  after that, they really don’t care…

Parents and students who are investing anywhere from $100,000-$200,000 in a baccalaureate degree should ask a college or university, before they enter the institution, what percentage of their baccalaureate graduates have a job within three months after graduating… Likely they will get a totally blank stare from whoever they ask… and that’s sad

71% of the students who use the career Center get jobs  by graduation…. Students with internships or who worked during college at the 60% better chance of getting a job right after graduation and the ones with internships received a median income of $6000 more than those who do not have an internship… the same goes for those students who actually had a job during college…

Don Philabaum, a friend, founded the company by the name of TalentMarks., www.talentmarks.com, has developed a whole series of programs for students graduating… it’s amazing that every college and university in the country doesn’t have this program…

So, advise your graduate to:… visit the career Center…create a plan of massive action to find a job… connect with every graduate of your college or university ( it is shocking how seldom the students take advantage of these people who love to help their “own”)… be persistent… don’t quit… take any job you can get your foot in the door and… oh yeah, WORK REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HARD

…being a host to God rather than hostage to your ego

The job search can be one of the most ego testing experiences of a person’s life… If you are a hostage to your ego… if you are so wrapped up in yourself and judging yourself,  assuming you are being judged by others by the constant fluctuation of feeling strong one moment and feeling totally deflated the next… being told that you’re going to get an interview and never hearing from the company… being promised a second or third interview and then being totally ignored… and you are told you are going to receive an offer only to find out the person who told you that lost their job the same day…

If you are a hostage to your ego and your whole life rises and falls with how you are feeling and how you are being treated, you are in for a very long, stressful emotional roller coaster… you will be a bundle of nerves…it will grind on you and you will be beat down to the point of depression…

Maybe that’s why 3.3 million people have been out of work for more than 23 weeks and have simply quit looking for a job…

However, if  you are a host to God, your ego can’t be damaged… maybe your feelings will be hurt and you will be disappointed, and yes, you’ll still get down but you’ll bounce back more quickly because your ego can’t be damaged… Humility and acceptance take the place of pride and justice… with your most important relationships being spiritual, and the most important one, with God, you can never be alone and deflated… faith provides the gift of acceptance and the ability to accept things just the way they are… you are neither emotionally  too high or too low..

So, if your ego is  holding you hostage open your heart to God

..humor and your job search

“Is that the moon up there?”…I don’t know, I’m new in town..”…w.c. fields…very corny but funny…in fact simple kind of humor like this, jokes,funny stories exercise our brain…they keep us in touch and on our toes..we benefit from taxing our brains with humor…studies have shown that people who listen to comedy perform 20% better on creativity test…in 1987 researchers at the University of Maryland found that watching comedy more than doubles our ability to solve brainteasers…

Like exercise, humor helps to prepare them for stressful events… like looking for a job… having an active sense of humor helps us to get more from life, both cognitively and emotionally … It is a great habit to get into why you were looking for a job… tell jokes… laugh a lot… make a little kid laugh, that will put you in a great mood… nothing more invigorating than a little kid laughing

“What’s that on your shoulder?…                                                                                               It’s a Greek urn!…                                                                                                                              So whats a Greek Urn?…                                                                                                                About 40 a week!”

… newest revelation on stories and the effect on your job search

If you follow what I write regarding looking for a job you know that I recommend job-search candidates to tell stories.  From psychologists we learned that stories are successful because they remove the prejudice of the listener toward the storyteller and encourage the listener to identify with the person in the story.  By identifying with the people in the stories,  the listener becomes more engaged with the storyteller and asks themselves questions like “what would I have done in that situation? “… We are so caught up in the drama of the story that we have little emotional energy to disagree…

This is especially true in the intervening situation.  Candidates are nervous and scared and, most people are wounded. Hiring  authorities are equally afraid of making a mistake… stories soothe the other side of the desk…

Now comes a study, reported in the Journal of Neuroscience… These neuroscientists led by Uri HassonBrain believe the brain waves of the people listening to a story begin to mimic the brain waves of the storyteller… in other words the listener of the story starts “thinking” like the storyteller… using functional magnetic resonance imaging, scientists reported the neural responses of the story listeners and at the same time recorded the activity of the storyteller…  and they are the same…

So, if you want the interviewing authority to “see” the same way you and really like you as a candidate, tell real effective stories