… Some of the reasons why people get discouraged about working

We’ve created an interesting approach to finding a job in this country… in the guise of “safety nets” we have created a society where individuals feel that they should be able to find a job exactly like you want easily and on their terms… there seems to be a level of “I want job, but, I’m not gonna…”

People don’t want to take a pay cut. 40% of Americans who have seen long-term unemployment benefits have previously earned between $30,000 and $75,000 a year. They are considered “poor.” The vast majority of these people will not consider interviewing for a job at less money than what they were earning before even though they’ve been out of work for a long period of time… they will claim “I really don’t want us to”… once they pass up one or two opportunities, they feel compelled to pass up other ones that aren’t as good as the first one or two they were presented with…

Amazingly enough, 69% of Americans surveyed in 2013 by the Allegis Group stated that they would not take a job with the company would have any “bad reputation, even if they were unemployed”… and here is a phenomenally ironic twist, 33% of this group said that the only thing that would change their mind about a company’s “reputation” would be if they received a 50% increase in their previous page. It appears that a bad reputation is “relative” to the money people are paying … go figure! It’s hard to decide what a “bad reputation” means

Many people, often unemployed for long periods of time, try to find the “perfect” fit in finding a job… many have lost so much confidence in themselves they are afraid to accept any kind of job… because of low self-esteem ,they even quit job hunting altogether… a great many job seekers fall prey to the confusion of activity with productivity and spend their time sending resumes over the Internet… this is a really quick way to become discouraged… they hear nothing from the people they send their resumes to and become very discouraged very fast… unfortunately if you Google the search phrase “how do people find jobs?” The vast majority of articles and answers center around online job search of some sort… in other words people are encouraged to seek a job “online”…

next week, more discouraging facts and attitudes

..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

…the jobseeker’s advantage

I’m continually amazed, even after 40 years of being in the placement and recruitment business how lackadaisical and reactive instead of being proactive job-search candidates are. For most folks about the most proactive things they do in a job-search is call a few of their friends, acquaintances, a recruiter or two and then, the ultimate job-search activity… send resumes over the Internet. They send and hope, send and hope, hope and send and send and hope. Hope is not a strategy! And then they tell me that there looking for a job really hard.

The most successful job seekers are the ones that are very, very proactive. They don’t just “send” a resume to a company. They pick up the phone and call the manager of the department that they would be applying to and present themselves as a job candidate and actually ask for face-to-face interview. They don’t sit and wait for the phone to ring. They pick up the phone and they call at least 35 to 40 people a day… people they know and people they don’t know… and make a presentation on themselves to a hiring authority while asking for face-to-face interview.

These people will find Linkedin connections to people and organizations they would like to interview with. They call these connections and ask for support to get an interview. They will actually sit in the lobby of a hiring authority’s office unannounced and try to get an appointment with him or her. They do whatever they can to make as many contacts and get as many interviews as possible. And they don’t stop even when they get rejected and refused. They realize that getting refused and rejected it simply a “no.” They know that they will have to get 15 to 20 “no’s” before you get a “yes.” It’s nothing personal, it simply means that someone else is going to get the opportunity to hire them. I know some of these candidates who actually count the “no’s” and celebrate them knowing that they are one more “no” toward a “yes.”

These kind of candidates push to get themselves interviews. Once they do, they prepare themselves extremely well for the interview. They practice their presentation of themselves so they have it down to as close to perfection as they can get. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses in the eyes of the hiring authority. They sell themselves to their strengths and are aware of their own vulnerabilities. They sell their features, advantages and benefits. They end each interview by asking the interviewing authority their opinion about how they stack up with the other candidates being interviewed, if the hiring authority has any concerns about their ability to do the job and then they ask, the most important question, “what do I need to do to get the job?”

These people are relentless in getting as many interviews as they can even though they think they might be getting offers. They proactively follow up every interview with, not only a thank you but a summary of the interview and a phone call to the hiring or interviewing authority thanking them for their time and asking for a follow-up interview.

These kind of candidates never stop focusing on the process…the proactive process of getting initial interviews, performing well on the initial interviews, getting follow-up interviews, performing well on all follow-up interviews, making themselves unique in the eyes of the interviewing or hiring authority and then asking for a job. They are always in control of numerous interviewing cycles. They follow this process over and over and over and over until they find a job they really like.