It’s really interesting reaction that we got for the post two weeks ago about why the 99 million people that are permanently out of work are there. Most of the reactions claimed that the article was spot on. And there were quite a few others that voiced the fact that, “I’ve been among the 99 million for years… clueless hiring managers, HR fools and time wasting recruiters treat people such as myself like absolute s—t!” or comments like, “let’s see, bogus job advertisements, cronyism, much cheaper labor overseas, globalization, zillions of H1B visas…”
The numbers of these comments were surprising. This small sampling though, reinforce the idea that for some reason our society is accepting and tolerating this low rate of employment participation on everyone’s part. The major reason, and I do mean major, is that looking for a job is a phenomenally emotionally stressful thing to do. When the job market is tight and job seekers don’t get fairly immediate positive response to their efforts they lose momentum and because they really don’t know what to do in order to get a job they decide that, “there are no jobs out there” and they quit looking. On top of all of this, and this is important, the distance between the hiring authority and the job seeker is greater than it’s ever been. There are going to be 15 negative events for every positive one. Job seekers are lied to, storied, left on hold and simply ignored.The inability for a job seeker to communicate directly with hiring authority is greater than it’s ever been. It’s harder and harder, because of the Internet, because of applicant tracking systems and, yes, people who “review” resumes who know absolutely nothing about what they’re looking for for candidates to actually get an interview. And, on top of that most candidates don’t know how to perform well when they get the interview.
After a while, jobseekers become depressed and cynical about the whole situation. They quit. No one has prepared them for how really hard and difficult looking for a job is. Nobody has prepared them to realize the phenomenal amount of rejection and refusal that goes on in getting a job. No one has said to them, “look, you’re going to have to make 100 phone calls before you get one person to call you back. You’re going to have to get 10 of those calls before you have one of those people interested in speaking with you. Forget sending your resume. You’re going to have to send 180 album before you get anybody to respond. Pick up the phone and call a hiring manager and ask for an interview. You’re going to have to have 14 interviews… to maybe 18 interviews to get a job offer. And that might not even be one you want. It’s going to take 4 to 5 months just to get this far and then you’re likely is not to have to start all over. Are you ready for that?”
Some people get so depressed just upon hearing this, they quit looking and give up. But look, that is the way it is. That is reality. You can believe me now or bleed me later and you can either face it or not. But that’s the truth.
A job seeker just has to keep going, and going, and going and going. They have to develop a systematic approach to finding a job. And they have to approach looking for a job like any other sales process. Making a ton of prospecting calls or ton of prospecting events. Getting in front of as many people as possible to interview and then interviewing extremely well.
If job seekers began knowing that finding a job in today’s market is really, really, really hard and prepared for it, one half of those 99 million people would find jobs. Maybe not the perfect job… but they would find a job.