To Consult or Not to Consult, That is the Question
A recent New York Times headline was Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs. Now if that is not an attention-getting, ominous banner, then I do not know what is.
Not surprisingly, the article focuses on those of us who have gone beyond the one year mark as unemployed, displaced, laid off, etc. persons. A concern raised by one such victim, who is appalled, and rightfully so I must add, by the fact the unemployed are viewed as lazy, uninspired, willing to stay at home types. Victim, because I do view the present job state as a crime. A crime against hard working, dedicated and loyal employees who are now flying solo with no recourse, financially and otherwise, and with very little immediate remedy or options to improve upon their situation.
I am grateful for this article because it personalizes the plight of so many. The article calls for some empathy giving a realistic view of those who are presently job seeking. Although the claims are that the present market and economic state was expected and anticipated by experts, for some reason, they forgot to provide an advisory warning for those of us who have been directly affected by it. Guess we missed the fine print.
The article touches upon a number of issues affecting job seekers. Unexpected long-term unemployment, poor preparation and mainly, the inability to meet one’s financial obligations resulting from long-term loss of employment. That is not to say, we are excusing some of the gaps, but there ought to be some consideration given the odds with which we are working (pun intended).
I was moved by the fact that one such job seeker is faced with the daunting task of learning new business applications. Now in the last quarter of her career, she must acquire skill sets that are as foreign as a different language and keeping up with younger applicants whose fluency will leave her overwhelmed and intimated. Yet she forges on.
Another job seeker, a single mom of three, who has merely $50 left in her bank account, is now posting flyers around her neighborhood to clean homes. Humbling to say the least, but admirable as she is willing to do anything to keep her family together under one roof.
These kinds of stories ought to move not only the public, but also our legislators. Instead of funding unimaginable amounts of money to companies not worthy or deserving of such bailouts, why not create state funded programs that would “loan” financial support to families? Odds are this citizenry will pay it back a lot faster than most of the conglomerates, and with less whining. If the government can seamlessly approve a trillion dollars worth of aid to major companies, which according to some experts, could not be allowed to fail, how about looking at these smaller “companies”, the families, and help them avoid their decimation. If losing one’s home, being unable to feed your children, to be unable to pay immediate living expenses such as electricity, oil and basic human needs, are not reasons to step in and step up, then, what is?
This brings me back to the NYT banner. How are people going to land jobs, if what the news/media states, there are no jobs to be had? We all know there are more applicants for each opening than ever before. So how do you create a niche or a catalyst to get yourself on the frontlines? I wish I had the magic words/wand to provide the answer, but alas, I do not.
I share a ray of hope, however. I recently was given the opportunity, after some major hustling and bustling, aka networking, to consult with a startup advisory firm. This role came by way of a former boss, for whom I also provided startup and ultimate business services during a ten-year employment relationship. Although it is not a permanent, full time position, it nonetheless provides for the implementation and application of my legal, compliance, HR, technology and administrative background. When approached with this prospect, I could not but jump onboard. In the meantime, I continue job searching, with a less sense of urgency and a renewed belief and confidence that I am on a new adventurous path.
So keep the faith and plugging along. Membership to the alleged titled group in the article is not an option, for any of us!
Give me a specific examples of something you are doing to fill in the gaps. Have you taken on a part time job, an interim position or something else that’s helping you get by while you continue your search?