Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category
If people’s comments on this blog are any indication (and they are), it’s really rough out there. Really, really rough.
Educated, bright, hard-working, do-everything-right-their-whole-life types are finding themselves out of work. Some for different reasons than others.
Some might be “too smart.”
Some might not have experience (employers love that word, don’t they?).
Some might be overqualified or have “too much” experience.
Others might live in areas that are even more economically depressed than other areas of the country and job prospects are nill.
Regardless, you are still making purchases.
You still have to replace things that broke in your home from Lowe’s or The Home Depot.
You still have to buy dress pants or a suit (because your current suit pants that you have split when you sat down for your job interview).
You still try and buy people birthday gifts, baby shower gifts, etc. from Target, the Home Shopping Network, QVC, Babies R US, Nordstrom, etc.
If you’re lucky, you might even book a vacation through Orbitz, Hotels.com, The Holiday Inn, etc.
During tough times, it makes sense to SAVE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, right?
Well, I have GREAT news.
There is a way to save money by making purchases at your favorite online stores.
Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Sears, Disney, Avon, Walmart, Pro Flowers, Sony, Netflix, or whatever store you fancy — you can save money!
How? Through Ebates! All you do is create a FREE and SIMPLE account through Ebates and viola, you’re done!
You find your favorite store on the Ebates site, click a link, and you appear right on your favorite store’s website.
The best part? You can earn from 2-20% back on each purchase for simply doing nothing! You get money back just for clicking a link through Ebates and going to your favorite store’s website.
Don’t be stupid. Save where you can. You have to check this out.
P.S. Between my fiance and I, we got checks back for well over $300 in less than a year for simply using Ebates for everyday online orders. That’s $300 more in your pocket for NOTHING!
While I was gone
being lazy working harder than ever and tending to everything else but this blog, I had “surgery” in a not so nice area. In fact, I won’t say exactly where because I would like to at least maintain some modicum of dignity and not expose my life for all to see on this blog. In other words, I’ll leave where exactly I had my surgery up to your wonderful imaginations. Although this isn’t an attempt to field sympathy as I am already healed, I will certainly take any belated sympathy you have to offer. Cookies and balloons will always make me happy, even if their from freaks weird enough to send an anonymous blogger things usually reserved for those you actually, well, know.
I didn’t miss any work and didn’t take anytime off. And my girlfriend always berates me for using the word surgery as I had it done in a doctor’s office and drove myself home afterwards. However, surgery sounds cooler, tougher, and tends to elicit sympathy more than … outpatient procedure. But I think I should note that 25 years ago this probably would have been done in a hospital and required at least one overnight stay where I can enjoy the finest hospital-grade frozen turkey dinner served to me by an mean, obese nurse that sticks her tongue out at death everyday by working around the horrors of poor health while leading a lifestyle that can very well put her in the same rooms she walks into everyday. But I digress. This is an area where modern medicine actually improved things and allowed a once inpatient procedure to be performed on an outpatient basis. And I’m sure if I had the same thing done 150 years ago, the surgeon (re: the person in the town that owned the sharpest knife) would have probably killed me.
I don’t know where I was heading with this, so I’ll just stop typing.
P.S. Don’t forget about Ebates! Read below for more or just CLICK HERE!
By now, I’m sure most of you have heard the story of Steven Slater, the infamous Jet Blue flight attendant that had enough of putting up with psychotic general public and told everybody to go f*** themselves…literally. He then proceeded to grab two Blue Moons (delicious) and slide down the plane’s emergency chute. Good for him.
While going to school and leading up to me eventually finding a job, I worked in the service industry. I spent over 8 years working in retail for a big box retailer and those years were nothing short of pure hell. I’ve dealt with yuppies, idiots, arrogant assholes, hoodlums, psychotics, and the like all while politely grinning and bearing their bullsh*t.
Customer service jobs like those found at hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments have become so unbearable and intolerable. People in general have become so utterly rude, disrespectful, and demanding. They’ve been brainwashed into thinking that because they are handing over a dollar that they have the right to abuse and degrade the people on the front lines of these industries. Just because you are spending $50 at a store does not give you the right to prance around the store like Queen Elizabeth and treat the help like the peasants and servants under your rule. Just because you are spending the night at the Hilton does not give you the right to act like a Hilton. You must play by the establishment’s rules and conduct yourself in an acceptable manner. A $150 a night hotel bill does not give you the right to smoke where there is no smoking or defecate on the floor because someone else is responsible for cleaning up after you. Your purchase does not give you the right to act like an animal.
I applaud Steven Slater as he did what I wanted to do the 8 years I was working in retail. My part-time career choice should not have given maniacs the right to abuse me. Sadly, it did and anytime I tried to put a customer in their place, the clichéd response was, “But I’m a customer and I put money in your paycheck.” I can only hope that in this down economy, these very same people that sneered at retail help and people in the service industry are forced to get a job that was previously “below them” so they can get a taste of the crap they forced poor souls to endure for way too long.
I came across an article on MSNBC talking about the same old stuff that every other article on the subject has mentioned. Let me make it simple.
Gen Y – recent grads, no jobs, no money, lots of loans, living with Mom & Dad, underemployed, unemployed, and no end in sight.
Gen X/Millennials – 30-40 yrs old, economic troubles, also face layoffs/unemployment, and find it difficult to get a job.
Older generation – least affected group, generally cranky, hates Gen Y, and will not hire any recent grads do to their Jersey Shore-inspired opinion of Gen Y.
More or less, such was the gist of the article. However, what struck me were the comments left by readers at the end of the article. If you, meaning you younger folks that just graduated and are ready to spread your wings, can’t find a job, here’s why:
“I have been constantly frustrated with the lack of work ethic of the Gen Y or young Gen Xers. They don’t know how to arrive on time and everyone else becomes put behind schedule because they aren’t doing their part of the task at hand. When they get to work they are constantly on their cells,texting or going online during company time. I have opted to doing more of the work myself,it gives me less free time but at least I know it will be done right”
“An example of how these Gen Yers are in fact narcissists. A summer intern called me to rearrange MY schedule for the next day so that he could come in late. Seems he had a party to go to that night and knew he would be out late and drink too much! His exact words.”
“Too many people getting college degrees with worthless majors and then expecting to land a job that requires little real work while providing lots of pay. Not going to happen. These over-educated under-skilled people should have apprenticed as a plumber, or went to trade school to be an auto mechanic. Sewer workers are in high demand. Experienced pipeline welders are in demand. Not much demand for literary journalists.”
“What I have seen from the Gen Y folks is a propensity to get college degrees and then not use them. Also they expect when they graduate from college that companies will pay them 6 figure incomes straight out of college with no experience. I don’t think they are taught or shown how to write a resume that will get you an interview. If they do happen to make it to an interview, they certainly don’t know how to answer questions without saying like, man, or and-uh alot. I don’t see alot of ambition in this generation to do what needs to be done to not only survive on their own, but be successful.”
I can’t speak for others in my generation but I can tell you that I’m hardworking, sincere, and dedicated. I’m not one of these “I can’t make tomorrow’s meeting because I have to go tanning” types. I busted my ass to get the modicum of “success” I’ve achieved and quite frankly, it’s left me a little bitter. Its left me bitter because I haven’t “made it” to any reasonable level worthy of my education. Its also left me bitter because I see incompetents, so-called “experienced workers” in high positions that are remarkably clueless and idiotic. Yet they are the same people that would label me as “unqualified” or “inexperienced.” Ridiculous.
I came across an article from New Jersey’s Star Ledger that detailed the realities of modern day job searching. The article talks about Becky Cole, who lost her job two years ago due to the recession, and has steadily been looking for work since. Like most, she began attending every job fair she came across and didn’t like what she saw. Several recruiters refused to take her resume or give her a business card while others had plenty of brochures but no jobs to offer. Everybody told Cole to apply online instead, regardless of whether or not they had any openings. Cole didn’t get quick, in-person job fair interviews or have the opportunity to further discuss her resume. Rather, she received smug directions to the company’s career website.
The article suggests such practices are very common these days and are defended by HR managers as a means to process the plethora of resumes they now receive for a job opening. However, there are many job seekers frustrated and demoralized by the online process, as they have spent countless hours applying to jobs online only to never hear anything back. The article noted job seekers are actually happy if they receive a rejection letter because at least it’s something and proves that maybe someone actually looked over their resume. A recruiting firm noted that they posted a job for a front desk receptionist and received 500 applications in 4 days and larger corporations usually receive even more. HR managers are often overwhelmed and defend the online submittal process by noting they simply do not have the staff to look over all applications.
I’ve been there and done that. I went to a few job fairs only to vow never to return again. Not only wasn’t I impressed with the quality of the jobs being offered, but everybody directed me to their company’s career website oftentimes handing me a pre-printed card with the website link on it. There was simply no benefit to attending. Why bother traveling to a location only to be directed to a website that you already knew about? The online application process is garbage anyway because it’s essentially like submitting your resume and personal data into an online black hole, never to be seen or heard from again. I’ve submitted countless applications online and have only received a grand total of 2 responses, both of which were laughable. The only way I’ve gotten better responses was from having contacts inside a company.
I remember when I was an undergrad and watching an episode of The Suze Orman Show. I happen to like Suze as I feel her money advice is simple and sound, but I digress. She had this one girl on her show that was in her late 20s, saddled with debt, barely making any money, and living with her parents. Needless to say, this girl was terribly unhappy. In fact, she was an emotional wreck anytime someone brought up careers or finances. The girl featured on the show had her Master’s degree but was working part-time at Starbucks and felt like she wasn’t living up to her full potential. She knew she had to make changes, she wanted to make changes, and she wanted to become more financially viable. However, she didn’t want to go through the process of job searching again. The reason? It was so frustrating and emotionally painful when she tried years back that she essentially gave up on working in her field and settled for what was familiar – Starbucks.
Like most when they finish school, the girl scoured the Internet applying for an endless array of jobs only to hear almost nothing back. She found the process so frustrating and so painful that she just gave up on it. Back in the job search again, I can truly relate. When I was watching this girl tell her story on national TV, I thought the girl’s problems with job searching were a little far fetched – I mean the process wasn’t that bad, was it? Well, it really is. To accomplish yourself academically only to find out that no employers are interested in what you have to offer is very damaging. To spend hours each day applying for jobs only to hear nothing back is very frustrating. There have been times when I thought of doing exactly what this girl was doing – blocking herself from ever having to go through the painful job searching process again. If I was just a little weaker of a person that could have very well be me or anybody else for that matter.
First, I’d like to apologize once again for the sporadic updates. When you hate your job that doesn’t pay you enough and depresses you (I know, I know, be grateful you have a job because plenty of people don’t have jobs blah blah blah), the last thing you want to do is do more work when you come home. And truthfully, I don’t have much time either, with all the little pleasantries (re: inconveniences) life throws at you. But I digress.
I came across an article from New Jersey’s Star-Ledger that might very well resonate with a lot of the unemployed across America. Basically, according to the article, experience can sometimes work against you. Maurice Paul, 37, worked in construction for two decades, and when he recently found himself out of work, applied to a local Home Depot as a cashier. He went in for an interview and followed up a week later when he found out that the person that he interviewed with felt he was “too qualified” and felt he would leave as soon as he could find a better job. Paul isn’t bashful about that fact either, as he frankly admits he would have done just that.
Paul sent out over 300 resumes in the last few months, including a toned-down resume that doesn’t make him appear overqualified. Paul just wants to get his foot in the door and doesn’t mind starting at entry-level.
The article goes on to say,
“Workers with years of experience, a master’s degree or doctorate, or coming from a relatively high position or salary, face a perverse situation: The characteristics that made them hirable in good times can be a hindrance when competition is fierce for positions at all levels, and workers such as Paul are finding that employers are wary of taking a chance on those who may quit as soon as the economy improves.”
The article points out that the theory that if you are breaking into a new industry or you are under qualified, and then get experience or training. But what do you do if you’re overqualified? The article recommends creating a resume that doesn’t scream that you are going to leave as soon as a better opportunity comes along. Taking a step down from your corporate job and getting into customer service? Emphasize your customer service skills instead of skills that would be relevant to a similar higher-level corporate job.
Lastly, the article states that you shouldn’t give off the vibe to employers or your network that you are settling for a job. Instead, make it appear you are willing to take a step down and you’re actually enthusiastic about your new lower-level role.
When I was on the job market, I endlessly applied to jobs. Although my field doesn’t allow me to apply for as many jobs as say an accountant, I applied for anything and everything. Low-level, mid-level, high-level, and everything in between. I couldn’t help but think my Master’s degree screwed me over as I was too qualified for low-level and under experienced for mid to higher level jobs. I even thought about taking my Master’s off my resume. Eventually I found a job that is probably below entry-level in my field. Although I’m grateful for the start, I can’t do this job forever as I would be undervaluing myself and what I’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Thoughts? Do you feel your experience and education are working against you? How has your job search been going in this market? Have you taken a step down from your previous role?