Fact: "14% of parking attendants have college degrees."
How's that make you feel?
Right, you're a loser. Unemployment is still high, maybe not as much so as it was during our recent near-catastrophic recessionary period, but still uncomfortably elevated. And if you're jobless, and are not actively seeking employment, or have not looked for employment in the past four weeks, you are not represented in the unemployment rate. You don't count. Sit back and fathom on how many people out there at this very moment are jobless and don't even count towards the unemployment rate percentage.
Point is, shits tough. Where do you fit in?
Does any of this sound familiar:
You're looking for work. You know how things function by now, right? The days of paper applications are no more. Everywhere you go you are redirected to a company website to fill out an application. So you stop your in-person search and turn to the digital world. You fill out countless applications online and take hour long screening tests. You sign up for Careerbuilder. You make a LinkedIn account. You scour through Craigslist ads and send endless generic emails hoping to hear back from someone, anyone.
Then, by some miracle...
You got mail. (AOL robot man voice)
It's from a hiring director. Or some type of manager. Strange, you don't recall applying to this company. You've never even heard of this company. "Whatever" you think to yourself, "a job's a job." You read on. You're being recruited. Alas, someone recognizes how special you are.
"First-year sales income can range from $50K to $100K, and management opportunities of up to $150K per year are available. I would like to meet with you this week."
Unreal. This can't be. But wait, you read on. The income estimates are commission based. In fact,the entire position is commission based. Wait, you don't even know what this company does.
You Google the company.
Before you can finish typing their name, Google suggests you search the word "SCAM" along with the company name. But why Google? Why? You listen to Google. Google knows best. You click Search.
All of their employee reviews may or may not be terrible. They may or may not have had a class action lawsuit filed against them recently by disgruntled ex-employees. They may or may not be a pyramid scheme dubbing their business model to be"Multi-level marketing." They may or may not be door to door salespeople who will force you to cold-knock on people's doors offering them a free 2 liter bottle of Coca-cola Classic in exchange for "some of their time." They may or may not force you to attend seminars about successful people in their company. They may or may not force you to buy a website that they will conveniently "design" for you to help sell their products. They may or may not make over half of their profit from their own employees.
If you were adept enough to not respond to a company desperate enough to come looking for you, then there is hope for you yet. Read on soldier.
So you're fed up. No company you've applied for has even sent a thank you note. No one has called. No one has emailed you back. No one loves you. You're mother probably gave up on retirement because of you. You're pathetic.
What's the problem here?
Well, what do most people do at this point?
They give up?
They continue doing exactly what they have been doing.
Here's where my advice comes in. The majority of unemployed people who are honestly looking for work (and not just listing places they never really applied to in order to receive their unemployment benefits check) seem to continue the same vicious cycle: Apply--Wait--Get Pissed--Repeat.
Just like any science experiment will show, if you don't change a variable, the result will be the same. You have to do something different.
WHAT TO DO DIFFERENT:
- Update/polish your resume. A small change like this will help get the ball rolling. Seek expert advice. Most cities have career centers that pay people to sit around and critique resumes all day. Universities career centers are another option as well. You'll be surprised as to just how much your resume sucks. Make sure you not only have a digital resume file but also a generous amount of printed copies. It would help to get your copies printed on nice resume-purposed paper, so getting them printed at an office supply chain is a good idea.
- Network with your network and your network's network. You must have some friends. Do they know you're looking for work? They should. Do their friends know you're looking for work? They probably shouldn't under normal circumstances but fuck it spread the word. Let it be known by every person within your reach that you're seeking employment. It's not about what you know, it's about who you know. Having a current or even ex-employee recommend you to the hiring manager of a company will shoot you straight to top of their callback list. It's arguably the most effective way to get your foot in the door. People are generally eager to help for their own selfish reasons anyway, so you'll be doing them a favor too.
- Show your face. Now that job hunting is primarily digital, its becoming more and more difficult for hiring managers to select who to call. The digital world makes it easy to mass apply for work which makes it common for companies to become flooded with applications. They might not call the most qualified applicant simply because they'll never get around to looking at their application. Use this to your advantage. Having a polished resume may help set you apart. But do you want to know what will really do the trick? Showing up. Show up. Leave your house, and show up. You've already applied online. Go get your job. Show up to the places you've applied to and ask to speak to a manager. If they're not there, come back later or the next day. Do not give up on a job hunt until a hiring manager personally tells you the position is unavailable. Showing your face not only shows your interest in a company but it also sets you apart from their stack of applicants because now they'll have a face to associate your application/resume with. Showing up also gives you the opportunity to charm and befriend employees and staff.
There you have it.