Beyond the opinionated rhetoric and political manipulation catering to personal agendas to the point of complete detachment, I am finding it hard pressed for the current controlling party and leader to claim our career landscape to be petals and roses. More than that, I find it personally revolting to believe the America’s masses are satisfied with the solvent green approach to career number manipulation.
Getting back to social normalcy (but only for a moment) let’s take a forged path and review recent fodder from the “Career Thought Leaders” findings of the 2011 Global Career Brainstorming Day. Adding credibility to this column, the following represents a sampling of the employability challenges we are facing.
* The ongoing recession impacts employment, producing these trends:
1. More competition at lower-level jobs. Job seekers are applying for lower-paying/lower-status jobs in an effort to find work after long periods of unemployment.
2. Increasing competition from foreign workers, most notably for jobs requiring specific skills or offering very low pay.
3. Lack of relevant experience. There is a growing trend for recent grads to take unpaid internships to gain experience.
4. Underemployment. Educated workers have taken jobs outside their area of expertise, therefore making less money and usually experiencing less job satisfaction.
5. Ageism. Older workers may not be hired unless they can prove they are capable of keeping up and are up to date with current practices and technologies.
* Reinvention and transition are not new, but are growing. Career professionals have always seen people who needed to reinvent themselves in the wake of the death of a dream. But the growing number of reinvention cases may correlate with broader shifts in the external environment.
* Challenges with long-term unemployed may exceed the expertise of career professionals. Job seekers facing issues such as depression and shame that accompany long-term unemployment may require assistance from qualified mental health professionals.
* Volunteer and part-time work can build valuable experience and open opportunities. Although not a solution to unemployment, such experience can be extremely helpful in keeping the job seeker’s “worker mindset,” can add valuable content to the resume, and may lead to a full-time opportunity.
With the above “NOW” trends actually happening, what does it mean for the lower- and middle-wage earner who happens to be underemployed or unemployed?
Here’s a hint: Nothing is going to change in the immediate future but that does mean the television and radio paid advertisements won’t assure us to the contrary. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but listening without hearing the power elite’s schema conveniently hiding just below the paid words serving to deceive the Jerry Springer watchers simply will not satisfy any more.
For those fortunate to have a full-time position and are not under the influence of “who’s my baby’s daddy,” keep up the good work and if you ever think about complaining, think again. For those seeking employment, maybe it is time to roll up your sleeves, forget about the DNA test, and do whatever it takes to survive. That would include seeking volunteer or community efforts, undergoing professional development workshops into a field less elastic to economic sways, and a redefinition of sorts.
While on the subject: Does anybody really believe the crap portrayed so brilliantly on Jerry?
Being an election year, many will be hearing about an economic upswing and how holding on for four more years will push us “forward.” Not sure where this “forward’ will take us but the term has been used on other political platforms… anybody remember what happened to those? I don’t claim to know what will happen tomorrow but I do know what is happening now… and I’m not impressed.
The career challenges we are facing today will not go away until we recognize the political agendas fueling cultural numbness. Go ahead, pinch yourself… have we become cultural zombies lacking the capacity to feel or has that vanished too.
Perhaps NOW is the time to wake up, recognize the mess we are in, and actually do something about it. Being unemployed is ugly… no matter which leader tells us otherwise.
Hoping you listen to what has yet to be said,
Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs