As I read the vaunted articles on LinkedIn about how to go about getting an interview, trying to convince employers we’re worthy of getting a job, of basic survival, and having to read all the “10 Things You Can Do To Get An Interview” articles, doesn’t anybody see the absurdity of it?
OK, let’s take the fact that the people looking for work are highly driven, motivated, school educated and in most cases self-educated on top of that. But our economy has taught them a lesson, that as citizens of this country, their value has dropped to zero. We have put the people who built our “empire” in the last ten to twenty years in the position of having to beg for crumbs on the streets.
And a lot of us are heading for the world of cardboard signs and plastic cups. I almost made it myself in 2013, but because of dumb luck I was rescued from having to take to the streets. “Wow!” you’re thinking, “if I were him, I’d NEVER admit that. A potential employer might not hire him because of that!”
Yes, you’re right. A lot of employers would close the door on me because I was not smart enough to stay employed. The circumstances that created the problem are of no importance, and now that the cat is out of the bag, I am honored with a permanent red line through my name when an HR drone does their homework (checking the social media sites to find anything “negative” about candidates).
Still here? Good. Now we’re alone. The mover and shakers, the power players in the upper quadrants of our economy have stopped reading. They don’t want to read about problems of the unemployed, people on a street corner. They don’t want to lose their “positive” attitude, so they’ve dropped off to look at next year’s luxury car models and get their mind off this negative article.
If you’re still reading, you’re hoping I have a solution at the end instead of a long stanza of paragraphs about how bad it is. I do. In fact I’ll start right now. Consider the possibility that your skills are still valid and still marketable. The absurdly high unemployment rate has convinced you otherwise, but your value has not diminished. Circumstances HAVE NOT diminished your capacity, but the contempt being shown for your prior contributions makes you doubt yourself.
I’m not going to propose a master conspiracy consisting of “that’s what they want you to think!“, because in fact “they” are giving no further thought to “you“. You, and everyone else without hope is on your own. But you are in the majority. You have the force of numbers behind you. Beyond the 11% unemployed, there is another 30-40% underemployed and near the edge of survival. What if all these people came together and exercised their abilities (notice I said abilities, not voices, because right now you have no voice!)?
I don’t mean taking to the streets, waving signs around and getting on the news. Those who stopped reading this article a few paragraphs ago want us to go away and will quickly forget about us. And that will be that. The sparkly-shiny corporate news media will go back to the fun stuff and life goes on.
Remember, we of the unemployed and underemployed have the skills and experience to run the country. Except for the imaginary circle which has been drawn around us to put us out of our homes, our families and our lives, nothing has happened to change that. But how can it be done???