Why Can’t I Get A Job?

jobsearchGood question. Let’s look at several answers and see which applies to you.

1. There are no jobs out there.

2. Employers do not like me.

3. I am too old.

4. I do not have the skills.

Now let’s look at each of these individually and see what you really mean. The #1 reply I hear when I am helping people understand the job market is that there are no jobs out there. This is typical of the folks who worked 20+ years in one industry and now are unemployed. And they are scared, and with good reason. None of us expected to be unemployed in our 40s or 50s. And you are correct – the job you had is not there anymore. There are several jobs out there that do not pay what you were earning. Consider taking a job that could “bridge” you from unemployment to other employment. Benefits are offered in places you would not expect like Wal-Mart or McDonalds. Not you cup of tea? Neither is unemployment so think about it.

The only reason an employer will not like you is if you make yourself unlikeable. Want to complain about being unemployed, show up late for your interview, or not be dressed appropriately for your interview? This is called sabotage, and you are doing it to yourself. I know of a person who was not hired for a particular job who sent a thank you note to the interviewer simply thanking her for her time and adding that if another position came available she would like to be considered. Guess what? The person originally hired for the position left in three months, and the note sender was called and hired. It pays to follow up. Believe in yourself.

Are there laws about age discrimination? Yes. Are they enforced? Yes. Can you prove you were not hired due to your age? Yes, if you can afford it. And there is the rub. Are there several employers out there who will not hire older workers? Yes. Can you do anything about that? Yes. Ask in the interview if age is a factor in the hiring decision or if experience is a larger factor. Better yet, ask what the mean age is of the employees in the company or the division you are applying to work for.

Job skill is a tricky area. Most job required skills are spelled out in the application process. There are hidden skills that sometimes do not expose themselves until after you are hired. Knowing how to manage an office software program like Microsoft Office is a given these days. How about knowing how to use an application on your smart phone? Upon arriving at the job interview check in with Facebook that you have arrived. Check out when the interview is completed and say something “nice” about the interviewer and the company. HR is checking social media to see who you are, what you do and have done, and who you know. The check in shows you understand social media and that you can use it. 

All of you who have read this and still think there are no jobs out there are 100% correct. For you there are no jobs that will satisfy all of your criteria, wants, desires, and salary requirements. To the others who are thinking of something you can change, do, investigate, or create take heart. The American dream is still alive and kicking.

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