I read with a combination of outrage and bemusement those select employers who artificially whittle at their job applicant pool by suggesting that the unemployed need not apply. There’s an unbelievably easy solution for the job-less who think they might find themselves on the brain-end of a brain/no brain situation like that.
I’ve been fortunate to have nearly thirty years of continuous employment. Some really good advice I received on the front end of that employment situation was when my first grad school prof assigned an earlier edition of this book for reading.
The advice was to treat your job hunt as a job. Which, of course, it is. If you’re serious about it. Get up early. Shower, dress, and eat a good breakfast. Start your job on time. Work hard: nose to the grindstone. Lunch break and coffee break, of course. Maybe have a beer at the end of the day, unless you’re absolutely broke. Or working your AA too.
The in-between hours? Check the want-ads. Surf the net. Volunteer if appropriate. Go to interviews. Get in-your-face with as many people as possible. Get trained for new jobs. Go to seminars. Do something to stimulate the job market, even if it’s only to annoy the heck out of employers stuck on ten.
My wife was unemployed for a short stretch of time before we got married, and I suggested the same strategy: work nine to five (or the equivalent) on finding a job. It took her just two weeks to find something temporary, and the second month before something permanent came up. She thanked me for the support, plus the logical tip.
So for those struggling uphill against a job market still stuck on ten, and perhaps the no-brain section of the economy, you could do a lot worse that declaring yourself self-employed. Even if you’re on unemployment insurance or severance, your salary may suck, but at least you can say you’re working harder than your garden-variety CEO. You can go home at 5pm every day with a deeper sense of pride and honor, too.
And for the rest of us, let’s pray for conversion of hardened hearts. We don’t need a federal agency, bond raters playing random roulette with the letter A, the stock market, or anything else disconnected from the reality in the trenches.