For those unemployed, especially those unemployed a long time, there is a dominate theme that says the job market is the employer’s fault. Not necessarily that it is their fault because they are not hiring — after all, there is little demand that would force hiring — but because their requirements for new hires are unreasonable. Employers won’t hire because you don’t have the 4,163 critical job skills for the job. They won’t hire because you don’t have enough experience with your two-years of work in the field. Or the experience isn’t just right.
Yeah, it makes for an angry crowd. This, from Dice.com — where I also write — is a good representation:
It’s not as if the advice is bad. It’s that employers are unreasonable. And advice which may not be all that useful on this site or others isn’t what we’re grousing about, it’s the excessively rosy view of the job market. Because it makes the unemployed feel as if they’re utter morons for not being able to take advantage of it.
This is understandable. Let’s look at reality:
1. The job market is better
If two years ago job losses were running 700,000 per month and now they are gaining somewhere between zero and 200,000 per month, then yes, the job market is better. The news will tout that the job market is better. Perhaps even rosy when compared to losing 700k per month not so long ago.
But the US needs somewhere between 125,000 and 150,000 new jobs per month just to break even with population growth, much less to reduce the very high number of people who don’t have jobs or the millions more who are underemployed.
Naturally, this means employers suck.
2. Employers are hiring people
They are. But this is not a job seekers market by any definition. Employers, for better or worse based on their capabilities, are picky about who they hire. They can look for the person who has skills one inch wide and one mile deep in experience if they want to because new hires are a rarity. Without demand in the marketplace, hiring is a huge decision to make, even in large companies. Small businesses are even more wary about hiring:
Though South Coast Shingle Co. is in the black for the first time in a few years, [Ross Riddle, the president] is fearful of hiring more people in what he believes is a shaky economy.
“I hear politicians say that businesses have money and they should be hiring,” said Riddle … “But if you don’t have the demand, you don’t hire the people.”
This means that those who are unemployed the longest are having a mighty struggle to try and find work. So employers suck.
It doesn’t matter what the news about employment is to the job seeker
The news carries facts once in a while. And the truth is, employers are hiring some people, they are not laying off as many people, and the job market, as a result, is much improved compared to two years ago. Now, after having no food or water and walking through a desert, we have water. Just no food. It’s an improvement. It’s just not real good out there.
It doesn’t matter, the news, save to decide what you will do about it. You can take a rest from your job search to rediscover your strengths and self-worth, you can continue to learn the skills needed to do a job search, and you can practice those skills to get better. Or, you can give up.
What we can’t do is blame circumstances. Yes, the circumstances are impacting our ability to find jobs. Yes, we have to work a lot harder to land that new job. But work to figure out how to make the circumstances work for you, not against you. Find out what it takes to make yourself better than your competition who are whining about how circumstances are defeating them.
Doing the work and fighting to keep our self-esteem in a job search is not easy. It is, however, necessary.