Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Job Market and the leeches it produces.

I like to spend a small part of my day watching CNN and reading local newspapers about the job market and unemployment rate. Most of them talk solely about how the unemployment rate has dropped from the last time they checked or how companies are not hiring. Sometimes they might provide us with a lead to a company that is looking to hire "X" amount of workers. What these media sources don't talk about is the questionable practices that are out there targeting down and out job seekers.

Like most job seekers, when an employer emails me asking me further questions about myself, I get very optimistic. Almost anything they ask me, I'm ready and willing to answer. When they request action to be taken, I'm ready to do it swiftly. But lately I've been realizing that just as there are scams targeting employers and their companies, so too are there worse scams targeting the unemployed.

job interview Pictures, Images and Photos
Some questionable actions from employers that I've seen on my searches included following a link to get my credit score or run a background check, signing up for Yahoo chat for an online interview, awaiting a package that included an assignment and money for a personal assistant gig, preparing a writing sample for a publication and not receiving any kind of notification or follow up.

Several things stand out to me whether or not these were real opportunities:
  • Companies are automating everything. From the resume selection to the interview process. Faster technology and the need to quantify our time is moving us away from person to person contact
  • Scammers are like leeches. They suck the life out of you and hold on for dear life. The only way to avoid leeches is to not get caught in infested waters
  • The need for better company background checks and regulation on sites like Monster, Careerbuilder, and Craigslist is needed now more than ever
  • For the unemployed, standing out is the only way to get our foot in the door. And once our foot is there, we have to make a lasting impression
  • As a job seeker, we need to do our research about every position and every company we apply for. If your gut tells you not to apply, don't
  • If at first you don't succeed, try try try again

The job market is horribly discouraging and very depressing right now. You search and seek, seek and search to no avail. You think you've found something only to get attacked by a parasite. But as a job seeker and unemployed entrepreneur, I have to tell you that opportunities ARE out there and things will get better. What we have to do is prevent leeches from attacking us and become leeches ourselves...sucking up knowledge and experience to create our own opportunities. Hopefully then we'll all go from Unemployed Entrepreneurs to Employed Business Owners.

The Unemployed Entrepreneur

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