Here’s a blog post that answers that question, from the blog “What Would Dad Say” by GL Hoffman. GL has a spot-on irreverence that I value greatly. I have included only the first five answers to the question “why is it so hard to get a job?” If you want to see the other answers, check out this article.
I know there are millions of people unemployed right now and one of them broke through the email and message clutter the other day to ask me one important, blunt and direct question: ”Why Is It So Hard To Get a Job?” I thought I would take a stab at an answer.
1. Companies are not hiring. Their businesses are bad. They are getting by with fewer people. They were over-staffed and used the economic downturn to right-size their business. They have replaced people with lower-cost solutions, either in India or in IT, same-same. If you want a semi-political answer, the real answer is FUD. F is Fear of the unknown, companies are asking what is around the corner? Their predictors are broken. They don’t know how sales will be or if their banks will be there for them, next quarter. And, contrary to popular opinion managers hate to fire people. They do not want to go through it again. U is uncertainity. Business leaders don’t know about the new health care situation, their tax planning, or how the business plans of future prospects and customers. D is for Doubt. They are pessimistic about the future. Business managers and leaders are, by nature (IMHO), forward thinkers, they want even crave to do more, to serve more customers, etc. It is almost American. But FUD is the basis for companies not hiring.
2. Unmatched skills. At last count, there were about 600,000 jobs available on LinkUp.com. LinkUp is our job search engine that only finds jobs off company websites. The point is, there are real jobs out there—but certainly not enough for the millions out of work. But companies are being very specific about the skill set of the people they do hire. If you are lacking in marketable skills, you are going to have a hard time of it. It used to be that companies would hire for attitude and train the skill. With so many skilled people looking, with great attitudes too, those without one or the other, are going to get left behind.
3. Unrealistic expectations. It is difficult to lose a $75,000 middle manager job and even think of a $12/hour job that won’t pay the rent. I don’t know the answer for you but efficiencies and productivity improvements mean those jobs are just not coming back.
4. You are not good at serious job searching. Truth. You don’t do it often enough. It is the worst thing to happen, after a death or divorce. You are shell shocked, and not used to total and constant rejection. I understand that there is a grieving process to go through. Still, statistics show that you spend less than an hour a day job searching. Finger snap to the side of your head. It is going to be just like a job, ie, 8 hours a day. Research, network, solve a company’s problem, practice your answers, join some support groups, read, ask for help and advice, whatever. Do volunteer work. Even when you do get that opportunity, it is hard to shake the feelings of negativity. Companies can see it, every time. So, dry your eyes princess, and get started.
5. You are in the church pew, looking at the people on both sides. The preacher’s message is good, IF ONLY these two ying-yangs get it. There are lots of oustanding career advice givers out there, but you do have to read AND understand AND do it. Sometimes…with all the pressurefrustrationrejection…you forget. In other words, the advice out there is for the other guy, not you. How has that been working for you?–smartass me asks.
It’s instructive that three of the five answers have to do with you, the job seeker.
Yes, two reasons are down to the economy, short- and long-term. Employers still aren’t hiring in the numbers they were pre-recession. And over the long haul, the US economic structure continues to change because of the globalization of the workforce. Even highly educated people now face stiff competition from well-educated workforces in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).
The good news is that if three reasons have to do with the job seeker, there is a chance you can make yourself more competitive for those jobs that do exist. Read this and other job search/career management blogs for expert advice on what works. And then take our advice!!