Monday, April 7, 2014

"Where are the jobs?" My thoughts

I remain amazed, we keep getting these articles in our major newspapers as well as our business periodicals - "Where are the jobs?" and "they" keep responding with the same answers, over and over again.  Ever wonder what goes through the minds of those who are actually having problems, finding a job?  Try - desperation!

I thought I was done with such questions.  After all, I started in that "business" in 1947 when a Sergeant in what is now known as the U.S. Air Force asked me if I knew the alphabet.  Seriously!   Seems as if the clerk who preceded me in the office to which I was about to be assigned had no idea.  "W"s could be found where the "A"s were supposed to be and on and on it went, all of which would establish my credentials for the job.  I will never forget his response, "Keep doing what you are doing and when I leave, you will have my job and some of these", pointing to the six stripes on his sleeve.  I heard what he was saying, loud and clear, and sure, enough his job became my own.

LESSON #1 - about finding a job, you have to "show up".

I served in the Air Force for almost seven years, graduated from college (now, Georgia State University) with a BBA degree in Personnel Management and wound up working for an employment agency, in fact, a few of them before I turned to recruiting, civilians, for existing jobs.  Along the way I became intimately acquainted with the problems involved on both sides of the desk

To me, it all began with the problem, of corporations assigning people to the task of employment "management" who really had very few personal skills.  They might know about the requirements of the available jobs; they knew far too little about the skills in matching the applicant to the available tasks.
Those days are long gone.  Today's professionals in this area are often far more qualified at their jobs than the top executives.  The most important task of the applicant is to "read" the skills of those who are doing the initial interviews.

LESSON #2 - now becomes, "show up - understanding all that you know about the skills required and making certain, your first interview is not your last.."

Therein is the greater problem.  A lack of job opportunities may be the condition that appears in your community, but be careful not to fall under the delusions suggested in a recent (April 6) article in the USA Today newspaper - "Where are the jobs?"

It all depends on a person's age and job kills.  There are hundreds of available jobs in almost every city and town across our land.  They are almost everywhere - McDonalds, Wal-Mart, etc., etc., and the "curse" seems to be, they are "only" part time jobs.  So?   Basic reasoning ought to be applied to this condition. There are after all, 168 hours in every week, time enough to hold almost three other 40 hour jobs - and many do!.  Working part-time for just two of them will mark a person as dependable, eager to learn and more often than not, promotable.

I understand that there are personal problems with such an approach, but the fact is, we do not live in an age where there are constant demands for employees; the demands in the age into which we are rapidly advancing are for people who will recognize such demands and qualify themselves.  And there are thousands of such jobs and they are increasing every month.

Another example, there are "knowledge" jobs everywhere - advisers, aides, clerks counselors, drivers, farmers, instructors, janitors, mechanics, outdoors men (and women), religion, sports related, tailors, warehouse personnel, writers, etc., etc., ad infinitum,  and they do not always require advanced education.  The main qualification is the willingness to "show up" regularly and be attentive to instructions.

One of the most interesting entries to such jobs can be found in the magazine counters of the local grocery stores by looking in the last pages where you see ads for franchises, most of which tell the prospective franchisee what is involved.  Now, look in the telephone book and see if such companies are located in your community and stop by, asking if they could use help.

Many years ago, when I first was hired by an employment agency, I was handed a local telephone book and starting on the first pages, I was to call each listing and merely ask, "Are you hiring anyone?"  If I was desperately seeking a job today, I would start all over again.  And when they said, No!" I would do as I used to do, ask: "Do you know anyone who might be hiring?"

The real  problem with regard to jobs is the fact that those in government - on BOTH sides of the political aisle, are too involved in their hopes and plans for their version of a better America seem to forget to recall that our beloved Constitution was written to provide for "We, the people".

If you cannot understand that, go to your local government sanctioned employment office and ask for help in guiding your employment search.  I did that recently and their advice was simple, "Move".

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