UPDATED ON 12/30/2021
When the job search process gives us dead ends and money is tight, it calls for ambitious proactive measures. No one is ever really stuck.
We are nearly two years into this pandemic and there is no end in sight.
Although unemployment numbers near a record low and some companies are frantically hiring during this Great Resignation, more businesses — even entire industries — are downsizing or closing altogether.
Overnight, millions had to go home without the bacon. Dream careers vanished without warning. For the first time in many lives, we had to call the unemployment office.
On top of all that, the kids are stuck at home. Bills pile up. Homes are on the line.
Now, our attitudes have changed. We care about the people around us more than ever before. This has heighten our demands, demands that companies may not be able to satisfy. So we face tough decisions that need to accommodate those family obligations that conflict with conventional workplace policies.
Granted, many companies are trying to meet on middle ground, but others find it financially and operationally unfeasible. This does not even include the fact that companies are still selective in who they hire. They won’t just hire anyone who comes through the door.
As a result, although the workforce may be more lenient, long-term unemployment remains a thing. Rejection remains a thing.
Soon, everywhere we turn looks like a dead end.
So as retirements or even the kids’ college funds run dry, this has led most of my clients to tell me they demand a job with appropriate benefits ASAP.
As someone has cried before, “I was taught that if I work hard, I would be able to provide for my family. Yeah, well, what now?”
Brutal Journey To Be Gainfully Employed
Pandemic aside, in normal circumstances, we could get the rug unexpectedly pulled from under us, and the first thing that comes to mind is to get that rug back. In this case, the rug would be the job.
We yank out our dated resumes, attempt to revise it, and saturate the internet with it in search for someone willing to hire us.
Some are lucky.
Some have to put in a little effort.
And some, no matter how much work they exert, cannot seem to break through.
They update and tailor their resumes. They make sure to apply to ten jobs a day. They network. They brush up their interviewing skills. Perhaps they even invest hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a career coach to help them through the process. Everyone keeps saying, “It sounds like you’re doing everything you are supposed to do.”
For years, I was in this last category.
Although our environment has changed, business culture is slow to adapt in most cases. And unfortunately for a lot of us, our situation has stayed the same.
We have tried everything.
But wait! Have we really tried everything?
Many of my clients are at their wit’s end by the time they find me.
As a resume coach, I do my best to breathe life into their resumes so they can rejuvenate, feel better about their prospects, and end their job searches with happy endings.
I am grateful to say that has happened to more than half my clients during the pandemic.
Nonetheless, I admit some of them are still chugging along. Granted that more recruiters and hiring managers are inviting them to the interview, they are still at it. And the longer this becomes, the more likely they will feel stuck yet again.
But in this past year since I started my business before Covid, I have learned a crucial lesson.
We are never, ever truly stuck. We always have a choice.
The choice to create our own way.
Especially during an international crisis, this search for the right opportunity continues to look more and more like finding a needle in a haystack…
…when that needle has been in front of our eyes the whole time.
That needle may very well be our lifesaver.
When there is nothing more to lose, nowhere to go but up, we need to take the well-thought out risk of starting our own opportunity.
As individuals, we have the power to be independent contractors who offer our expertise to anyone who needs it.
We can feed our neighbors and serve as the town chef.
We can create products that will save entire communities.
All we need is our will. As long as we have that, support and funding will follow and take us to new heights.
So, you see, we are never stuck.
Want to take matters into your own hands? Entrepreneurial resources are available at SCORE.