As anyone who has been job hunting for the last few years, whether by choice or by force can tell you, the whole process is nothing short of sheer hell. The most common advice that’s given is to network with others and tell everyone you know that you’re looking for work. For some people, that advice is a crock. If you are not naturally outgoing, trying to schmooze with a hundred people at a random networking event can make you seem clownish, desperate or overly pushy. “Hey, my name is so and so and I work in such and such industry. I’d really appreciate it if you can help me out in getting a position with your firm,” only works for so long before it gets tiring. If I speak to five people at those things, it’s a lot. If none of your friends and family work in your industry, it’s pretty futile trying to get them to help you. Contacting former co-workers or supervisors about openings at their current places can be hit or miss, provided you still have their contact information, of course. If they are in a position to hire you, it’s a hit. If they are low on the totem pole and are not in any position to make any decisions whatsoever, it’s a miss.
Then, there are those job applications. These days, most of them are done online. At some companies, the things can literally take nearly an hour to do. Not only do they have you type in all of your previous job experience, which is basically everything on your resume, they make you answer questions such as, “Are you barred from provided services under the provisions set forth by Medicaid or Medicare?” (I was in the managed care industry for fourteen years) The worst is when they have those personality assessments at the end of the application. I’ve noticed that start ups and other fairly new businesses are more likely to have you do them. They usually have nearly 100 questions and can take about a half hour to complete in and of itself. The statements are usually along the lines of, “Are you the type to want to sit in a corner and plot ways to kill everyone in the office because you feel they are totally annoying or incompetent?” Of course, you can’t answer no, even if you ever did feel that way in one of your jobs, because then you’re not viewed as a “team player” and you’d never be considered for an interview.
And about those interviews? Some of the questions you’re asked are beyond crazy. During one phone interview I had recently, the human resources woman asked me to answer a riddle, which was, “You have 8 marbles and a scale. All of the marbles weigh the same except for one, how do you find which is heavier in the least amount of steps?” It supposedly shows the employer how well you solve problems, but to me, the question was stupid and had nothing to do with the position whatsoever. I got an email stating that they were rejecting me the next day. Probably figures.
Given all the hoops we’re required to jump through to land jobs in the first place, is it any wonder why a lot of people are dissatisfied with them?