I Don't Want To Work For You/You Don't Want To Hire Me
Being unemployed used to be a rare thing. Even rarer was looking for work for more than a few months; let another a year or longer. Out of work for over a year? What was wrong with you?
Sadly, that's not the case anymore. Though the unemployment numbers don't look so bad, let's not forget the people who have fallen off the grid. The people who no longer qualify for unemployment benefits, but are still looking for a job.
Thankfully, I am employed and have been with the same company for over a year now. Sadly, I know what it's like to be unemployed for long stretches of time. I know that frantic feeling as days turn into weeks; weeks into months and then...It's enough to make the most chipper of people plunge into the depths of despair.
Despite being employed, my resume is still out there in public. I've got a LinkedIn profile, so plenty of people can see my experience. It's no surprise that I occasionally get emails and phone calls from people who have job openings that they think I might fit. But 99% of the time, I don't I think I want to work for them and/or I don't think they want to hire me. Here's why:
- I don't want to work for you because when you/your "recruiter" (and I use this term lightly because I've worked with "real" recruitment firms and there is a large difference between them and these people who call and/or email) call me and leave a message, 9 times out of 10 I can't understand what you are saying. (Just as a note, if I'm at work and I get a call on my cell from a number that I don't recognize, I don't answer. I'm at work to work. ) It's obvious that these "recruiters" are (low paid, poorly trained) call center employees trying to make a quota. I am NOT criticizing the employee, because everyone needs to make a living and it's not their fault that they don't have proper training or the skills that I feel a person in a recruiting position needs to have. (That would be a clear speaking voice; not necessarily an unaccented one, but one where what the person is saying is understandable and doesn't sound like a bad call script.) If you don't care enough to hire or contract quality people to find me, why would I want to go work for you?
- You don't want to hire me because I don't have the skills that you need. I may list on my resume software and databases that I have used, but that does not mean I am a developer. I may be able to export data from a database, but that doesn't make me a database designer. I know you are scanning for key words in my resume and I do want you to know that I have worked with a specific program, but that doesn't mean I'm an expert. Once you've plucked my resume out of the thousands that you've received, have someone read it to make sure that I really do have the skills that you are looking for.
- I don't want to work for you because I want a full time permanent position (aka "real" job). A 3 month contract in Walla Walla is not attractive to me. (Especially since I live in NJ.) Even a 9 month contract in South Jersey is not going to do it for me. Commutes over 25 miles with NJ traffic are not worth it in my book (even with gas prices being lower than they have been for a long time).
- You don't want to hire me because I'm "old" (that means I'm over 40). I have a family that I support and that means in addition to a "real" job I'm also looking for benefits. I need a salary that sustains my family and health insurance to cover us all. (Some might see that as unreasonable; I see it as a way of keeping a roof over my family's head and food in our bellies.)
Now, if you are in the 1% (or less) that is really interested in my skills, is looking for a dedicated hard worker who wants to go the distance and are offering a permanent, full time position with good benefits, maybe we should talk sometime. But to the other 99%; when you find my email/phone number floating out there in cyberspace you can just give me a pass.