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What's easier today, finding a job or hitting the jackpot?

Updated on July 16, 2012

How to improve quality of life by reducing unemployment in a definitive manner

Today’s job searching process is very different from what it used to be before. Overpopulation, high unemployment, the hard economy and the use of technology all have made it more complicated and competitive to even be called for an interview. There is also a high number of companies who are not treating their employees in a way they feel comfortable, and this is making some people who are actually employed to look for new opportunities, thus taking out chances for other who need a job from them.

The process of applying today

Long time ago, because there was no Internet, the process consisted either by applying in person in a company, or by filling an application and sending it by mail. Job postings could be found only in the newspapers and in site places. There has always been also the availability to apply for jobs by means of a reference or a person who could help the applicant. The competition to apply for a specific opening was low, thus the possibilities of finding a job were higher.

Today, this has changed and as more and more people graduate and enter the workforce, it is becoming more and more difficult to apply. Now we have the Internet and most companies are switching the requirements to apply to do it strictly online. When a person applied by mail or in person, employers did not tend to be so strict in terms of the background. Today, the application process is a real pain in the back. The employer wants to know everything as possible from the applicant, and an online application process may take even hours as “assessments” are more complicated. They ask you dozens of questions, and should you not answer one of them as they wish, all the time you have spent applying is suddenly wasted as the system is programmed to terminate the process. For example- “Are you able to work on weekends and holidays?” Say this is the Question #50. You answered 1-49 satisfactorily, and that is not counting the first step of filling your information, your employment history, education and submitting the resume. You have spent 45 minutes of your time in the process and just as you answer #50 with a no, that’s it. “You cannot longer be considered for this position as you do not satisfy the requirements”. 45 minutes wasted. No negotiation. It is a program, so there is no one there to assist you and say “well, we will try to be flexible with the applicant”.

Even if you spend one hour and satisfy all questions, that does not mean they will even contact you. High unemployment today has made single openings to gather dozens if not hundreds of applications. 100 applications for one opening mean that your chance to get the job is 1%. This is even true for jobs that are not high paying. Remember that not only are the unemployed applying- many people who are employed are still applying and to add to the problem, companies tend to favor the employed rather than the unemployed. How unfair.

People who have been employed for much of their lives do not realize how hard is to find a job since they have one. And because most humans are selfish by nature, they don’t care about others’ needs. They also have their problems like for example, that their actual job does not pay well, or that the environments is extremely hostile and it’s a constant fear of being fired or being laid off because the company is unstable. There are many factors that are not necessarily selfish that make the employed apply for jobs and compete with those who are unemployed.

Unemployment boosts crime and chaos

Say that you are lucky you have family and friends that take care of you while you are in the long race for a job hunt. At least you can try and be as patient as you can be. This is not the case of everyone. There are people who have families to support and when they become unemployed, it becomes a real nightmare. Debtors don’t care you are jobless. If you don’t pay the rent or the mortgage, you are out. Homeless, if nobody takes you and your family with them temporarily. Desperation builds, which makes people fight for survival. Getting a good job- any job- is difficult, so the easier way for some in real desperation is to rob and steal. We think and say that crime is not justified, but are we doing something to help crime go down if we complicate life more and more?

In a hard economy, there is also an uprising of suicides, some that can be very terrible. We have heard news of people who kill their entire family and then commit suicide because they cannot longer pay and cannot longer sustain life. For those who are not having financial trouble, it’s easy to say it’s not right and that what they did was horrible. I am not saying it is a right thing to do, what I am saying is that instead of accusing and judging it’s time to accept our participation on this problem which is building because of our selfishness and lack of consideration of others. Many of us want a better world and still keep on bringing new people with the hope that things will be better for them but we are doing nothing that can really count for that hope to come true. We cannot expect a better world if companies become more abusive, if they prefer to hire those who are employed, or if there are fewer laws that protect those with financial trouble, and not because of their fault. What we are building is a world where living decently is based on luck. Such expectations for life are extremely dire and dark, but realistically this is what we are building.

Chances to hit a job and the jackpot

If a company opens a position and 100 people apply, each person is at a 1% chances to get the job, and it can go higher or lower depending on the other applications. I have read lots and lots of articles which deal with how to get a job, and not to disrespect it’s all a pile of bogus. Examples include better interview skills, body language, honesty in the resume, polished and typo-free resume, good references, etc. Certainly these are important but they do not make possibilities of finding a job really that higher. In any case you still have to prove you are better than the other applicants. You can do the best interview in the world, but if there is something in your application that the employer understands is crucial and another applicant has it, even when he made a poorer interview, you can still lose the opportunity to the offer. You can even have sent an excellent application and make an exceptional interview. Do not really think you have the offer in your hands. There are still other applicants who can do slightly better than you. This is not to be pessimistic, but to be realistic- you need good luck to get the job today. After spending hours filling the application, completed the assessment, and made all pertinent interviews, you can still get no offer and go back to the very beginning.

Today there are more and more people with the same skills and abilities. If companies don’t seek many applicants, the chances of getting the job are never go to be beyond low. This is why so many people remain unemployed for years and years, and some go the point they give up and look for alternatives or take decisions that can be tragic, like becoming a criminal and ending in jail or murdered, succumb into depression and/or commit suicide.

Finding a job via networking

A quick solution to this lottery-style of finding a job is by asking a friend or colleague, or a family member to assist you to find a job. Even when this alternative is much better than becoming a criminal or commit suicide, this alternative has been misused to put people with no skills to do the job and take the place of someone who spent years in college. In my home island, Puerto Rico, this is a huge problem. People get jobs in the basis of their friends and even what political party they support. Many inexperienced people, with no discipline, no ethics and no necessary skills perform high-paying work that in the basis of their preparation, they do not deserve. Networking is good when the person who is applying meets the requirements of the job, but to be put there because he is the son of the vice-president or the best man of the CEO is completely unethical and immoral.

Stereotyping the careers

Humans have made the unwise and dangerous mistake, which is highly responsible for the problem stated above, to stereotype different careers. Parents wish their children to do specific careers society finds “respectable” like being a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer. This world is extremely diverse and all careers are needed to live in a healthy world. Trash needs to be picked up, children need to be taught by professors, cities need to be kept clean, food needs to be picked up and processed, and people need to sell. Many people do jobs they don’t like. For example, some men really like the clothing designer work, but society stereotypes them as gays. They end up doing something they hate and their lives become miserable. Mondays are horrid days for them, and Fridays are like finding an oasis in the middle of the desert. Unhappiness is huge, and there is no satisfaction. If we want to do something to help joblessness reduce, we have to learn to respect all legal and honorable careers regardless of how much does it pay, if more and less than others. If you are a parent and your child shows ability on something and you wish that he has it on something different, show your true love of your child by building the skills in what they like, not what you like. Don’t instill something he does not like that will end making him miserable and unhappy. And certainly, governments and companies should cooperate into paying a better salary since cost of life today is more expensive and it is inhumane to make people work two jobs, as this also affect their quality of life by spending less time with their family.

What is the healthiest lifestyle?

Arrogance, negative ambition, and excessive pride cause chaos in our society. Here in America there is much focus in money and power that we are building a sicker society to live in. Divorces are going up, people are losing faith in humanity in general and depression and negative things are piling up to a dangerous point in which may get or be already out of control. Companies are exploiting employees more than ever in modern history. People are expected to spend 90% of their time working or doing something related to work. Fathers cannot spend quality time with their children or their wives, as they are expected to spend long periods traveling. This affects marriage and family life. Companies are doing everything to keep money they don’t need instead of providing jobs and opportunities to millions of unemployed, and the level of happiness today is lower than in previous times. Life is not all about money, work and financial progress. We want a 0% divorce rate, a 0% crime rate, 0% unemployment. Zero is not always a bad number! We want parents to spend time with their kids, with their families and enjoy their free time as better as possible. Sometimes there is need of flexibility, but such flexibility must not be for the sake of making more money, but for the sake of helping others and cannot be all the time. We also want people to be happy at their jobs so they don’t need to apply to other jobs and take the opportunity from those who are in a real need for it. We don’t want people to get discouraged and desperate to the point of thinking on selling drugs or stealing a bank and ending up in jail. We don’t want people to commit suicide because they have no hope left and there is no exit for them from unnecessary trouble. We cannot afford to continue making this life depending on mere luck.

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