Credit for this photo goes to astridmustelid on Imgur under the title: Found in the trash. Homeless person gets a job, needs shoes, and the public helps! This photo link is also posted on Reddit with many comments, so I don’t know the whole true story behind the sign.
TIMES HAVE CHANGED DRAMATICALLY
A decade ago, I didn’t know anyone who was unemployed. You could knock on a door and get a job. Today, I know people who are not only unemployed, but they’re homeless and living on Skid Row.
There are fewer full-time positions being offered while more job openings are only freelance or part-time with 10 – 20 hours a week. Many of those jobs do not provide livable wages as businesses are blaming the rising minimum wage for affecting the number of people they can employ.
Even worse, there are big and small profitable businesses that think it’s legal to offer unpaid internships to replace full-time employees. Many of these “unpaid internships” are illegal under the United States Fair Labor Standards Act.
Oftentimes businesses will warn that you can’t list an unpaid internship on your resume because they don’t consider it a real job. So if you’ve graduated from college and in your late 20’s to 50’s but struggling and accepting work as an unpaid intern, it may be wasted time you can never list on your resume.
What’s the answer? Never give up.
People start over in new careers regularly. Look at the Twitter list #FirstSevenJobs. Many people have had more than seven different lines of work until they find the perfect niche.
Put all of your energy into finding full-time employment.
It’s a matter of mathematics. If you keep applying, tweak and customize your resume, you will eventually be offered a job. It may not be your dream job, but it will be a job. Once you’re employed, it’s easier to get another job. Use every job as a stepping stone to the next until you have full-time employment.
5 WAYS TO GAIN FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT:
- Education and re-training. Financial aid and loans are easy to get even if you’re unemployed. If you can’t get work due to lack of skills, take a class, enroll in vocational training, or go back to college to get a degree. Defer re-payments of loans until six months after you graduate. Gaining an education is not limited by age. Education is open to everyone. My father always said: “An education is the one thing no one can ever take away from you.”
- Work with a career center. If you graduated from a college or vocational setting, go back to the facility’s career center and ask for help. A career center exists to help students and former students network and get jobs. A career center may also offer free resume services. Tap into every free program you can access.
- Knock on doors. It may sound old-fashioned, but sometimes it works to simply knock on doors. Smaller businesses often put a HIRING sign in a front window offering employment. It’s true that nearly all corporate job openings require an online lengthy application process and often online personality testing. But having your resume go through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can be tricky. It removes the process of meeting someone in person and shaking a hand. If you’re living in a big city, most likely the majority of the job applications can only be accessed online. Monster.com offers members a free review of resumes in the ATS. Monster is free to join so take advantage of that free review.
- Ask for help from friends and family. Networking is one of the strongest ways to garner full-time employment. If someone is truly a friend and working full-time, why wouldn’t that person ask if there are any jobs available in their workplace? Asking for help is not showing weakness. It’s a sign of someone who takes action and is willing to network.
- Be prepared. Your resume should be tailored for each job but you also need to be prepared by role playing. It’s important to practice answering interview questions. I don’t care if you’re sitting in a room by yourself, practice answering interview questions BEFORE an interview. Sometimes interviewers ask the most ridiculous questions to see your reaction and you can’t look shell shocked or respond with “I don’t know.” You need to be able to answer every question.
Most importantly, play the part, dress up, and be excited about every job interview. Send a thank you email after every interview. That single thank you note can make the difference between being offered a job or being homeless. No matter what, as encouraged by the Imgur sign . . . always be hopeful and never seem hopeless.