Saturday, January 10, 2009

Too young, too old, no experience, lacks skills, overskilled?

Unemployment was for most of my life much larger in European countries than in North America. So, here, you had a chance to hear that you were skilled and good to work with, whereas in Europe, finding a job has always been an unpleasant journey.
This unpleasantness is coming to America.
I was too young at 25 and too old at 40. I have been lacking experience, and an instant later I was told I was overskilled. And soon enough, my skills became obsolete. Then I was a "woman" and I was going to get pregnant (it is not legal to say it any more, don't imagine they do not think it any more). And if you are part of a minority, disabled, or just a small size person, your prospect is worse even if that does not have anything to do with the position you apply for. Handling rejection can be tough: you got to think it has nothing to do with you while always trying to get better at obtaining a job: it is a fine line.

I always found work, though. I would say it is because:
1) I am pretty sure I am good at what I do.
2) I am obstinate: I kept trying.
3) I am not picky: a little money is much more than nothing, and a small job away is better than no job here.
4) I have been very lucky.

There was a neat discussion of unemployment numbers in the Curious Capitalist. If you wonder how so many people are unemployed and do not even look for a job, think of it this way: it is like arthritis, one gets used to it, because it is a human skill of survival to get used to bad things. In cases like this, it can be deadly: I have seen friends losing appreciation for how to dress for a job, when to get up for a job, how to talk to the boss and how to look for a job altogether. So it is best to keep trying.

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