Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Notes and observations on being jobless

As I come closer to the four-month anniversary of losing my job, I wonder just what the future holds.

I’ve had a couple of interviews, and I may be on the verge of a big breakthrough, but right now it’s getting kind of boring. I need a job, a paycheck, benefits and a feeling that I belong again, and I doubt I’ll find that on Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com.

One job board that holds out what little hope is left for a return to journalism is JournalismJobs.com. I see that the number of jobs being posted has plunged dramatically and try to comfort myself that I overcame some hefty odds to land my first positions at newspapers. Still, I’ve sent out countless resumes, clip files and earnest cover letters to media outlets, and heard nothing back.

It’s almost degrading to visit the job boards that pretty much destroyed the classified advertising business – Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com and Craigslist – not because I’m searching for a job but because they replaced a mostly credible source of employment listings with dreck.

Sure, there were scams in the classifieds almost since such ads began in the newspapers, but now that they’re free or close to free the scams have multiplied. It’s almost a staple of what’s left of a newspaper’s business coverage to report on the latest unemployed person who was lured into a scam by a Craigslist job posting. Even if you try to limit your searches on Monster and CareerBuilder, you find “job” ads that are really pitches for training, multi-level marketing pitches and military recruitment ads. I guess the job boards need the money and let some places just run wild.

The Navy, for example, simply posts in every job classification so a search for journalism and media turns up “opportunities” in your area that are just recruiting pitches.

The state of Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation (at least the state government has a sense of humor) has a mostly useless job board that I visit every few days. A community pharmacy has posted several identically worded jobs for a pharmacist, real estate sales operations mass-post identically worded ads for commission salespeople and many other postings look suspicious.

It’s easy for folks like me to get bowled over at the prospect of a job offering decent pay and benefits, and then get hooked by somebody running a scam. Several years ago, a con man ran wild through the unemployment offices on the east coast of Florida and his job scam wiped out many people financially.

The unemployed are an easy target for the unscrupulous. We have dwindling savings, we worry if we’ll ever land a job again and even finding a minimum-wage job requires hours of psychological testing and evaluation so employers can weed out those of us who do not fit into comically narrow categories. For those of us with education, we’re unemployable not because we’re unemployable, but because we’re employable and may jump for a better opportunity, so employers won’t take a risk with us.

I’m not giving up, though. Not yet.

But unless something turns up soon, well, some hard decisions will have to be made.

Richie Rich and Richette Rich may find it fun to go to parties and get drunk for charity, but someday they may join the rest of us in the real world.

And it’s not all fun and games, folks; not by a long shot.

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January 6, 2009 - Posted by | The jobless chronicles | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. The best book I read on job hunting is “Multiple Job Offers in 10 Days” by Jonathan Price, his method circumvents the traditional job hunt through want ads, which as you have illustrated, is a broken system at best. Good luck to you!

    Comment by Michael | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] Every responsible job board owner should be buying into this historic blow-in. And to the blasted cynic who would say that the only thing being cached here are job postings and commission checks — phooey, phooey, phooey! […]

    Pingback by Stack ‘em High and Sell ‘em Cheap…Job Postings That Is | Amitai Givertz's Recruitomatic Blog | January 24, 2009 | Reply


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