December 6th, 2010
Between the unemployment benefits running out and this Huffington Post column:
I’m feeling my joie de vivre start to wane. It’s made me deeply grateful to be employed, even if about 83% of the people I work with are clinically insane (I’m probably among them), I am still extremely grateful not to be in this boat right now. I’m also equally terrified of ever having to face job hunting.
HuffPost echoes what I’ve read in a few news sources, basically that the craptastic job market has created a perfect storm for the unemployed. There are so many prospective employees to choose from that employers can afford to be extremely picky. They no longer have to hire ‘just anyone’; they can pick and choose and not hire a whole bunch of people.
The HuffPost article compares it to dating, and they’re not wrong. You’re out of work for an extended period of time, you get desperate. No one wants to hang out with the desperate guy who keeps giving you weird compliments even though you didn’t fix your hair, you’re not wearing any makeup and you ate a garlic sandwich for breakfast. You know you’re not hot, at least in that moment, so back the bejessus off buddy and stop sucking up.
Something like that.
So the unemployed are not being hired, instead, they’re being passed up for the already employed. The logic being that companies will lay off their worst workers first and keep their best. So if I am looking to hire the best, I will go for the guy who already has the job and steal him away from his already stable career. Kinda like Angelina Jolie.
I’ve been thinking this thing over though. There’s not much you can do about being laid off, in fact we all know that companies, school districts, etc… don’t always follow the logic of firing the worst and keeping the best. For the most part they fire the most expensive or the ones not protected by a union. Maybe I’m speaking for education only here, but it then the crappiest pop in the video teachers get to stay, and destroy education for another year.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s all in the marketing. You don’t have to admit you were unemployed; you simply have to come up with creative ways to express the way in which you have been spending your time.
So, here you go, my unemployed friends. Next time you go for your interview, pep up your resume with these helpful euphemisms to keep you off the desperate, job seeker list:
1. Online Social Media Consultant: Did you help you mom set up her facebook account? Have you been spending an a couple hours a day following Justin Bieber’s twitter feed? How many times have you watched Garfunkel and Oats’ youtube of ‘Sex With Ducks’? Be honest. If so, you are far from unemployed. Just because your Online Social Media Consultant business hasn’t turned a profit, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Profits are for suckers anyway.
sex with ducks
Do ahead, watch it again, you deserve it.
2. Freelance Journalist: Write a blog? It doesn’t matter that only your grandma and your sister read it. It’s freelance! Write any emails lately? Do you spend your jobless days looking for Sarah Palin articles on and cross-referencing the word asshat for the sole purpose of making snarky comments about her hair in the comment section? You’re a pundit! Congratulations! The good news is that you can tell your prospective new employers that you don’t even have to give two weeks notice, as your boss (you) gives you permission to moonlight.
3. Virtual Marketing Supervisor: Did you sell all your DVDs and old textbooks last month on Amazon so you could pay your cell phone bill? Good for you! And congratulations on starting your new career as an online merchant. Did you sell your child’s old bouncy swing on eBay? Excellent, you are now a child development retailer consultant. Did you bore your friends with stories about waiting for Amazon to cut you your check (it takes them freakin’ ever sometimes….I’ll tell you about it later…snore.)? Congrats! You did some marketing for your ebusiness hub.
4. Beauty and Health Consultant: Comb the mats out of your cat’s fur last month? I did. My cat looks 79% more luxurious, that’s exactly what I will put on my resume. In a fit of jobless angst, did you obsessively pluck your eyebrows into oblivion by accident only to snap out of it and realize you were looking a little Whoopi Goldbergish (get it? Cause she doesn’t have any eyebrows….) Don’t worry! You’re in the startup phase, accidents are bound to happen.
So there you are friends, these are just a few of the ways in which you can freshen up your resume. Good luck and remember, no one can fire you if you cut them off midsentence and run down the hallway yelling ‘I quit.’