So back to the simple math I started to explain yesterday. When your bills are higher than your income, there’s a problem. There are plenty of solutions. My first thought, get a replacement job. Easier said than done.
A curious thing seems to be happening in this economy. With layoffs increasing and competition for every job increasing, employers have found it to be a wonderful opportunity to redefine the jobs they are hiring for. Suddenly, entry level means a minimum of 1-2 years of specific experience. Think that degree is going to help? It might, if it is the specific degree that is now required for most mid-level jobs. Greater competition in the employment realm also means lower base salaries and more dependence on the variable bonus structures. Not very reassuring when people are buying less and saving more. I’m not faulting employers, I actually think what they are doing is good business. There seems to be an evident restructuring going on across America, in homes and corporations.
Even what searching for a job entails is changing. Frequently, on-line personality and IQ tests are the first cut of the overwhelming pool of applicants. Be sure you are well rested, relaxed, and ready. These tests are not for the faint of heart. Often they are timed and include math equations, story problems, word associations, and finally a lingering feeling of dread. So far I’ve made it through this first cut. They don’t share your score with you so I don’t know if they even grade these tests. Perhaps they are setting up hoops to see if you really want the job. Most of my doubt is due to none of my previous employers having required me to solve algebra equations on a scrap piece of paper. Perhaps these companies are considering bucking the computer system trend in order to save more money?
Once you get through your on-line testing don’t be surprised if you find yourself leaving a scripted audition message on someones voice mail. No, I’m not trying to become the new voice of Minnie Mouse. This is for office, sales, and administrative positions – jobs that require you to speak over the phone. The applicant pool has reached levels that now make this a viable means of determining employability. It’s never been more important to take your allergy meds first thing in the morning. Who knew that warm tea could become a job search staple?
Eventually you will find yourself back on familiar ground, phone interviews and multiple in person interviews. These are where I get stumped. How should I answer to comments of being overqualified and underqualified? Why am I a better choice than the other 8 finalists vying for this 1 position? Maybe I should tap dance? This would show them that I am coordinated and probably not a safety risk to myself or others. Maybe I just need a better suit in the latest spring colors. And so my job search continues. It’s the first solution that comes to mind, just get a job. Too bad the economic slide doesn’t stop while you are searching. Other solutions? Check in tomorrow.