Career Change / Job Search

Ridiculous Job Listings Rant: a Call For 7 Habits of Highly Effective Companies

job search cartoon

It’s amazing how little money prospective employers are willing to pay for an educated, skilled employee. When I scour the Help Wanted ads, I find it amusing how many list expected pay at a whopping $10 or $15 an hour for college-educated, highly skilled staff with umpteen-number-of-years experience. For this generous salary, you–the prospective employee–must  also be the model employee who has no less than a four-year degree, “be proficient” in every skill and software program created in the last ten years (regardless if it actually applies to the job or not), know everything there is to know about social media (which somehow these days applies to every darn job out there) and be well-adjusted, efficient, punctual, and mature enough to represent the company in the best light possible.

I find it hard to understand how a company who seems to be legitimate can only see their way to offering you the same rate (or less) that a zit-popping, text-obsessed, sugar-addicted teenager gets for watching your three-year-old toddler. Should you actually pursue one of these jobs, you will soon find out that teenage babysitters are likely to get better benefits than you, including:  a comfy, ergonomic couch on which to strike the perfect horizontal pose; a fully-stocked refrigerator to help regulate their sugar levels; access to your outdoor pool should they be lacking in Vitamin D or the perfect tan; and secret perks like bouncing with your child on the trampoline when you made them swear they wouldn’t.

No, for you, things will be much different than for the babysitter. Benefits at your potential employer, if there is any expectation of benefits at all, will be withheld until at least three months into your employment. For you–the highly skilled, college-educated employee–will not have proven yourself enough while jumping through sizeable hoops throughout the interview process to warrant immediate coverage. It is not enough that you have shown all your credentials, sweated through three levels of interviews, or submitted yourself to background screening, lie-detector tests, and peeing in a cup. Your 20+ years as a college-educated, working professional has not influenced your employer in any way whatsoever. Oh no, it has not.

You, my friend, have managed–after all your years of pursuing excellence–to land yourself right back in High School where both excellent students and zit-popping, ass-scratching neanderthals alike must prove themselves. But unlike years and decades ago, you cannot get your big toe wedged in the door between you and a prospective employer because there is no physical door–just a virtual abyss of online Job Listings in today’s international, online job mega-market. You can no longer expect commitment or loyalty on the part of the employer that hires you in our post-Enron world because somehow there are a zillion zit-poppers available to take your place and as many delusional employers who are willing to employ them. Your dream of having a fair chance at a legitimate career is alive and well only in the latest video game where dreams are shot down for points and employers are at the controls. It’s a LOSE-LOSE game for employers and employees, even though the employers think it’s their win and your loss.

Oh, Stephen Covey, where are you on this topic? We need a “7 Habits of Highly Effective Companies” and we need it NOW!! It might go something like this:

1. Hire professionals who have a track record of high performance, who have proven themselves in the real world.

2. Train them to do what you need.

3. Appreciate the fact that you have a person with a wealth of real-world and professional experience.

4. Compensate them amply and accordingly.

5. Respect and honor your employees, and they will respect and honor you.

6. Create an environment where intelligent interaction and suggestions are encouraged.

7. Recall how you were once given a chance when you needed it the most, then make a point of paying it forward.

[Rant over. Okay, I feel better now.]

7 thoughts on “Ridiculous Job Listings Rant: a Call For 7 Habits of Highly Effective Companies

  1. Perfect rant! It is the same whether one is seeking full time employment or contract work, believe me. Rates / compensation is decreasing. Environments are getting far worse. Employers / clients are sucking our talents and paying nothing.

    • The latest trend is to ONLY hire part-timers. That way, there is no obligation to offer benefits. They even go so far as to say it’s a 30-hour workweek and then they try to compress 40+ hours worth of work into your 30-hour week. Work you to death + pay you a lousy hourly rate + give you no benefits whatsoever = expect you to stay. I don’t know… I’m no genius, but somehow the math doesn’t add up.

  2. Pingback: Near-Fatal Job Market Fueling Middle-Aged Suicide Rate? | Swimming in the Mud

  3. I understand your rant! Sometimes, I am glad that I was born in 1927. I graduated from High School on May 31, 1945 and went to work on June 1, 1945. I did not have a college education, but I worked for a company who was willing to give me a chance. I worked for that company 20 1/2 years, 15 years in the mechanical engeering department and the last five years in their International division. After that, I was fortunate enough to have worked for an interior decorating firm, an Episcopal Bishop, and the hospital foundation — spending 45 years of my life in the working world in responsible positions. Since retiring almost 23 years ago, I have volunterred in my community.

    • You’ve had a stellar work life, Erma, and an equally stellar volunteer life. If it weren’t for the inconvenience of having to earn a paycheck to pay the bills, I would love to do strictly meaningful work at this point that benefits anyone less fortunate than I. Short of that, I’d really love to do ‘the next thing’ that allows me the opportunity to rise to the occasion and advance in a new career. There used to be a time when companies embraced that kind of dedication and excitement, but I truly sense those days are gone. Thanks for sharing your wonderful life with us all !!!

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