In the 1986 hit movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, there is a line that the economics teacher keeps repeating as he is trying to teach his class. The teacher keeps quizzing his students with the tired refrain of ‘anyone, anyone’ to which no one replies. Fast forward to early June 2011 in my office when a client said these words to me:
Is anyone listening to the plight of we the people with no jobs…anyone, anyone?
Though I still don’t know exactly what I want to say, I have wanted to write this post for a while. Usually, I write an educational, motivational or inspirational blog post in minutes – this one (I’m not sure what kind of –al I can affix to it) has been percolating for several days, even weeks. So, I decided to let it flow and however the words roll out, that’s how the post will go. I hope that even one little shred of what I write might strike a chord with anyone, anyone?
As a career management professional, I would love to be so confident arrogant glib as to suggest that I know what to tell you, the person who hasn’t had a job in nine months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, or 36 months and beyond, precisely what to do to find one. Actually, I have no clue. I have no clue because I really, really don’t know and quite frankly, I would love to meet the person who claims to know the answers and the solution to this unemployment fix we’re in. Anyone, anyone?
In my 25+ years in the career management industry, I have taken great pains to develop an expansive base of knowledge about the subject of job search. And I have consistently continued to expand that knowledge given my passion for excellence in educating and training job seekers to become efficient and expeditious in landing that next job. I have studied well…I am a ‘life-long’ learner; I have focused deeply. I have listened intently, I have cared much and served well and I continue to do all of the above…learn, listen, care, focus, and serve. I know more tips, tricks and tactics about job search than you can shake a stick at, so my friends say.
I have written books to help job seekers find jobs. I have blogged and tweeted ad naseum about the subject of careers and job search. I have counseled many, many unemployed people from all walks of life and at all levels of the corporate ladder. That said, sometimes I feel like the words I am saying -- the last few months in particular -- sound shallow, hollow, and empty when it comes to the many unemployed workers.
Do you know what to say to the unemployed, super-talented, well-educated workers with stellar track records of achievement, accomplishment and contribution who haven’t had an interview in over a year, anyone, anyone? Do you know what to say to the unemployed entry-level clerk or the unemployed middle-aged, mid-level manager about what to do to find a job when they have already done all of the ‘right’ things they are ‘supposed to do’ to find a job, anyone, anyone?” Hang in there sounds hollow. Keep your chin up sounds lame. You’ll be fine doesn’t begin to sound credible. Don’t cry over spilled milk doesn’t cut it.
Is anyone listening to the guy who is losing his house because both he and his wife lost their decent-paying jobs, anyone, anyone? Is anyone listening to the single Mom who has 50 grand in college debt, three kids, and no job because it was merged, anyone, anyone? Is anyone listening to the first-generation college grad who went to school thanks to his parent’s second-mortgaged home, and now the home is in foreclosure and the kid with the degree can’t find a j-o-b, anyone, anyone? Is anyone listening to the unemployed people who now find themselves taking multiple medications (which they can’t afford) to cope with the depression and anxiety of being jobless for an extended period of time, anyone, anyone? What words would you choose to console the out-of-work client who claims they’re worth more dead than alive, anyone, anyone?
What might you say to the unemployed person in America today, anyone, anyone?