By CAREEREALISM Founder, J.T. O’Donnell
As part of the syndicated column I co-author weekly, I get roughly 5-10 e-mails/day asking for advice. This is not as easy as it sounds. Why? An e-mail almost never tells the whole story. So, while I do my best to answer each one based on what was sent to me, it bothers the career coach in me that I can’t give more to these people to help them get on track. I’ve had to come to grip with the fact that each person writing in would really be better served by having a phone call or career coaching session, but I just don’t have the time, resources or the financial independence to do that alone. I actually started CAREEREALISM.com, and most recently, CAREEREALISM Club as a way to give these folks inexpensive access to experts because in the three years I’ve been writing this column, I’ve come to realize just how many Americans need some serious career counseling. Imagine watching people running as hard as they can to make a touchdown…but in the wrong direction. That describes the actions of many of the job seekers I see today. They are using flawed or outdated advice at full-throttle, and it’s taking their career (and their confidence) from bad to worse.
Yet, Not All Job Seekers Are Worthy of FREE Advice. Here’s Why…
That being said, this process has also been eye-opening (and sometimes quite frustrating), with respect to the people who have e-mailed me for free advice (can I stress that?), only to criticize and blast me for giving them what they asked for. It’s gotten to the point where I can often tell by the tone and word choice of the e-mail whether the person is going to be open to what I have to say.
Okay, So Now It’s Your Turn…What Would YOU Tell This Job Seeker?
Today, I got an e-mail. I get this exact kind of e-mail at least 1/day. As I was crafting my response, I thought,
“I wonder what America would tell this person to do?”
So America, here’s your chance!
Please read the e-mail I received below. I haven’t included a name or location to ensure the person can remain anonymous, but I assure all of you, this is a real e-mail, not a single word has been changed. AND, I am going to take the best responses and include them in our nationally syndicated advice column.
Write your response to this person in the comment section below. I look forward to reading your advice and perspectives!
Here it is…
I have been unemployed for 17 months now. All I hear is that so many are in my boat, yet no one we know understands. We aren’t seeing the others in our boat because everyone in our families and circles are still working and enjoying the good life. I am at rope’s end. There are no finances to return to school and at this point in my life, almost 50, I don’t really want to. I just want a job in my field (bookkeeping) that pays a decent wage we can live on and have insurance benefits. I apply for 3 jobs every week to get unemployment but we want to get on with life. We feel stifled and alone and with so little resources left there isn’t much we can do but sit home. It is very depressing….Moving is not an option, so when will this end? I don’t have a really great record….I have had MANY (18 jobs) in the past 25 years….about 8 I have been fired from. I also have alot of debt, my health isn’t perfect anymore and I have some things on my background check (not bad but there).
How can I get hired and succeed again???