Hired Fired

For the past year, I have spent hours pouring over many different job advertisements on many different job posting sites. One site I like in particular is Indeed.ca because of its ability to search for key words on all sites on the internet.

I am a full-time university student who completed a college diploma program with placement experience. I really enjoyed my placement. I really enjoyed my program. I just had a feeling I wasn’t going to have a job upon graduation (yes, some may say that the negative thinking might have contributed, maybe). Thus, I applied to university.

I have a lot of personal dreams. Three of these dreams include:

1) Graduating from university (whether it be now, or finding employment, working a few years then going back).

2) Owning my own business (I would love to work with Aboriginals and Businesses within Canada and perhaps become a negotiator one day).

3) On side of owning my own business, I would love to become a motivational speaker.

Yes, these dreams can be halted with a full-time job, but for the right job. I feel that I am not the only individual in Canada who wants to work at the “right” job. Read “Why Canada’s jobs market isn’t as strong as it appears” for a bit of an insight to why I say this. Nevertheless, searching for that “right” job can be difficult. What makes it more difficult is, whatever everyone says and agrees on, the economy.

I beg to differ. I don’t think the problem with finding jobs is with the economy. I believe it is with the recruitment/hiring processing.

There must be two points that must be noted before I continue with this blog they are:

1) I am not lazy. I am actually a very hard worker. I work best with little supervision (and of course, the right worker can and will work best with little supervision).

2) When I write about what I am about to write about, it must be noted that I looked for employment from all corners of the job-posting world: part-time dishwasher; full-time career (in the field I went to school for); and on-call work (mainly hospitality, aka “as-needed-basis”).

Let’s get started:
The first problem begins in the job description. Employers need to be upfront about what they are looking for and what they are willing to offer to the right person with the right skills and right amount of experience (it is true for careers that amount of pay follows experience). The more open and upfront an employer can be straight in the beginning, more than likely he/she will find a “perfect” match for the job to be filled. Basically, so nobody wastes anybody’s time.

The second problem, particularly for part-time job advertisements, is the term “flexibility.” Basically that is a nice way for an employer to say, “no students, no family, no other jobs.” Some employers have even gone to the length of saying “No Students.” Ouch.

The third problem is the listing of more jobs only to cover a certain amount of time, in other words contract work. This is a convenient way for an employer to hire someone they need for a specific job without hiring them full-time and without paying the individual an array of benefits. Yes, maternity leave is the one exception where this works out well for everyone involved. The new employee receives experience and probably a good reference. The returning employee receives their job once the contract is up. The employer, well, hopefully they are loyal enough to hire the original employee once their maternity leave is over (yes, people who have gone on maternity leave have not been hired back… this exists and it’s real, even in Canada). I feel that this type of contract work to be the least stressful. However, with the rise of contract work (as reported in Globe and Mail, Canada’s shifting job market), I feel that the idea of potentially not having a job when the contract is over may be rattling for any employee, which could possibly lead to more stress for the individual. This presents the question of: How come more contract jobs are appearing? Are there more people having babies? Or are more and more companies looking to hire people only for specific jobs for a specific amount of time at a specific pay with very little benefits? You pick.

The fourth problem is the competition. Not the competition between employers (unless you are a highly sought after individual, creme de la creme), but rather competition between potential employees. This usually happens in entry level jobs (you have to start somewhere right?) and it is usually experienced in the hospitality industry as well. If I can describe in the most outrageous way in order to describe what happens here is this: imagine John Doe looking for a hooker. Hooker A says she will do this for this amount nothing less. Hooker B says she will do this, this, and even THIS for the same amount as Hooker A or sometimes even less. Who do you think John Doe is going to pick? Not Hooker A. He definitely wants more “bang” for his buck. (There is an actual book that I remember reading about that talks about how this works in Canada and how the John Does are putting the girls at risk by asking more for less and consistently exercising this control over the girls with their money. One might say, the girls put themselves at risk, unfortunately, it never begins that way. I have since been searching for this book, because I would like to read what else is inside it.)

The fifth and final problem is the good old game of “come in for one shift and we will see how you do.” I have experienced this many times. Managers telling me, “we will call you as an on-needed basis.” When I follow up a week later to see if I ever will actually be called, no reply is ever heard from them again. This also goes hand and hand in offering free-services as a potential employee to demonstrate your skills with the hopes of being called first when they actually do the hiring. This is a bad idea all around. I highly recommend against it.

Maybe the problem is with me. If it is, I would really like someone to tell me what that problem is.

And maybe, the above is all because of the economy and its problems. However, as I said before, I don’t think it is. I think it has to do with the John Doe’s of the business world trying to get more “bang” for their buck. The one’s looking for the job are just left out there to roam the streets. Fighting to be part of creme de la creme, highly sought after.

Note: I know there are good, no wait, great employers out there (I am not bashing every one who pays someone to do work for them/under their name, don’t get me wrong). In fact, the best job I ever had was my first: a summer job working for the best boss I ever had. I washed dishes for two summers, along with doing a lot of inventory, but I certainly miss working for that individual today. I worked with little to no supervision, my creative input was valued, and I knew what had to get done and how it had to get done (cleaning dishes and inventory wasn’t the only thing I had to do; there was many opportunities for me to take initiative which I did most frequently). When an employer values his/her employee more than to do the job they hired them for, the employee will feel valued and be willing to do more than what is asked of them. I wish more employers were as open and honest as this person was/is.

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