Job hunting is not for 'sissies'

2019-07-24 10:36

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I guess I am a little more privileged than many other job seekers. I have high speed internet. I have a desk with a phone on it and a kitchen down the passage with a ready supply off coffee and things to eat. So on that scale of one to ten I am probably around a safe seven.

My retrenchment came onto effect at the end of June. I was among thirty or so who had to leave due to “the company restructuring”, the phrase used to cover up bad boardroom bullshit. We could all see it coming. So I unashamedly started my hunt on company time and resources. I even took my laptop to work and used that so that information would not be stored on the company computer. I spent my time creating profiles on every job website I could find. As of now I am all over Jobmail, Careers24 and dozens of others. I have sent CVs all over. I’ve done drop offs at a number of companies in the area and have even tried the direct face to face approach.

Sadly, in spite of all the technology at my disposal, the reality of finding work has hit home like a fist in the nether regions. Finding work in not for sissies. The thing is I have been here before. It is not the first time I find myself in this position. The first “reality” is don’t be on the wrong side of 50 and be looking for work. Companies are looking for young, vibrant energetic people who can scale the heights of success. All over 50s are good for are the Sassa and unemployment lines. I may be healthy and not suffering from the chronic illnesses a lot of people younger than me have. The one thing I cannot do is work. I actually thought of this possibility and went and got my professional drivers permit (PDP) thinking it would make me more employable. The idea was not a completely bad one in that I have had limited success. I am waiting patiently for answers.  

Then there is that huge black hole. Jobs are advertised and in all aspects you seem to fit the profile. You click on the apply button and in a flash comes the reply from the “do not reply” mail addresses. “You have successfully applied for the position of……………….” Then comes the default disclaimer: “If you don’t hear from us in ten days...”

There is a kind of finality in that phrase. You just know that the profile you spent hours perfecting and the CV you sent has just fallen off the planet. You might as well have sent the information to the man on Mars.  

The worst “reality” are the conmen. They are everywhere. They are even on the best websites the ones that supposedly “verify” advertisers with a little green tick in the top left corner. I did the unthinkably most stupid thing and actually believed the verification and got caught. The site refused to accept any accountability and simply put it to me I should have checked. The verification meant jack.

Then there are the down days. I have made work of looking for work, getting up in the morning like I am going to work. It doesn’t always work. There are days when I hate the sound of the alarm. There are days when everything seems futile. Days when you question yourself, doubt yourself, doubt your abilities even question your self-worth. No matter how hard you try there is just pick me up.

Then there are the good days. Even though they become more and more further apart, there are the good days. That’s when a friend calls to find out how you are or you simply take a moment and step into the sunshine and smell the air.

Let me get back to reality. The youth unemployment rate at present is 55.2%. Out of every 100 young people between the ages of 15 and 24, 55 are unemployed. The figure for the ages 15 to 64 is a staggering 64%. There are other statistics that makes the mind go into tailspin. Thus, spare a thought for those who have simply given up. Those who do not have the tech I have at my fingertips to send emails and create profiles. Those that do not have the money to get from point A to B to get to interviews. For many there is no light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Sadly there is not a lot of help there either.

So what do we do? To tell someone who has very little or no resources to even go and look for a job to remain hopeful is just not good enough. Employment agencies simply remain black holes. Yes they have the default reply they use. And I guess they are simply too busy to reply to every application. And yes there are those with very little qualifications that want to be rocket scientist. Maybe my personal desire is for government to stop farting in the wind and really do something to help those less fortunate than me. I quite frankly don’t deserve to have bad days. That’s it. I’m off to make myself a cuppa.  

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