The Job Seeker
Last week, I visited Chicago as part of Apploi’s #Million4Christmas campaign. With strategy and effort, Apploi is making a significant mark in the job search market. But not just with a new fancy software or a job posting push – and not just for the job seeker, alone – but in our own minds and on our own hearts – those of us lucky enough to work an event like this or be a part of someone else’s job search. I was blown away by the stories and the dignity of those I met in Chicago.
At Apploi’s most recent #JobConnect event, over 120 job seekers attended to learn job search tactics, hear some advice, and meet local employers – with over 2000 Chicago-local jobs available in retail and hospitality, it was a great opportunity for those in need or those wishing to change their situation.
Thought I’d Heard Everything
Because I have been working with job seekers for so long now, I thought I had seen or heard everything. How wrong I was…
95% of job seekers are left out of the modern-day process of LinkedIn and/or “Job Search Strategies Today” – these are the people we want to help, whose lives we want to change. I was moved beyond words several different times as a veteran shared his story or a homeless man stood in newly-clean clothes and proclaimed his desire to work, “Just give me a chance. I just want a chance.” Another woman feared the discriminatory repercussions of a video interview, another cried as she asked me what was wrong with her, “Why can’t I get past a first interview?! I have two Bachelor’s degrees and I want to use what I know – I want to pay my student loans… I want to work.”
And one young man, well-spoken and well-dressed, stood before the crowd and shared his story – a story we know well in HR Tech — how can I get my resume noticed, how can I get past the software that knocks me out of the running? There ARE people out there who WANT to work, who NEED to work. We talk and write about those who take advantage of the system or who have no desire to work or contribute, but we often forget or discount the desperate job seeker.
My emotions ran high
I was overwhelmed often, tears brimmed, but I saw hope. And that is what we need — Good Lord, do we need hope right now. Share it, if you can. Find it, if you have lost it. And see it, when it is offered.
I will be writing more about the individuals I meet on my journey, sharing their stories, helping them when I can and connecting them to people and opportunities. I would love to hear your stories, your triumphs, victories, failures, and heartaches. These are what connect us – which make us human and fallible.
And it’s ok to be fallible. Onward – forward – upward… progress. It’s a beautiful thing.