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What’s Missing?

Regardless of your circumstances, there are many holes that never existed before

We feel especially bad for last spring’s high school seniors. No prom. No graduation ceremony. For most, no graduation party. No, or little chance, to say good bye to many of your high school friends – some of whom they may not see for years, if not decades. These are life experiences they will never experience.

Now many of those same kids are being deprived of the excitement, anticipation and even the anxiety of going away to college. First time living on your own. No constant parental involvement and/or oversight. No campus life. No chance to meet and make new friends. A college education should be so much more than staring at a computer screen most of the day from home.

At the other end of the spectrum sit the older workers who have been displaced due to Covid-19. They too – or should we say “you too” are being deprived of so much of what used to be normal – only six months ago – in a job search.

No live networking events. No one-on-one personal meet-ups. Few, if any, friends and colleagues who are willing to brave a trip to a coffee shop or restaurant to mentor you on your job search. Sure, there’s LinkedIn and that’s fine for as long as it goes. It may be a great Plan B, but LinkedIn can’t replace Plan A’s interpersonal interaction.

At the next level there are virtually no live interviews. Again, the computer screen may be the best alternative, but it’s hardly a good one. And you can just about forget information interviews. Consider yourself lucky if you’ve been able to land one of those.

With the withering of personal contact comes an increased reliance on the ATS (automated tracking system) as part of the job search. Unfortunately, the only thing an ATS excels at is thinning the herd of candidates. One has to wonder how often an ATS throws out the baby with the bath water.

But with Labor Day weekend upon us, our thoughts unavoidably go to work and jobs, and all that goes with them. Despite all the new and additional hurdles placed in front of today’s older job seeker, there is one consolation: the creative, the innovative and the persistent will survive.

Believe or not, there are companies that are hiring. Are they harder to find? You bet. But they are out there and it’s your Job #1 to find them.


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