IT Employment

Are the jobless discriminated against in hiring?

Could a gap in your work history be costing you potential job opportunities?

It's certainly one of the most ironic concepts I've heard in a while. Some employers, when looking to fill jobs, don't want to hire the unemployed. In other words, an employment gap is becoming a tough sale in today's "war for talent" environment.

Some employers prefer the benefits of "passive" candidates -- workers who are already holding a job and therefore are considered likely to be solid contributors.

I can't imagine any attitude more frustrating for the nearly 14 million people who are currently jobless in the U.S.

Some contend that such practices could violate equal opportunity laws. Because of such concerns and the fact that 6 million Americans have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a hearing on the subject in February. In March, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) introduced a bill to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect against discrimination on the basis of "unemployment status" (with the legislation defining "unemployment status" as "being unemployed, having actively looked for employment during the then most recent four-week period, and currently being available for employment.'').

Have any of you ever been told directly at some point in an interview that a gap in your job history could be detrimental?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

168 comments
usgoin2sht
usgoin2sht

I'm a IT consultant with more experience than "education" and have never been out of work longer than (2) months. It's been (14) months now......ridiculous! Just over the last six months I've been told that "your employment gap will be questioned"......also I've been second interviewed (3) three times over the last (8) months.....My conclusion is this: 99% of employers DONT give a crap about he unemployed and definitely discriminate....period! Most of the companies want "green horns" just out of college and don't know crap....I know I've trained a lot of them. I would love to sue the pants of of companies that screw the unemployed....especially ones that have families and are great employee's.

dasdbobb
dasdbobb

My wife passed away 9-4-2011. still looking for work, now more than ever.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

I've written my congressman about this. If you like, you can copy/paste the text for your purposes. Find your congress person here: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml (file your message under labor) --- Mr Congressman, I would like to see your name on bill H.R.1113: http://1.usa.gov/qucOuw This concept, that you should not be hired because you haven't been recently employed is absurd; none the less it has been popularized by those with little imagination and even fewer reasoning skills. If these dullards were to endorse or subscribe to this type of thinking, we would hope they would at least have the good sense not to exercise such flawed practices during a time of such great unemployment. Sadly, this is not the case, as evidenced by our unemployment rate and this national article: http://tek.io/kHTbJN I am self-employed, mostly to avoid ridiculous, bureaucratic problems like this. However, everyone else I know is somehow reliant on corporate employment. Please take one more stumbling block out of the way for the unemployed as we cannot rely on corporate stupidity to manage itself. Your constituent, NAME === Don't feel like you're being pushy with your congress-person - they are YOUR employees. Retweet for your unemployed brothers and sisters, if not for yourselves.

sbmknight
sbmknight

I haven't, but I've worked for jerks who do place high importance on a candidate having NO gaps in employment. My employed husband went on a job interview last year and one of the interviewers questioned a short gap between college and his first "real" job over 20 years ago. When he explained the gap (really, who puts retail jobs on a resume?), she actually said "so you weren't in jail..."

Snow rabbit
Snow rabbit

On one hand employers are complaining they can't find the right people but when qualified and experience people cross their path they tend to treat them like S.H.I.T. because of completely irrelevant reasons like being laid off due to economical reasons. This is a losers' attitude and needs to disappear before USA and EU can even *think* about growing back to old glory.

UrsulaG
UrsulaG

I have to agree with everyone here. I was laid-off 12/2008 - the company has since closed it's doors due to a short list of reasons. Since I'm an admin type (office manager and full-charge bookkeeper) the positions available are slim or the compensation is so low it boarders on the laughable. So, while I have been looking for a full-time gig I've been freelancing - either setting up admin for start-ups, restructuring accounting, and other short-time contracts. Naturally I've included the freelance notation on my resume. The hitch is that I get turn-downs because I'm seen as an independent contractor instead of a prospective employee...really?!?! Also, I'm about 50 and don't have a degree - it's on my list of things to do though - so I know companies are hiring youngsters fresh out college instead. But, in the last couple of years I've gone in to places and FIXED what the youngsters have screwed up because they don't have the real-world experience that I do. Look...I want a full-time gig with a company that's not on it's last leg so that I can go back to college and finish my JD. I'll keep my fingers crossed and wish the rest of you good luck as well.

DFO_REXX
DFO_REXX

but it's hard to argue against it. I was told by a recruiter that the fact I've been away from a tech job (title) for three years was too long and that she could not get potential employers to even look at me. This despite the fact I still did technical work during the time my job title did not reflect that, I continue to teach technical IT courses (and, of course, follow the latest right here on TechRepublic!), and I maintain relationships with professional IT mainframe colleagues. The problem is convincing people to look at me in the first place; I can easily interview well enough to explain that. I've used the cover letter to help get me the interview.

LvTravel
LvTravel

Let's be honest here--people who have been laid off are because of company merges, closings and the economy downsizing. I have a friend who has been laid off due to a company closing and she still has not been able to get a job in her field. So now her gap is over a year and it is not due to her wanting a job. The last three responded to her that they hired from within so to her it even seems to be a waste of her time when the company already intends on hiring from with in. The other thing is that the company/HR don't want to pay those people the pay and/or the benefits that they were making. They'd rather hire at entry level and pay the least amount saving them money. These to me are not government errors but company errors and how they are chosing to over looked the qualified candidates. Very sad situation for those people and definitely not their fault.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

I'm on a one month contract with a possible renewal. I was out for nearly 2 years [except the odd thing]. A good chunk of the people I spoke to [headhunters, HR, etc.] always asked what I have done since the last job. Most have suggested filling it in with a generic job. Age can be discriminated as well. You can take the last 10-15 years of your CV but you can't hide the dates on your education.

StaticFish
StaticFish

I believe employers think older applicants as more costly in both wages and health costs. Let's face it older persons are more likely to have deteriorating health than younger staff and if the company trains a 55+ they only have 10-12 years. What they don't realize is if they train a younger person, that person ( with the new skills) will most likely be looking for greener grasses soon. Employers fail to realize the value of loyalty, work ethic, wisdom, willingness to learn, and that the fact that a older employee will be appreciative of the opportunity. After 10 years in IT (all with one company) I am now working as a data consultant, a carpenter (past life), and learning a new area of tech in the medical field. Keep moving, reinvent yourself. Good luck to you all !!!

nustada
nustada

I know from experience, going from joblessness to employed is near impossible. There are only two ways to leap the hurdle, I employed both. One is to volunteer your skills to charity orginizations. Assuming you can find one, that you can at least put part time effort into. Two is to find contract work or gigs that last at least a couple months. I was a self employed contractor, and for personal reasons decided to go back to being a drone. Didn't get a full time employment until I did the above. Degrees don't really matter to intellegent employers. Whereas proven application of skills do. The only real way to apply skills when unemployed is to volunteer, or to entreprenuer.

itsonlyme72000
itsonlyme72000

As a parent of 5 children who has truely only worked when it has been convient to the kids school schedule. And mind you my kids range in age from 25 to 11 years old. I was told by the unemployment office that since I don't have 10 years of solid work history without periods of unemployment I would not find a job. And that takes into consideration that I am 5 classes away from a college degree in medical office assistance!

The Management consultant
The Management consultant

Professional employer rambling....You are well achieve academically,high achiever,well experienced,you are the type of person I would hirer anytime...! So why are you looking for a job? There has got to be something wrong with you? Investment bank worker with recruitment agency......I am looking for a new job as I hate my employer and I am going to resign tomorrow.....recruitment consult..don't leave you job yet it will be so much harder to find you another one when you have left. Professional.......the board has narrowed the final candidate down to you and another........the board has voted and decided to give the job to the other guy as he is currently in a job.

wendygoerl
wendygoerl

I was just reading one of my other subscriptions a few days ago, and they mentioned if you didn't have a job after six months (college or last job) you were considered unemployable. I also notice this says discrimination based on people "actively seeking jobs" I bet that means "receiving unemployment rcompensation" Therefore, homemakers reentering the workforce, persons out of the workforce for other resons, and people who have gotten sick of the U.C. red tape & hoops will still be freely discriminated against.

bwexler
bwexler

Does that mean I would have a tough time finding employment now? Laid off Nov 1972. Now 65 years old. Have not had a J O B since. Bob

kblack1a
kblack1a

This is scary while I write this, but we are getting way to much hiring filtering. I'm over 55, unemployed for several months, losing my old network, and other filters I'm not aware of. May be some one could help on this, but I had a friend from Germany and he indicated the government did a lot of the hiring for private companies. You got your education and signed up with the equivalent of Work Force Development and they found a job for you. You took it, and the employer accepted it. End of story. If this is true and we are headed for a situation where the only people hired in the USA are young and already employed and a large group of select people are permanently excluded we will go to a social system.

jspicker
jspicker

After being laid off from 1 job in March, 2009, then getting another job 10 months later only to be laid off again after about 6 weeks, I was incensed to hear from a recruiter last summer that one company had told her they would not consider anyone who was not currently employed. She tried to reason with them, I suggested a patriotic tack, but they completely refused to even talk with me. I did finally get a new job last September and all is going well, thankfully, but I get knots in the pit of my stomach when I hear about all of the other long-term unemployed people and then to have the situation compounded by unreasonable companies with attitudes that make no sense!

lupin109
lupin109

This discrimination is indeed very present. But there are solutions. Here in Canada and in Europe we have "Practice Firms". I believe there are some in the USA A practice firm is a virtual company that runs like a real business silhouetting a real firm's business procedures, products and services. A practice firm resembles a real company in its form, organization and function. Each practice firm trades with other practice firms, following commercial business procedures in the practice firm's worldwide economic environment. A practice firm is a simulated company set up by trainees, with the assistance of a facilitator, to undertake commercial activities and it provides the trainees with hands-on business skills and enhances their knowledge and experience of business practices. You can find out more at http://www.rcee-cpfn.ca/

Summer313
Summer313

There is most definitely discrimination between unemployed and employed applicants. It has always been said: "It's easier to find a job when you have one." Long periods of unemployment do tend to work against an applicant, there's no question, but certainly not a good enough excuse. For someone (and I have see several) to have been employed continuously for upwards of 30 years along with a concurrent 20 year stint in the US National Guard, getting an interview, let alone getting work after one year of unemployment is next to impossible. The individual is highly qualified, holds several degrees along with a Th.D. and doesn't even get a call for an interview from 400 different employers. When I was the hiring committee, I was instructed by my boss only to interview people that were either working somewhere already or had just stopped (within 2 weeks) working. I went against this instruction and interviewed and hired only people that were "seriously seeking work". Sitting behind that desk, I was called on many times a day to "sign" someone's paper that proved they put an application in at my business. However, unless the individual was "really" wanting to work, instead of just putting in applications or getting signatures to keep collecting their checks, I refused to sign. Online applying encourages inundating employers with applications from people who are just doing it to get a signature, where is the "desire to work", or is that just a question they tick yes? The method I used gave me several invaluable employees in spite of my getting yelled at by my supervisor. Because my decisions all turned out very positive though, the yelling stopped rather quickly. Unfortunately, anyone over the age of 50 that is currently unemployed, if they don't re-invent themselves and their own job (or don't know how), will certainly have a terrible time looking for work. In the medical community, experienced workers are "not" desired. Employers don't want to pay the wages of the more experienced when they can get "no experience" employees at a quarter of (or less) the pay rate. There really should be some way to monitor it but gosh, employers aren't supposed to give a bad reference but when they decline to give a reference it's common knowledge that the employee was a bad risk. What good does a "no comment" reference do for the employee, even though the words aren't said the implications scream. So they are certainly not ever going to accurately report their screening tools that segregate the currently employed and unemployed. Prior to calling any candidates for an interview, I checked their every reference. Many of them I got mixed results. However, because I met the applicant (regardless of the "apply online" only rule, I tossed a lot of weight on the merits of stopping by in person to introduce yourself) I was able to see how the applicant presented him or herself. If they looked like they were ready to step into my office and start working, they usually got an interview. If they had half a dozen unsupervised kids in the car (How are they ready to work, am I supposed to be their sitter?) or if the applicant came in looking like they just crawled out of bed or barn, they typically didn't make the cut. The people that got hired, more often than not, were the ones who came in with their credentials in hand and their manner "ready to work" right now. I have never in my life (ages 13-49) been unemployed longer than 2 week and until 15 years ago had never been unemployed a total of 6 weeks in that 36 years. I was totally disabled 15 years ago so I haven't worked full time since. Though I do still do a bit of consulting (MSW) it is difficult to do while bedridden. If I were in the work force today, I wonder how I would fare myself; first: because of my age; second: my qualifications; third: the job market in the area where I live or could live. I do not like agencies that regulate that applications be submitted online only. There is no way to determine what the individual is like from just a piece of paper. To me, that practice itself should be eliminated for being discriminatory. Not everyone is knowledgeable about computers and the online application practice intimidates and eliminates a large sector of otherwise qualified individuals right off the top. There remains something to be said about the individual (how they present themselves in person) rather than just how good his resume looks. I can make anyone look good on paper, but gosh 3/4 of them would never get an interview if I had seen them first and I can guarantee that I can get the right person for the job without the "online only" application process. By adhering to the "online only" process, I don't have half the chance to place the right person. With todays unemployment rates soaring it is very hard to get your foot in the door. There are nearly 300 applications submitted for each job available in our area in MI. I know many of the employers in the surrounding 7 county area and have discussed the current job situation in this area at length. Personally, I think we need to stop online applying and go back to the old school way, let the employer meet the applicant first, then ask questions. There would certainly be more people in positions where their personality fits rather than the image the resume depicts, anyone can "say", 'yeah, I'm a good worker'. Not every employee is hidden behind a screen or an office door. The first thing I always assessed by meeting a prospective employee was if they were a team worker or not. There is no way a resume can tell me that. How about customer service, if the applicant really cannot communicate do they really qualify? What does a resume really tell me, that the applicant had enough money to buy a resume, nothing about character. In this "strange new world" of "No Child Left Behind", "Affirmative Action" and "Lawsuit Happy Mentality" far too many qualified individuals are trampled by the loudest screamers and the deepest pockets. A picture speaks 1000 words, a resume... not nearly enough.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

In good times when jobs were plentiful that kind of thinking might have some justification. Unfortunately in a down economy there are a lot of good folks laid aside whose talents are going to waste. Who moved my cheese indeed... In bad times organizations can scare the existing work force with veiled threats that they too could be made "jobless". Those who are employed feel they have to dance the devil's tune, if that be unpaid overtime or taking on unpaid responsibility, so be it. Thus a culture of abuse is propagated. Of course current employee abuse in the name of mo'money doesn't help the unemployed so long as we keep dancing does it?

Razor1185
Razor1185

I think that there is definitely some level of discrimination against the jobless. I have been told in the past that, while looking for a job through a job agency, the fact that I wasn't working might be an issue for some employers. On the flip side, though, sometimes an out of work applicant can get an advantage because they can start ASAP.

jpnagle59
jpnagle59

I agree with everyone's point here. I have been unemployed now for 9 years. I was injured, and have been disabled, not able to work, but I have reached a point to where I can return to work. Now, being 52, trying to stay on top of the pace that IT has changed, going back to school and doing 'home schooling' trying to be up-to-date-so-I-can-return-to-work attitude is failing me. As mentioned before in this discussion, telling a big fat bunch of lies to CYA myself, is not in my make up. I can't lie about 9 years, it is against my beliefs, and not fair to who I would like to work with. I am over 51, and my father, bless his soul, says to me that I am un-employable...that hurts...what do I do? I gain a little extra cash from people who trash their computers, but that is not enough. The point being is yes, the topic of this discussion happens over and over and over...to me. I am not boo-oohing here, the lack of work buy any amount of time can literally kill anyone's changes now days. And the trouble of it all, is there are so many great workers out there having this albatross around their necks...anybody need any help???

APitchford
APitchford

No one here in Canada would be so clueless as to admit this kind of discrimination, but after resigning from a job I hated, I spent 2 years working in a completely different field. I got library interviews for the first year or so, and then the interviews simply dried up. But the story has a happy ending: just as I was giving up on the idea of ever working in my field again, I got an interview at a large company and got the position. It's not a traditional library position, but it's related. Of course, it helped that I kept my tech skills up-to-date, because the library field is increasingly online, even if outsiders still associate us with books and card catalogues!

dasdbobb
dasdbobb

and still trying to find something. then my wife gets terminaly ill and now I'm being her primary care giver. this helps me realize that i will be taking early retirement (at 62) and part time employment flipping eggs at the local greasy spoon. my unemployment payments run out 1/13, i turn 62 2/13 so i will just wait till then if i don't go stir crazy before that

veeman303
veeman303

I have had temp agencies tell me point blank that you must have been employed for the past 30 days to be considered. We all know that the discrimination - of all sorts- goes on. The real trick is being able to prove it in court. Unfortunately most people don't have the resources to fight stuff like this.

wes
wes

I am self-employed in computer forensics so I haven't had to face to HR-bias question. However, I have a few thoughts: One thought is that if your resume' shows an employment gap with no explanation then the HR person would have to ask a question just to find out what happened. Were you sick? Did you move? Were you laid off? etc. It might be a good idea to explain a gap and to insert some things you have been doing (or did) during the gap. My other thought is that if unemployment persists you should try to use the time (if you have the resources) to get additional training and to free-lance wherever possible. The current job environment is pretty tough, that's for sure.

ka
ka

I'm a very skilled, experienced and somewhat successful IT professional and a self-employed consultant for most of my career. In terms of having a "job", people need to realize that what they are actually doing in that situation is selling their labor to someone else, who is pocketing the proceeds and paying them as little as possible. What do employers look for in potential employees? "Good cultural fit" -- i.e., quiet, servile, willing to tolerate abuse, willing to put in unpaid overtime, willing to put up with an uncomfortable/noisy/otherwise unpleasant work environment, able to be bullied into having to show up at a specific time each day and be "punished" for being late, taking a long lunch, etc., willingness to conform to ridiculous rules in general without asking questions, I could go on all day... Many people get trapped into the "must have a job" mentality by either succumbing to the demands/expectations of others, or by believing they "need benefits" like health insurance, retirement plan, etc. (which is a whole different topic). In short, opportunities are out there to exist outside of these paradigms and become more than just a profit center for an uncaring system that exploits your labor and then sucks what little income you have out of you for things you supposedly "need". In reality working for other people reduces your quality of life, in many cases damages your health and well-being, and for sure benefits the company you work for far more than it will ever benefit you. IT people are among the most skilled, intelligent and hardworking folks out there in the world. I'd love to see more of them "Just Say No" to selling their labor cheaply to make someone else rich, and instead use their skills & brains to profit THEMSELVES.

vzettidv
vzettidv

I've not been included in the unemployment problems of today luckily, but i can tell you that here in Northeast Pennsylvania, the problems are much worse than imagined. Most employers in this region want employees that were born from this area, all others are considered outsiders even if you have been living here for 20 plus years. The pay scale in this area is much lower than the rest of the progressive world and benefits are few or non-existent. The mental capacity of most employers is between 14 to 17 years, which means that if a project is time consuming and the annual tractor pull is coming up soon, the tractor pull event wins the decision toss. The education level of most employers is far below anyone else and they're proud to be stupid. I run my own business in this area and also work in the security patrol field and could tell you disturbing accounts of incidents that i have experienced here. In short, Pennsylvania is for morons.

Baruch Atta
Baruch Atta

When I review resumes, and I do sometimes, here is what goes thru my mind when I see gaps. 1. Applicant could not get a job so is he qualified or does he have any personality issues? 2. Did the applicant really have a job during the gap on the resume, but was fired for cause, and thus the applicant leaves out that employer on the resume. Either way, gaps are a negative. If the applicant has a good explanation (maternity, army service, etc) this should be on the resume to account for the gaps. If I am ever out of a job for an extended period, I will be sure to have something to fill the gap in my resume. I think that volunteer work would be good. It should be at an agency that can verify the service just like a former employer can verify your service. That would do for me.

BWebLive
BWebLive

When you are retrenched , immediately start a small business. Use the "fail fast" method. Start as many businesses in your field until one takes. If it works out, you are independent. If does not, you start again. And so no gaps to explain. It also looks pretty impressive on a CV. Take online training as well. Do charity work. It all helps fill the gaps This is what I did in 1995 after being retrenched and swore never to be dependent again I now live in another country, (managed to get to a first world country from a third world country) cant even speak the local language but started 3 business in my first year here, Geneva, all failed. Enrolled a local business coach and put together a 5 year business build, into year 2 now and have a partner in Sweden. Free time is used to play sport, go the business clubs, do some art (at last) and do voluntary work. I do this looking for potential clients when I launch, i.e social networking. I am 54 now but wont stop working, ever. Since I started my own business(es) I have had a ball. I cater only for what I need, not what I want and its very easy to make enough money to give you what you need. Their is a lot of free pleasures in life that makes one happy and I use them to the fullest. You also meet a lot of interesting people and learn a lot. You are your greatest enemy. Depression, anger, Panic attacks etc. paralysis you and stifles creativity. Been trough them all and beat them one by one. Get out there, get help (you will be surprised what people will do for you pro-bono if you approach them) and get going. Make it happen Wishing you enough

fhrivers
fhrivers

All the hiring manager has to say is "he wasn't a good fit" which could mean anything. This topic is unfortunate, but taking any action on it is a non-starter.

amccrack2001
amccrack2001

Why is there a disproportionate number of green-card and HB1 employees in the technical fields? It is obviously not due to higher qualifications. I would also like to know why so many prospective employers and recruiters are unwilling to provide feedback after an interview. I would like to know why I was not hired, or why the recruiter stopped returning my calls, so that I can improve my strategy. It also seems as though all recent accomplishments, self-training, and new skills acquired are less important than the reasons for being "screened out" by Hiring Managers.

reisen55
reisen55

Probably the only one I can explain is 1992-3 when I was let go in the IBM Downsizings following the end of the Akers era and it was obvious what had happened. I had a few months between jobs but the collapse of Big Blue made that obvous.

adders794
adders794

I was laid off from a job a few years back and after months of searching decided to do some contracting work, after 2 contracts I applied for a full time position with another company only to be turned down. Luckily I knew an employee of this company and asked him to delve into why I was rejected (job description was perfect match for my skillset). The result was 'contracting', the employer's point of view was that I wouldn't be prepared to commit to work for one company. Since then I have applied for many jobs and on occassion contacted the recruiter for feedback, and the result is always the same, the employer does not want ex-contractors, even though I argue time and again that the extra knowledge I have acquired on many different systems and procedures would benefit their company greatly. They treat contracting as 'job hopping' and automatically assume you will leave when a better position becomes available, flawed logic as employing someone who is already working creates the very situation they seem to despise.

Bigfoot16EEE
Bigfoot16EEE

We already have a law against age discrimination, however, it remains a common practice. I have never seen public indication that any valid realistic monitoring by government agencies is reported or even ocurrs?. If there are valid monitoring results, let's see them and HOW & WHAT is done. Apparently there are different degrees of proof required and the law for ie. age or religious discrimination is very hard to prove (Diminimis? enforcement, prove it up front). My experience has been that we have a country full of heartless ownership & hiring managers who feel their employees background must be EXACTLY like their own, because THEY are so great!!! (pride) The USA is also using trickle down help... use money that could have helped the needy, to help the pockets of those who do not need it, or those that can afford legal or banking assistance to receive a program benefit. Similarly one of the reasons for the destruction of Sodom and sister towns was: ...pride, excess of food and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. Ezekiel 16:49.

DrMDodd
DrMDodd

The jobs from the aforementioned site do not pay well, but help remove the gaps in your employment career by giving you the status of self-employed. The one thing that does become apparent is that it is all about how y.ou market yourself.

DrMDodd
DrMDodd

It is certainly true that there is certain amount of discrimination in the market place for IT people, however for the employment gaps there are ways to overcome these. Whilst working for peanuts might not appeal, it can get you out of a hole and sites like freelancer.com offer you an opportunity to get some small contract work. This serves two purposes, one gives you a job career, and two can broaden your skillset. I have managed to increase my skillsets from .NET to include Java ME and PHP.

danieljdick
danieljdick

I know how most conscientious employees and candidates for job want to put our best foot forward and avoid saying anything that would upset anyone for fear it would come back and haunt us destroying our future career prospects. And this is why we are afraid to fight back and hesitate to do so until it becomes clear there is no other way. And then we either fight fiercely knowing there can be no turning back, or we lay down and accept our fate and die. The best approach to take first is to make sure we have really done our best to make ourselves employable. We need to take responsibility, train ourselves, perform excellently on the job, look for ways to improve our performance on the job, search for ways to contribute, and approach our managers or our prospective employers with ideas how to contribute to the success of that manager, his or her team, and the company. But, there are roadblocks to hope that cannot be eliminated. Sometimes they can be overshadowed by other things but nevertheless, these elements of unfair discrimination are immovable and the only way to change them is to fight the discrimination itself for the greater good of society. Such immovable roadblocks or targets of bigotry and unfair discrimination are race. You cannot change your race, and you should not have to try to "pass" as a different race either. The fact that racial discrimination exists is a bane, a menace to society in that it robs a whole segment unfairly. Another is age. Everyone is destined to get old or die. There are no other alternatives. And if you destroy the prospects of employment or financial recovery for those, say, over 50 or 40, you hurt everyone. You hurt the parents of young adults. You hurt their bargianing position for raises and promotions unfairly. Another is unemployment or employment gaps. Once the gaps are there, you cannot go back and change history. That is not something within your power to change. And for a company to discriminate based on that is no honorable than it is to discriminate against the black man for being unemployed due to race or to discriminate against the Mexican who studied while working on the farms illegally given it was his only choice to keep his family from starving to death. We should not be doing business with companies that discriminate this way. Or, if we have to do business with them, we should do as little business with them as possible and always seek alternatives whether it means switching to a different business or eliminating the need for their products or services. We should pray for those companies to fold, to collapse, to go bankrupt. We should pray for those who support those companies to stop supporting them or to suffer loss. And if this sounds cold and cruel, just picture in your mind some time when you tried to appeal to the goodness of someone's heart for relief for yourself or a loved one of some cruel injustice and that person was cold and arrogant. Remember a time when you came to realize that this person would never have a softening of heart without experiencing a similar pain or loss. Consider this: None of us deserve a privilege or protection we would deny others. And while we may throw out the excuse "it's all about business", that is just a cover for selfishness and cowardice akin to the excuse Nazis made saying, "we were just following orders". Reality is not always something to be "accepted". Sometimes it is something to be "made". And if we are willing to enjoy the privileges of the elite for ourselves, and if we are willing that other should suffer loss of homes, economic status, property, potential, hope, medical care, safety, food, and care in old age, then we should be willing for God to turn His back on us, our children, our parents, our spouses, our nation, our churches, and all that we are and all that we have. Today, the pain of discrimination is heightened by companies that send jobs off-shore to dodge taxes and fair labor laws. The "reality" people accept is that off-shoring is here to stay. The "reality" we should "demand" is that those who profit from this move should be taxed substantially enough to make up for the losses, to pay for the services and the staff that are now being cut, to cover the total cost of unemployment, the medical benefits of the unemployed, the training of the unemployed, and all of it. These companies who dodge taxes and fair labor laws force their competition to do likewise to stay in business. And when they use their financial power from several revenue streams to allow them to operate at a substantial loss in other revenue streams, these huge companies can put countless smaller companies out of business and obtain a monopoly on several product lines. This puts people out of work. And when people are out of work and apply for unemployment benefits and are denied unjustly, this is dishonorable. It is no different than an insurance company that collects premiums but refuses to pay when a customer has a legitimate claim but is too disabled to fight for their entitlements. As a nation, we need to step up, work hard, contribute, be all we can be. And if we're disabled or old or whatever, even if we can only work in a limited capacity, it is important for us all to make sure we all have hope, that we all have a fair opportunity to be all we can be. We should never be a nation of mere handouts. But, we should be a nation of leg-ups. And being a snob, an insensitive, arrogant bigot just doesn't fill that bill. No company or individual who would hurt society for selfish reasons deserves to survive. And they most certainly do not deserve the privilege of thriving to the loss of others. So, quite the crappy ruses, the posing, the posturing, the positioning, the political games, the lies that are called "not really lies", the games, and unreasonable entitlement and privilege, and the lies that say, "I deserve my elite station in life" and get a sense of social responsibility. Do something good for someone other than yourself for a change. For a big change. For a really, really, really big change. Or you and your family and loved ones can go rot in hell with bin Laden for all many people care. And if that sounds too harsh, perhaps it is time for you to get a clue that maybe your treatment of others has come across to them the same way--a little too harsh, a little too cowardly, a little too entitled, a little too arrogant, a little too daft, a little too ignorant, a little too belligerent, a little too unjust, a little too repulsive, a little too bigoted, a little too unreasonable, a little too long. One argument that has stopped me from taking such a strong stand for the "buy American" ideal is that people in other nations need to eat just as much as we do. And that's fair. What bothers me is not that companies employ people overseas, but that they're dodging fair labor practices and taxes in the process. They're robbing the working class people of their bargaining power. They're paying the go-betweens, the middle-men. And by the way, how many of those rich slugs have slimed around buying up all the foreclosed homes that have been taken away from families who could no longer afford to pay their mortgage payments? How many? As you drive down the streets of your city, how many empty offices and stores do you see with "Available" signs on them? How many? And how long have they stood this way? How many Mervyn's stores are still boarded up after all this time? Where is Long's Drugs today? Thrifty Drugs? Emporium? Gottschalks? Weinstocks? What happened to Weblogic? Bought by BEA. What happened to BEA? Bought by Oracle. MySQL? Bought by Sun. Sun? Bought by Oracle. JD Edwards? Bought by PeopleSoft. Vantive? Same. PeopleSoft? Bought by Oracle. Informix? Bought by IBM. Rational? IBM. Informix? IBM. EMC? IBM. Sybase? SAP. HP, DEC, Compaq? Cray? Convex? Gould? Amdahl? Data General? And what happened to Ingres after it was bought by ASK then Computer Associates and then split out on its own once again? Does it have the 1100 employees it once had? Sequent? Owned by IBM. Burroughs, Sperry-Rand, Univac, Unisys? Prime? NCR? MIPS? Pyramid? Encore? Honeywell? Cyber? CDC? It's been happening for awhile. In the early 1990's, I watched layoffs where as many as 200 coworkers and friends packed up their boxes with sad, pained but friendly goodbye smiles on their faces. It seemed to be an unpleasant reality of business that our company was dying. If employees are hired to increase or protect revenue, a layoff is almost certainly a sign that the company is dying. And when employees find it difficult to move upward in their careers, that, too is often a precursor to layoffs, or it may come concurrently with layoffs. It is not a good sign. It usually means a company is trying to look good on the books to investors but in reality its profits are missing. And that could be from mismanagement, or it could be from an onslaught of attacks from a larger behemoth company determined to eliminate the competition. But, think of it this way: Eliminate your competition, and you eliminate your customers. Eliminate competition, and you eliminate quality, performance, creativity, technical advancement. Eliminate your competition unethically through the cowardice of off-shoring and discrimination against unemployment and age, and you destroy a nation. Eliminate gray hair and you eliminate wisdom. Eliminate gray hair and you eliminate experience. Stay away from gray hair and your company will turn into an exuberant, scampering zoo of field mice trying to figure out what is going on. It's time we get our eyes onto what is real, gain a little competence, and focus on making the changes we should have made a long time ago. Oh, perhaps you noticed that many of the companies I listed were acquired or eliminated long ago. And that should leave us all wondering whether we will continue to repeat the stupidity and incompetence that has run our nation into the ground, whether we will continue to repeat all the nonsense in defense of it all, whether we will continue to ride out the downward spiral into an irreversible downward plummet, whether we will give up and conclude we're already in it, or whether we will actually grab for the last minute opportunity to do what it takes to come out of it and survive. What it comes down to ultimately is "what will YOU do?" If we do as humans usually do, we'll ride along with everyone else down the plummeting spiral. Be stupid together, die together, go to hell together. Sounds like a dumb idea. We think hell cannot be all that bad if we're all there together, but if there is enough misery to go around in other nations where children are starving or dying of AIDS and plagues, perhaps there will be enough misery to go around for all of us if we perish into hell together. So, what will we do? Will we theorize on why hell cannot be avoided, or will we get the hell out of hell? Will we pride ourselves in the superior thinking that calls all hope unsustainable and unrealistic? Will we worship at the shrine of Murphy? Will we call Edison an idiot for failing 2000 times to create a successful light bulb? Will we claim that only people like Martin Luther King can make a difference and call everyone a fool who would be like him and have a dream? If we read all of this, how much time will go by before we actually do anything? How long will we wait before we take inventory of what we might do? Can we at least pray for the downfall of injustice and bigotry? Can we pray enough that our own lives are changed where we will speak for the good of the people, where we will buy for the good of the people, where we will vote for the good of the people, where we will find something we can do for the good of the people? Or will we make excuses for apathy, for laziness, for cowardice? Either way, we will get what we deserve.

Tenagra71
Tenagra71

It's like the girl that wants you because you're with another girl. Must be something there worth having, right? Same idea. You're employed in this tough times. Must be worth having, right? Unemployed for two years? You must suck at what you do, correct? The unemployed know it is not true, most of the time. But personality and fitting in with the local click is almost as important as the skillset. Great at your job but your personality makes you seem like a tool? Plan on using that 99 weeks of unemployment.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

I think it's meant to be "not to exercise" rather than "not to exorcise"... You don't want them to start thinking of little girls spewing pea soup and get lost in thought...

The Management consultant
The Management consultant

My advce is to join one of the open distro communities in Enterprise like openindana.org and contribute to proove your skills to employers.They want developers,project managers,testers,users, and graphic artists.Its really cool and its going to move you up the list.

kblack1a
kblack1a

I taught at a community college. It was the older students that came in on time every day. I have also noticed this in the business world. Older generally is more responsible with little sick time. I guess the younger management doesn't notice the younger workers screwing up because they are missing work them selves.

Bigfoot16EEE
Bigfoot16EEE

I live where the massaged government numbers show nearly 20% unemployment and may be 30% or more. If a person is on unemployment, the State expects you to spend your time looking for work. My cousin was cut off un-employment for attending school. They ask- did you work, whether you were paid or not? Did you attend class or training?I run into too many instances where a hiring person outthinks themselves and reject the best qualified applicants.

Ray Burne
Ray Burne

YES. Unless public companies post the results of their hiring practices with sufficient details such as sex, age, race, employment status, etc for all to see on the Internet, then no one can be sure. There is a cost to doing business (properly) and ensuring that they are following proper hiring practices is one of them. Ray

Ray Burne
Ray Burne

because if they were truthful with the feedback, we would have them and their companies in court suing the pants off 'em for discrimination. Ray

Ray Burne
Ray Burne

Now that is interesting. I owned my own consulting company for 13 years before accepting a permanent position 6 years ago... and 3 years later, we were devoured by a big ol' monster company. I missed 3 cuts but the 4th got me. I just thought my age of 60 has been the issue but maybe it was my consulting days! Ray

Ray Burne
Ray Burne

Probably. If we think HR and hiring managers are the pits, just look at who makes the laws in the U.S. These folks have a salary for life, don't pay Social Security, get a fat travel allowance, and on and on and on... But, maybe there will be some teeth in this... we can only hope AND write your representatives and demand they do right by the unemployed. Ray

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

fixed! For a second there, I though you were of lover of HR, primitive thinking, and all things bureaucratic. Thanks for the assist.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I don't like Congress any more than anybody else, but at least get the facts straight and dislike them for valid reasons: 1. Federal legislators have been subject to Social Security withholding since 1984. Legislators who served before then are not eligible for Social Security through their time in Congress because they did not contribute. 2. If they serve 5 years in Congress, they are vested in the Federal Employee Retirement System, and can receive a pension, starting when they turn 62. They contribute to the pension fund, just like every other Federal employee. http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/congresspay.htm 3. Congress is eligible for the same health care programs available to other Federal employees. They don't have a special, free, program of their own. http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/health-care-for-members-of-congress/

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I don't like Congress any more than anybody else, but at least get the facts straight: 1. Federal legislators have been subject to Social Security withholding since 1984. Legislators who served before then are not eligible for Social Security through their time in Congress because they did not contribute. 2. If they serve 5 years in Congress, they are vested in the Federal Employee Retirement System, and can receive a pension, starting when they turn 62. They contribute to the pension fund, just like every other Federal employee. http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/congresspay.htm 3. Congress is eligible for the same health care programs available to other Federal employees. They don't have a special, free, program of their own. http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/health-care-for-members-of-congress/

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