Even after all these years, I still remember being paralyzed with fear at the thought of having to go on job interviews. Like so many other people, I kept thinking that if I could just get a job without interviewing for it, I know I could do it. And that was in the days before résumés became mandatory and jobs were more plentiful.
In those days, if you were fairly good at your job, the chances were that you could stay there for years. In many cases, you could stay there until you retired. Fast forward a lot of decades later.
Nowadays, it’s not so much that unemployment is high, it’s that the number of jobs on offer has shrunk considerably. It’s also that there are more college graduates and postgraduates competing for that same small market-share of jobs. In addition to that, it seems that today’s jobs are demanding more highly skilled labor and the pay isn’t keeping up with the skill requirements.
With businesses folding, the downturn economy, and the higher than usual distrust brewing between labor and management, it’s no wonder that today’s employees live in fear of being fired or laid off. When they are finally lucky enough to land a job, many of them feel as though they won’t be there long enough to have job security; they feel as though they are place holders, continually preparing to be fired.
Not that many years ago, when you got a job, you put your résumé away and hoped that you wouldn’t need it again, or that you wouldn’t need it for a long time to come. Nowadays, you have to continually dust off your résumé and keep it updated in case you’re back on the unemployment line.
Younger people are more prepared to go from job to job, but older people may not be able to pull up roots so easily if the new job requires them to move.
There is an unsettling new dynamic. The jobs that seem to be more in demand these days require skilled labor. That leaves the unskilled laborers in a very vulnerable position. It is also causing a diminishing middle class and pitting the “haves” against the “have-nots.”
With the changing job market, people may need to be more willing to start their own business or at least try to find alternate sources of income.