The Job Search Jungle: The Rough and Wild Side of the Job Search
Updated: May 28
While I like to put humor into every situation, sometimes it is difficult to achieve laughter when talking about rough job searches. Perhaps your client has significant socio-economic barriers to achieving work, or maybe the typical tools are not helpful at this time. Often the client is so frustrated by the time a counseling session begins, that anger management is the first focus. Whatever the cause of the wild journey, the counselor’s role is significant and propitious – let the test of resilience begin! ~ David M. Reile, Ph.D.
FOCUS ON: Defining Unemployment
Job seekers are not always specifically those out of work. Yes, some may be unemployed, but they may also be underemployed or have given up on finding employment. Terms such as “discouraged workers” or “marginally attached workers” are used in addition to terms such as “the real unemployment rate” and “nonsense.” Making meaning of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics or any reporting agency releases each month or year, recognizing who needs help, and responding to the problem is extremely difficult. Read more about the hidden unemployment crisis.
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES: Depression after Graduation
The reality of life when formal education ends is sometimes a “slap in the face.” Acknowledging and getting help for this reality is surprisingly difficult for recent graduates. Here are just two of many articles that discuss the sad issues and possible solutions: Post Graduation Depression and Overcoming a Common Problem.
FOR PRACTITIONERS: Jargon is a Surprise Barrier
Young job seekers may need help getting past confusing job descriptions when applying for a first job. If the advertisement includes words such as “procurement” or “compliance,” the applicant may not understand the work, then lose confidence and set aside applications. One solution is to encourage employers to offer transparency and basic information (without the use of jargon) in each description. Read more.
JOB SEARCHING: Let the Games Begin!
When the job search is overwhelming, the job seeker needs physical, mental, emotional, and social resilience. Using a “gameful mindset” can help by suggesting that the job search is a challenge or series of quests to be undertaken. The job seeker can also attempt to “detect and activate ‘power-ups’” to gain skills for the search. Read more about how gaming principles apply to the job search, especially for young people who like to play games!
TOP TEN: Opportunities to Learn
Obstacles exist in abundance for job seekers and career builders, as do opportunities. Spending time with people (especially well-chosen mentors) rather than on the laptop, taking risks, and building cases are just a few examples of ways to overcome obstacles. Read all ten pieces of advice for overcoming obstacles.
“Being unemployed is the true test of who you really are.” - Ernie Zelinski
“The idea that people don’t want to work, that the unemployed are somehow lazy or unmotivated, is a ridiculous myth.” - Vicki Nash