In Their Own Words: Job-Seekers

People flock to GETDOT for a variety of reasons.

Some want to widen the net of their social circle or help children. Others are looking to build a client base. Still many are ultimately looking to find their next career move.  GETDOT spoke with two members currently on the job hunt about their personal experiences.

First up is Scott Haag. He has shared his experiences with a lot of candor.

In his own words:

“We keep hearing on the news that ‘unemployment is ‘low’.’  That statement is false.  The formula used to calculate unemployment does not count people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and want to work but have not successfully found new employment.  I will soon be one of the ‘uncounted.’  At the moment I am writing this, I have only about four payments left until my unemployment benefits are exhausted.  Therefore, unless I obtain re-employment in February I will no longer count in the unemployment formula and the government will count me as ‘re-employed’ whether or not I truly am.  During the course of my unemployment I have encountered many like me, very knowledgeable, experienced, and capable people who want to work, who are actively seeking work, yet cannot attain re-employment.

I have an MBA and extensive experience in anti-money laundering, fraud prevention, regulatory compliance, internal audit, project management, private equity investment and due diligence.  I have experience with domestic and overseas travel.  I have experience managing employees at a foreign location.  I speak basic conversational French, basic conversational German, and basic conversational Hungarian.  I consistently hear that I have a great resume, reflecting strong and valuable experience.  I have received multiple recommendations on LinkedIn for each of my prior employment roles.  However, I am still unemployed.  I have the professionalism, personality, knowledge, and experience to excel in many different areas and roles, yet I live in real fear of going broke and becoming homeless.  Retirement isn’t something I can even consider anymore.

During the past five months, I have had four interviews, one of which, I would not have even had without the assistance of a long-time fellow GETDOT member.  With three of the roles for which I interviewed, I found out that I lost out to an internal candidate.  The reason for the fourth is unknown.

I have faced multiple challenges during the course of my employment search.  These are my personal experiences yet I have heard numerous times from many fellow employment seekers that they have had the same experiences.

The first challenge is with regards to automated employment application systems.   On many occasions I have had my application rejected so quickly that only an automated system could have done it.  Sometimes I don’t even receive a response to my application.  I understand that human resources departments have been downsized since the Great Recession but I would appreciate timely status updates regarding my candidacy, and if I am rejected, constructive feedback which will help me learn, grow, and potentially overcome whatever shortcoming(s) prevented me from getting the job that time.  I am not a score generated by an automated system.  I am a human being who wants to work for and can do great things to contribute to the success of my employer.

The second challenge has to do with the way companies view and consider candidates.  They seem to be very narrowly focused.  When I do actually get to interact with a human in human resources, they often don’t know how to handle someone who has diverse skills and is open to various roles with the company.  I find this happens most often with those who are right out of college and in their first human resources position.  They don’t seem to understand that I am seeking a long-term relationship with my employer and that I am flexible and open to consideration for multiple roles.  Rather, they seem to have tunnel vision focused purely on filling one role.

The third challenge is a combination of the first two.  The automated application systems are often too rigid and too narrowly focused on specific salary requirements.  Companies used to publicly share salary ranges and job titles used to be relatively uniform from company to company.  I am flexible with salary and it is hard to tell what is an appropriate salary for a roll that is a ‘Supervisor level’ role at one company but would be a ‘Manager or VP level’ position at another.  However, companies are very close lipped anymore about this information.  Once again, the human communication is gone.

The fourth challenge has to do with the timeliness of communication from potential employers.  I just received a rejection email today for a role for which I interviewed over three months ago.  That is a lifetime for a job candidate who is watching his savings dwindle down to nothing and contemplating what he will do when his money does entirely run out.

I believe that GETDOT can help employment seekers like me overcome at least a few challenges.  In 2005, GETDOT started as a Human Resources networking group.  We have long since grown to include professionals from non-Human Resources professions.  When I attended my first GETDOT in March 2010, there was still a very strong HR presence.   While attendance at GETDOT events continues to grow, the HR presence has noticeably dwindled.    Many of our old friends in Human Resources have advanced in their careers and state that they are too busy to attend GETDOT events.  Attracting HR and staffing professionals and other key decision makers in hiring (both old and new friends) who are not “too busy” and who are truly interested in and capable of aiding employment seekers like me would be very helpful.

In addition to the active recruiting and enticing of HR professionals to GETDOT events, another way that GETDOT can assist employment seekers like me is to more strongly communicate and encourage more widespread networking at our events.  People used to stick around and socialize a lot later at GETDOT events than they do now.  We also now have some people who show up just to drink or socialize within their own tight group of friends.  That is not what GETDOT is about and it can quickly discourage people from attending GETDOT.

Also potentially quite helpful would be the addition of an employment section (both job posting and employment candidate listings) on the GETDOT website.

I have written this article from my personal experience as an unemployed professional who wants and needs to find his next career opportunity.  I appreciate any assistance that you may actively provide in helping me once again meet my potential as an active member of the workforce.

To learn more about my experience and qualifications, please visit my LinkedIn profile. I also look forward to seeing you and speaking with you at the next GETDOT event.”

We also spoke with Rich Workman, who specializes in event enhancement through dynamic digital signage and photography that captures the essence of the event. He also focuses in creative forms of communication using new tech tools.

In his own words:

“Finding work is a challenging adventure for me because the areas that I have the most talent are highly specialized. The great thing about GETDOT is they allow me to showcase my talents and products I’ve helped develop so that people can see what it looks like and the uniqueness by which I work.

From there it is especially helpful when fellow GETDOT members introduce me to prospective clients because they start actually describing my product for me. It’s kind of like a pre-sales pitch that they can make because they are familiar with what it looks like. This is especially important because my products are mostly visual.

Recently I’ve had a more immediate need for some additional income due to some unfortunate circumstances. I was amazed at how quickly and earnestly some of my fellow board members came to my rescue. With a last name like “Workman” I have to live up to it so its refreshing to see that people respect that work ethic and would recommend me because they’ve seen it in action.

Perhaps it’s all part of the GETDOT tag line; Beyond Networking….Benefitting Children.”

Learn more about Rich through his LinkedIn profile by clicking here.

Many of you can relate with these two gentlemen. Look for them at a future GETDOT event or send us an e-mail if you wish to connect with them.

We’re all in this together; we’re all here to help each other.  We’ll see you at the next event.

Chris Alexis
Chris Alexis
Chris Alexis is a writer by nature. By day, he’s a content design specialist at ECOT – Ohio’s first and largest online school. Outside of work, he enjoys volunteering and penning a variety of articles for worthy causes, including GETDOT.