The job market is a strange thing. Anyone who’s looked for employment can surely relate to that effect, and likely agree. I always get a kick out of the eternal paradox of requiring potential candidates to gain experience, but every place of employment requires five years’ experience in order to get hired. The chicken or the egg, that’s the paradox they’re throwing at you.
I bring this up because I applied for a job last year, right before I took my walkabout in New Brunswick. If memory serves correctly, it would have been sometime around September of 2019. I won’t get into the details but it was a pretty enticing position, with the promise of a peaceful existence for my family and I. I eagerly applied and even visited the community where the job would be, all in the hopes that they would hire me.
Considering my current state of life, I was pretty motivated. I provided more information than was required through the job posting and kept in contact with the community’s mayor repeatedly over a three month period (the job was posted through the community’s town office). When I had an unrelated medical appointment that saw me travel past the community, I stopped into the town office and introduced myself, met the staff and even examined some of the equipment I’d be using if I were hired.
There was a lull, of course. The Christmas holiday came and went, and there wasn’t much news during those weeks as everyone was on holidays and no one was really communicating. I was warned that the community moves slowly and that every decision they take is extremely painful in how long it takes. I took the comment at face value at the time, but man, were they NOT kidding.
I got back in contact with the mayor sometime in early January of 2020, after the holidays had passed. That was when I discovered that the position was not only a significantly lower pay rate than what I currently enjoyed, it was only part time. I was crushed. I got into some in-depth discussions with the mayor about finding the funding to increase the position to 40 hours a week, but it was all left in the air.
Honestly, I kind of put the whole thing on the back burner and forgot about it for a few months. COVID-19 came and changed the world, and most of the little details I had sitting on that back burner became insignificant. Then I got an interesting e-mail last week from a “hiring manager” for the community in question. He was reaching out to have me fill out and complete a shit-ton of documents for an “application package” to get hired for the position I had coveted, some months ago.
I know exactly what you’re probably thinking. “If you want the job that badly, suck it up and complete the paperwork they’re asking you for…” First of all, shaddup! But seriously, there’s a trend that seems to see employers asking for the moon when all they need is the shadow. I felt as though I was either being slighted or not taken seriously, especially considering that I was more than adequately qualified for the position I was applying for. That may sound like a vanity (and it probably is), but it’s no less correct.
I politely informed the hiring manager that I had already submitted a resume, cover letter and all the pertinent certification and training documents that constituted a complete application package and that some of the requirements he was proposing were top-heavy and not appropriate for someone experienced in the field of employment we were discussing. He confessed that the position was still going forward as part-time, which I felt meant I could speak freely since I wouldn’t be pursuing the job anyway (I can’t surrender a full time job for a part time one, especially at a lower salary).
I contacted the mayor and informed him of the issues I felt were of concern. I was surprised when he responded and thanked me for my input and told me he would be discussing it with his hiring board. But I felt slighted at the fact I was being put through the ringer for a job I was already qualified, trained and experienced to do. and I’ve been dealing with that obstacle for the past two years.
With the end of the quarantine on the horizon, there will be a vacuum in the working world. Some jobs will never come back to what they were; the absence of certain positions will have shown employers that those positions will no longer be required. More’s the pity. Some jobs will need to be filled, and only those who are able to swallow their pride and fight to gain employment will be able to find it. Perhaps I have a bit of pride I need to be rid of, myself.
My mother always said, there’s no shame in any job. Even the most menial of jobs need to be done by SOMEBODY, so if you happen to be that SOMEBODY, do the job to the best of your ability and with pride. Then, you’re guaranteed that you’re working for a reason, no matter what job you do. I had to pass on this job, but employers need to understand that they may need to swallow some pride as well. Long, convoluted application processes won’t be the status quo, especially since the applying populace won’t have any of it. ☯