As we continue to linger just beyond the border of recession, people are still suffering in the aftermath of the destruction. The victims of cut hours, redundancies, job role changes, business closures are still reeling from the trauma of the recession although some may have been lucky enough to find another job but they are few and far between.

Throughout our working lives we acquire a certain skill set which decides our adaptability to ever changing work sectors. Some are equipped with more skills and qualifications than others whom have a wider selection of opportunities to choose from.

If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation of going from employed to unexpectedly unemployed, you’ll go through the process of searching for hours online, searching job ads in the local newspaper, handing out your CV, asking friends and family of any jobs they may know about. Due to the skills and qualifications we already have behind us, we can only apply for jobs of where we meet the criteria for the position. Something of which also narrows down the job titles we type into a search engine. This was normal practice and based on my previous achievements, I’ve been fortunate enough to not struggle to find a job when I’ve needed one. This is not based on an extensive list of qualifications, rather experience in customer facing roles. Once your work in customer service, retail, hospitality, any type of service type job, you actually do have a decent selection of jobs you can apply for regardless of the type of qualifications you have. There some people educated to degree level that struggle in these types of job roles as opposed to someone who may have dropped out of school who flourish within such job roles. Although basic principles can be taught in customer service, adaptability, initiative and stamina can’t be. You may be wondering how stamina can be involved in customer service but when you’ve dealt with a hundred customers asking you a million different questions, when you have to up sell, when you deal with complaints from someone who pushes you to your limits just because they don’t fancy paying full price and you can continue to interact with customers with a smile on your face, then you’ve developed a good level of stamina.

I have found these days that in the midst of an already hard time to find a job within the sectors we’re fully qualified in, it’s hard to actually be accepted for a job. The criteria list seems to be increasing as fast the everyday cost of things these days. No longer can you just simply have experience in customer facing roles, you need to have worked on EPOS Systems, or experience in stock management and there’s also supervising shifts involved although the job advertisement states it is only a ‘service’ or ‘sales’ assistant. So not only is your experience already redundant in the sector you’ve already dedicated a majority of your working life to, not only do you need experience in something which has never really included in your usual job description for the same position you were previously in, but you’re also taking more responsibility for the same amount of money you were earning in your previous job. It’s ridiculous the amount of work that people have to take on for National Minimum Wage. Now, companies advertise one job vacancy which duties involved were previously split to two people or even three. Even taken in to consideration the drop in the economy and businesses could afford to pay two people for said job, it just makes it even more difficult for people who have useful skills which would be an asset to businesses to find a job.

Gone are the days where businesses would hire people just as an ‘extra pair of hands’ despite their incompetence, counter-productiveness or usefulness. They can no longer waste precious pounds on the inadequate employees that just did the jobs nobody else would be interested in doing. I can understand that these days businesses can’t pay for quantity so they try to invest in quality. Yet one neglected factor is that despite finding an ambitious, experienced and qualified individual although they may have not worked in the particular role they’ve applied for, sometimes the business itself internal training schemes don’t match the quality they expect from the new employee.

Another contradictory aspect of job advertisements is that they state ‘no experience necessary’, followed quickly by a list of experience you do need which you’d only acquire working in the role which the business is advertising that you apparently don’t need experience in.

Some businesses, no matter how big or small, should be sure to establish what they expect from the people they want to attract and be realistic. We’re living in a day in age where, although we should be thankful to have regular income, we also have to survive. No longer can we hide behind the façade of ‘I just want to learn’, now it’s more ‘I have to earn’.

There are some of us that have certain commitments and no matter what they are, it is always financial in some shape or form. There are some of us due to these financial commitments are limited in developing ourselves professionally, or being able to earn a new qualification or able to pursue certain ambitions. Because of this, businesses should understand that there is a society out there who aims to survive and most will invest their all to be an asset to any employer to survive. So, the effort and time that these employees invest to being an essential part of the team should be reciprocated in the form of the business investing the same time to get them to their destination.

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