Let’s Be Honest About The Job Market

There is no labor shortage. Trust me. I know.

I really, really, really dislike reading articles that attempt to make the case that the labor market is tightening. It’s not reality. Anyone can frame a group of numbers to justify a viewpoint (economists, politicians, and other propagandists are notorious for this). In a world where up is down and black is white, good news is false news. I know first-hand.

For the better part of the decade since college, I worked hard every single day to keep up with the rat race. I owned a large home, had many toys, and led a pretty cool life on the outside. However, my actual life was empty. I left a large bank the day my contract was up to build my own business and slow down. That was a little over a year ago and now it seems as though it was a mistake.

I wanted to try something new. Long story short, it didn’t work out. My heart was never in it. I missed working with a team. I missed many of the other things employees routinely take for granted. It was time for me jump back into the work force. I mistakenly assumed that with my extensive background (and only two different companies in over 10 years), employers would be knocking down my door. How wrong I was…

I started searching around six months ago. I was really starting to question my own business and decided to spend a little time each day looking for the perfect job. Nothing came to fruition so I started applying more. Searching for a job soon began taking up more time than what I was devoting to my own business. Networking, crafting unique cover letters, and writing directly to CEO’s and hiring managers? None of it helped. One recruiter continually peppered me with questions about my past, assuming I must have a criminal history after I told her I’m just looking for a living wage, that’s all. She couldn’t understand why I left the rat race and more importantly, why I didn’t want back in.

I’ve applied for entry-level jobs at grocery stores, executive-level jobs at growing companies (even though I’d hate it), and everything in-between. I’ve only been to a handful of interviews, and people really seem to like me, but I inevitably hear one of two responses: We had to promote from within or we couldn’t pay you enough (even though pay never came up).

That’s my story. Nothing more, nothing less. There is no labor shortage. I’m proof. So are millions of other qualified Americans. Feel free to send any opportunities to me. I’ll probably apply.