“Economy, in Sweet Spot, Adds 313,000 Jobs. It May Get Sweeter.” — Washington Post
So, here I am, in month five of not working. Failed to land a client on my first pass at consulting. While my wife found a job after 15 years of not working, After 25 years of working, in the greatest recovery in that 25 years, I cannot get anyone even to interview me. I have taken advice. I have networked. I have submitted lord only knows how many resumes. I have changed my cover letter for jobs. I have met with a dozen people in “informational interviews.” Either I don’t hear back, I am told “someone else is better qualified” for jobs I could do in my sleep, or I get “You have a strong resume, and you are going to find something.”
Now, I am not using this thread to complain, for am I actually in better spirits than ever, all things considered. For one thing, I am almost walking normally. No, this thread is more about the general idea of those left behind. In a world gearing up for the millennial crowd, folks like me are left out. Oh, in theory, my age is a protected class, but age discrimination in the workplace is alive and well. Overqualified just means “you are going to cost too much.”
What I think conservatives need to acknowledge is that we have a culture where working is needed to survive. We value work, and rightly so. However, the fact I cannot find a job to hire me, even stuff I am very overqualified for, shows that “get a job” is not much of an answer. Sure, we can say that no employer owes anyone a job. But, what do we say to someone who plays by the rules, did nothing wrong to lose his job, and cannot find someplace to take his 25 years of experience? I have heard already all the advice on how to obtain a job. It has not worked. LinkedIn has a group full of people in my age range, and they all have similar tales to tell. So, I am not owed a job, and I have to earn it. Great. I did that and the outcome was losing a job I had earned, and thus far, no one will offer me another chance. Not even a chance at an interview.
What I expect to see in this thread, is lots of advice on that boils down to “well you must be doing it wrong.” Classic conservative response, which is to blame the person with no job. Believe me, I am doing everything I have been told to try, networking, and I am working hard, daily to launch by business, TalkForward. I do think that is my long term right path. I just have to try to support my family in the meantime (another conservative “should”).
I’d like to avoid the advice giving, and concentrate on what our message should be. Right now, we tell people they must work hard to get ahead, that they have no right to a job, and that if they work hard, they will get a job and succeed. OK, gang, I am a model of a hard worker, I am not lazy, I give my all to every task I am assigned. I worked from the bottom of an organization to the top. And it was taken away for nothing I did wrong. I am doing everything conservatives have told me to do, and I am not getting the American Dream. What do you tell someone like me, other than “Life is not fair?”
I feel if we cannot message better than this, then the Republican will always be the second party. I fear if we cannot find a message to address people like me, the left will always win in the long run, because it has a message to address it.