It might feel like it sometimes, but ex-offenders aren’t the only ones having difficulty finding work in this economy. An article in today’s Wall Street Journal explains how employers are increasingly reluctant to hire people who have been laid off more than once — even if the recession is to blame. Apparently, the number of Americans who have lost their jobs twice in the past two years is not only growing, but “their ranks are larger than in past recessions.” What’s more, adds job coach Jeffrey Garber,
“Those who have lost jobs twice recently will have to work twice as hard to convince the next employer why they ought to be hired there. Many businesses believe such individuals lack abilities and credibility rather than being victims of economic circumstance.”
Just goes to show you that people can be stigmatized for something other than having a record — and often have no choice but to take a job beneath their abilities. One poor woman they interviewed, who started out as an HR exec at Circuit City, had to scramble recently to get an hourly administrative job. To me her story seems to illustrate more how short-sighted some employers can be. Given that Circuit City went belly-up and the her next company wasn’t doing that well either, doesn’t really seem to be her skills that are in question here.
But then, we know that what employers think isn’t necessarily an accurate assessment of your abilities, anyway. If there’s anything worth taking away from this article it’s some of the strategies suggested for second-time job losers, which could be just as useful for ex-offenders, imo. You can check it out here.