Never confuse equality of opportunity with job opportunities. They have nothing to do with each other. Equality of opportunity is a right we enjoy but job opportunities have to be earned. All the equal opportunity and discrimination laws in the world will not get you a job if you don’t deserve one.
Whether or not the job market is really improving is anyone’s guess, but lots of job seekers who think that an improved hiring outlook means they will finally land a position have a nasty surprise waiting. Employers who laid off workers during the recession didn’t dump their best and brightest if they had a choice. Businesses dumped the dreck. Many of those pounding the streets searching for work don’t deserve the job opportunities they seek and still haven’t figured out what the problem is.
Is there a good reason the number of long-term unemployed in our monthly jobs reports never seems to change? Ask anyone who has spent time sifting through resumes under the delusion that high unemployment means lots of qualified candidates.
Equality of opportunity? Discrimination? You have no right to be working.
If you have been out of work for a long time, why haven’t you been able to find a job? Are you too old? Are you the wrong color or gender? Do you wear your sexual preference on your sleeve? Are shifty, conniving employers denying you the opportunities you deserve?
We keep hearing that businesses are cautious about hiring, but also that they are having a hard time finding qualified workers. How many employers gave up on hiring not because they are short on resources, but because they can’t find talent?
Is it job discrimination or is it you?
Democrats tried to pass laws forbidding discrimination against the unemployed (see: The Biggest Lie About the Long-Term Unemployed), a dangerous thing for businesses, given the rubbish we receive in response to job postings. Do employers discriminate when they desperately need help, or is this about something else?
It’s not your race.
So you haven’t had much luck landing interviews? Are you a person of color? Don’t kid yourself. Employers can’t tell your skin color from your resume. What any business can see is that you failed to take the minimal effort necessary to run your resume though a spell checker, or to make sure that your qualifications bear some marginal resemblance to the position being offered. Don’t blame the silence on your race. Blame it on stupidity and sloth.
It’s not your sex, either.
Most businesses don’t care whether you are male, female, or something in between. They hire skills. We do care that you wasted our time when you lied to get your foot in the door by telling us that you were expert at something you have no knowledge of or experience in.
It’s not about your national origin.
Not from around here? That’s fine, but don’t apply for a job that requires you to communicate when the hiring manager can’t understand you on the telephone. Learning English is the venue of schools and night classes, not the workplace. Employers have better things to do.
Age? No, that’s not the problem.
I am an older worker. I like working with older workers. I like interviewing older workers. They have judgment and wisdom from experience. They have a work ethic. They show up every morning because the distractions of youth are past. Do employers discriminate against older workers? Sadly, they do. But that’s not the only problem.
This is a tough economy if you are older and unemployed (see: Jobless Older Workers Are Worthless in the Obama Economy), but don’t think that employers who read your three-page resume that ends with your first job during the Civil War throw it in the trash because of your age. They throw it away because you have proved that you have no judgment and not enough common sense to read a book on how to age-proof a resume. Do you think this makes you the type of employee business owners will trust when it comes time for a judgment call?
It’s not your religion.
How would anyone know? Here’s a hot tip: don’t bring up religion and politics during a job interview.
It’s not because you aren’t working.
Most half-bright interviewers can tell when someone is out of work but has the talent and skills to do a job. We can also tell when someone is out of work because they never should have worked to begin with.
Equality of opportunity is a chance, not a guarantee.
Just because you want to work and have legal protections against job discrimination does not mean you deserve a job. The right to work should be called the opportunity to work because no one has a right to a job if they don’t have any marketable skills. The unemployment line is full of workers who found a place with employers who were too lazy, uninvolved, or afraid of retaliation to get rid of them before the downturn made layoffs the only way to survive. How many of these ex-employees make up the long-term unemployed? We hear a lot about discouraged workers who give up. How many employers have also given up and left positions unfilled because these discouraged workers don’t have the skills or the simple common sense to do a job?