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Deception and Devastation: The Ignored Dark-Sides of Suffering Joblessness

Two of my oldest and dearest friends in life are unemployed and suffering – facing full-blown collapse monetarily and mentally.

Both have graduate degrees, multiple skills, commendable work records and zero job search success despite diligently scouring every source available during the past two years.

Oh, another important factor in the equation of my friends’ exile from employment ranks. Both friends are over fifty, a seeming Bestial Mark during this era when brazen age discrimination trumps traditional discrimination based on race, gender and disability.

Amplifying the anguish my friends harbor already from feeling their joblessness is somehow their fault are increasing reports that employers are refusing to hire unemployed people, citing their jobless status as evidence of their worthlessness as employees.

There may be job fairs, but there are no jobs. Is that fair?There may be job fairs, but there are no jobs. Is that fair?

Employers, according to recent media reports, manufacture myths about the jobless, such as the jobless are unemployed due to poor work performance or that the currently employed are more current in needed proficiencies.

One friend’s downsizing had nothing to do with poor performance and that friend avoided layoff-induced "obsolescence" by returning to college and taking training for additional skills.

This friend’s layoff came just days after winning yet another company award for record sales. While laid-off and looking for a work this friend obtained two advanced certifications each representing expanded proficiency in new technologies.

Further, this friend even learned golf, considering that game to be an effective tool enabling her to better perform the etc side of the sales profession – given that the links often trump a dinner table as a place for closing big deals.

My friends, like millions similarly situated across America, are the collateral damage of this devastating economic depression so craftily mischaracterized as a recession by politicians and media pundits. My friends see some pundits as enabling unwilling politicians intent on doing nothing to realistically confront the nation’s economic problems.

My friends talk sadly about the mental depression, embarrassment, helplessness and isolation they endure being unemployed…all major life-wrenching realities that receive little attention from ‘thought leaders.’ There is too little leadership looking for creative approaches to deal with this soul-crushing economic malaise.

One friend compiled a list of the ugly antics encountered while trying to reenter the working world.

That list includes things like: online job boards that require users to upgrade from free resume distribution to paid categories for “better results” that still don’t pay off; paid sites that post job listings that are months old; recruiters who normally get paid by the companies when they find suitable candidates who are now doing free webinars to solicit coaching fees from unemployed workers trying to get hired, and job fairs where most vendors tell eager applicants they are not hiring but will provide the company website to search for jobs that may be posted in the future.

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