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Discriminating Against The Jobless

Nothing makes me madder than discrimination.

The hiring field is no stranger to discrimination, as has been the case with race, and more recently, age. But have you heard of hiring decision makers discriminating based on whether you are already employed or not when applying for a job? Because it’s happening in want-ads all the time.

As I tell my Career Coaching clients, I don’t want to focus too much on the negative. It is what it is. You can read a very in depth article about the topic of this kind of discrimination here.

But you know what? You don’t want to work at a company that filters applicants this way, anyway. Frankly, the approach of answering an ad is still in and of itself not effective. I propose that job seekers focus on the hidden job market – those jobs that aren’t “advertised” because hiring decision makers already know the right person for the job. How do you become that person? Networking, networking, networking!

The greatest success comes from building relationships with decision makers that currently don’t have job openings.  If you do this right, you will hear from your network when opportunities arise. When you have taken the time to prove yourself one-on-one with your growing network, they won’t care if you currently have a job or not when the time comes.

What about you? Have you seen this kind of discrimination – or others – in your career journey?

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Bill says:

    Some American businesses are using the current economic situation to do some pretty despicable things. Excessive lay offs because they can. Piling more work on existing employees because they know they wouldn’t dare complain or leave. Unnecessarily cutting incentives, benefits, and raises. Corporations will reap what they sow, and in some ways they already are. Employee loyalty is at an all time low. Those who leave have little good to say about their former employer. The next rounds of employee opinion surveys should provide some very interesting and shocking responses. And on a very tangible level, corporations are missing out on some badly needed talent. Who is going to work harder or be more motivated (and dare I say THANKFUL) than a long term unemployed worker? If this economy is going to work it’s way out of the current malaise, we can not afford to have people making stupid decisions based on prejudice like this.