A danger to job hunters? Being pranked

For those of you dreaming of finding the perfect match, we have commentary this morning from author Brad Mislow:

It’s an old story: we met online, we exchanged messages, I told some jokes, got some laughs. We agreed to meet, and we did. It went great! “Hey you, keep in touch,” I was told.

Wow, I thought, at long last: this could be the one.

And then… nothing. No more emails. No more texts. I realized I was being pranked.

Well, those are the perils of online dating, right? Wrong. This was one job search. And let me tell you, if you’re looking for work in today’s online world, be prepared to get your heart broken. Again, again and again.

Finding work today comes with all the same emotional twists and turns as finding a date: there’s longing, hope, clever DMs, anxiety, and ghosts too. So much ghost. Remember, it’s not you you tell yourself.

I was laid off last December 20th, which HR should have known was my birthday. Nothing special! I have been actively looking for a job ever since.

Every day I check websites like LinkedIn and Indeed to see what’s out there. I post, I comment, I invite people (whom I will never meet) to “connect”. All this is done under the guise of “professionalism”. But it definitely feels like dating. And just like dating, you have to have some game.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get an invitation to a video interview. Ahh, the first date of the job search! So make sure you shower, comb your hair and put on a clean shirt. And please put the cat in the bathroom. Maybe you’ll be invited to one other interview.

Or not!

If you know someone who is currently looking for work, please be kind. Job hunting, like finding a mate, is usually a long and tedious process. More than six million Americans are unemployed right now. Many of us have been affected by layoffs in technology and media. Companies like Amazon, Google, Meta, Disney, Netflix, even Zoom have all been laying off staff for about a year now. Not to mention the many startups and advertising agencies that supported them.

Why now? New AI technologies like ChatGPT, and just the fear of a recession, have scared companies into hitting the brakes on hiring.

Yes, it’s rough out there. And it can be a lonely existence.

As for me, I’m still looking for The One. At least The Next One.

Look, I have all the right qualities. I’m smart, I’m not afraid of commitment, I’m a good listener, and I chew my food with my mouth closed, which is the key factor in keeping any long-term relationship alive. So hold on, job seekers! We hope that we will all soon be off the market – the labor market, that is.

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Story produced by Amy Wall. Editor: Emanuele Secci.

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