Push back hard candidates. When you see a sign that says "unemployed people need not apply." Push back hard.

What do airplanes, shooting stars, and wishes have in common with unemployment? The lyrics discuss the wish upon a shooting star, let’s face it couldn’t we all use a wish right now? A wish right now might just lift a spirt, and encourage a heart. HireFriday is here to help.

That is why I am disclosing my personal story of tragedy and loss. Sometimes you have to lose it all to appreciate what you once had. I know I did. Unemployment is hard. HireFriday can help. People need to believe things will get better. This is particularly true for the downtrodden, and the unemployed population.

Today, a debate raged on twitter during the animal blogtalkradio show. Should a candidate be pigeon holed into accepting a lower salary? Economic hardship can motivate desperate thoughts, and even depression. There are people who are so desperate they say, “I’ll take anything,” or ” I just want and need to work.” Are you one of those people?

Do you ever fear losing your home, and cutting back way beyond the life style to which you have become to be accustomed? Have you taken a cut in pay or accepted a lateral position due to economic hardship?

This recession, or “deflationary depression,” as some economists refer to it. It’s taking a toll on humanity around the world. It’s not just people in the United States. The statistics for unemployment are bleak. Europe has been hit with record high inflation, and unemployment. It’s hard to maintain a positive attitude, and yet that is the most important thing a job seeker can do. Job hunters have to be optimistic, empowered, and strong. They have to sell their skill sets, and present them selves are crucial resource people.

It’s important that people looking for a job adopt a consultative role during the interview; identify the problem, and provide concrete examples about how you’ve been able to solve those problems.

Tell a story about how you brought about outstanding results. Speak in terms of cost savings, and revenue generated. The more concrete your examples are the power powerful your “sales pitch” will be. Remember, you selling “You & Co.” Be the brand you wish to project. Hiring managers like to hear a positive attitude coupled with positive outcomes. A positive attitude is contagious, and a negative attitude is a turn-off. Is your attitude worth catching? Learn how to turn your answers into a vibrant story. When you can tell a compelling story about yourself, and you abilities, it makes you an attractive candidate.

Let me share a deeply personal story. I grew up raising and training dogs. When I started my career in human resources and recruiting, I secretly wished of owning a pet boutique, fast forward 15 years. I jumped in, and like many new businesses I closed my doors after 3 years. I remained in the pet industry until almost 2009. Let me tell you the whole story. When I closed The Paw Spa a few years ago, I felt as if the world was closing in all around me. Within a 6 month period, my Mother died of Alzheimer’s disease.

I was deeply in love with a man who ended our relationship. My Brother died of kidney failure, and I had a serious injury at work. One month before I closed The Spa, an employee had mopped up after a dog doo accident. I was running from the cash register over to one of the tubs, and I slipped, fell, and cut open my right eye. I was bleeding profusely. I saw stars. My employee had clocked out before the accident, and I was alone, bloody, and in excruciating pain.

Puppies make me feel better! Then again, who doesn't love a puppy?
Two wonderful regular customers stopped by and found me bleeding. They rushed to my side. One of them rushed to Caribou Coffee to get ice, and a towel.

The other stayed by my side, and asked me if I was OK. It was apparent I had a concussion. She helped me call a close friend who rushed to The Paw Spa, and took me immediately to the hospital. My eye required 8 stitches. I was devastated, and afraid I’d be scarred. I was disoriented, and confused. I went home to heal. I couldn’t eat, I didn’t even want to drink.

All I wanted to do was go to bed, and pull the covers over my head. I wanted to remove the seeming cruel outside world entirely. This was only one short month after my Mother died. I lost the will to go on with my life. Without my Mother, life felt meaningless. I didn’t just lose a Mother, I lost my best friend. She was the dearest person in the whole wide world. She was all I had left. When she died, a part of me died with her.

I was sad, and grief stricken. The grief after my blessed Mother’s passing would come and go in waves. It took a full year for me to heal the loss of my Mother. We were extremely close. The early stages of the recession devoured my profits. The recession ate my job. It became abundantly clear, it was time to close. I’m a spiritual woman. I believe in signs. The writing was on the wall. When I closed The Paw Spa, I grieved the business just as if I had lost a lover.

You see, the business replaced all of my relationships because I had to work extraordinarily long hours. My metaphorical ship was sinking, so was my soul. I felt as if I had no one to talk to, and no where to turn. What’s worse, as a small business owner, I was afraid to file a workers compensation claim to heal my back, and wrist pain, and to pay my hospital bills.

A lawyer told me that’s what it was for, and yet, I owned the business. I spent years in HR overseeing these claims. Urghhhhhhhhhhh. My clients loved me. They missed me terribly. I kept seeing their dogs privately. One customer insisted that I come work for him, and gratefully, I did. I was his pet nanny. I traveled with the family, cared for their dogs, and daughter. I was a part of their family.

There were times back then when I preferred the company of dogs to people. After I lost my Mom & Brother, the dogs were the only family I had left. I felt safe with dogs.

HireFriday wasn’t even on my radar at the time. I sure could have used an emotional cheerleader at the time who would bolster my spirits. What I found is that my grief was so intense after the multiple losses in such a short span of time, I had become a burden to my friends.

I turned my grief inward. I grieved the loss of my business, and my job. I know how hard unemployment can be which is why I believe my background both professionally, and personally can be an added benefit to job seekers. I understand what protracted unemployment feels like.

I tell candidates... Don’t be surprised if you encounter hiring managers, recruiters and HR professionals who may be not so “compassionate.” Some employers discriminate against unemployed people. This brings up such powerful feelings of outrage, it’s hard to put my them into words. Suffice it to say, this practice is clearly wrong, short sighted, and completely insensitive. This ravenous hunger for the passive candidate gives me pause to wonder.

I’ve come to the conclusion that passive candidates are cool, but active candidates rule. What I mean by that is that companies should absolutely hire unemployed people If I could bundle all the sharp and desirable skill sets of the unemployed population, I could build an empire, and so could you.

We have to push back on this culturally endemic problem before it becomes a society anomaly. It’s time we embrace the skills, knowledge and abilities of unemployed people. Social media communities, social media learning, and strategic social media alliances are helping people grow during this economic down turn. While hard times lie ahead we have to band together as a society, rather than tear one another down. Hiring unemployed candidates stimulates the economy, and fortifies businesses during this crucial time in our country’s history.

This is no time to turn our back on the unemployed population, rather let’s give them jobs, and as a recruitment, and human resources industry band together to turn this disarming trend around. Everyone wins, candidate sources find great people, and wonderful resumes, recruiters get great commissions, human resource professionals build their talent bench, and have the opportunity to reduce their costs of hire and retention.

Daily motivation is important, particularly when you are unemployed. Unemployment is hard. HireFriday can help, of this I am convinced. My boots on the ground approach to social learning, and online job search can and will accelerate you online job search. This is my passion, and compassion piece.

I want to help everyone who wants to work finds a job. While I realize this post might elicit extremely strong feelings, this is my blog, and I am entitled to my own opinion. (if you'd like to hear the music, and see the pictures that go along with this post, please visit my blog http://hrmargo.com Thank you for taking the time to read this essay.

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