Even It Up!

Shifting the balance for jobseekers

Posts Tagged ‘portfolio work

Ability: A New Form of Job Discrimination?

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The post Even It Up! wrote the other day about our experience with Edge Recruitment and their feedback on our application has been niggling at us.  It’s not that they were defensive about their processes (who wouldn’t be under the circumstances?) or they accused us of chasing work as consultants (isn’t that how work is sometimes won?).  What bothered us was the overt discrimination against skills, experience and qualifications of the applicant, and that we had dared apply for a  lower-paid position (although salary wasn’t stipulated in the ad).  Is what we experienced a form of ability discrimination?

It’s interesting, because the rhetoric around qualifications (certainly from schools, universities and the majority of employers) is that they are instrumental to (and even crucial in) gaining work.  Certainly, we have all been led to believe this over the years (if we didn’t, why would we spend thousands on our education – both vocational and academic)?  But what if it just isn’t true?  What if having qualifications is as detrimental to finding work as not having them?

If you participate in Even It Up! Forums, you know that this is not a new phenomenon.  Other jobseekers have also experienced the prejudice and suspicion that comes with being overqualified for positions they may apply for.  The recruiter (direct employer or recruitment consultant) often perceives that:

  • the jobseeker will walk (and quickly) once they find another position more “suitable” to their qualifications and pay expectations
  • they may expect (and demand) more money once they are in the role
  • they may be more “difficult” to manage and not be as pliable as someone who has less experience/qualifications.

While there may be an element of truth to the above assertions, it is not always the case.  Jobseekers apply for roles they are clearly overqualified for for a number of reasons:

From our perspective, the issues are: why should jobseekers have to justify themselves for seeking out work they are overqualified for? Aren’t employers being narrow-minded and short-sighted for not embracing the clear skillset that these sorts of jobseekers will bring to the role (and the organisation as a whole)?

And so the questions become: what sort of organisation are you? Are you an organisation that will embrace the various skillsets of jobseekers that apply for your roles?  Or are you an organisation that is suspicious and judgmental of anyone who applies for a role that (on the surface) they may be either overqualified or underqualified for?

And how willing are you to take the time to find out why before discarding “unsuitable” applications?


Written by evenitup

September 9, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Rethinking work

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At Even It Up! we are watching with concern the numbers of jobs that are being shed by major corporations over the last couple of months.  We blogged about it recently, predicting that corporations would be rubbing their hands with glee over the possibility of being able to rid themselves of those pesky profit drainers, also known as staff.  Interestingly, Pacific Brands (Bonds, Berlei etc.) have copped a staggering amount of criticism (and rightly so) because of their recent attempt to shed staff (and send work offshore) while paying CEOs in the millions, and forking out hundred of thousands of dollars on sponsoring the Melbourne Fashion Festival.  Check out what came up when we Googled  pacific brands outrage.

Unfortunately, there is little that can be done, and despite the Australian government’s rhetoric that “any job lost is one job too many”, workers really are powerless to stop it.  All they can do is really try and anticipate if their job in their industry will be affected, and jump before they are pushed.

However, there is one way for workers to beat the corporations at their own game: portfolio work.   Take on a number of part-time roles rather than focus on finding one full-time job.  Statistics are showing that part-time work is on the rise, so why not rethink your approach to work and cash in?  Even It Up! believes it’s easier to replace one part-time income of $150 than one full-time income of $650.

And watch out for the growing trend of hyperjobs.  Futurists are predicting that traditional, white collars jobs will disappear as automation takes over, and those who can harness the “soft skills” will benefit.  Richard W Samson, in an article he wrote for The Futurist explains:

Hyperjobs will be based on five key “aliveness skills” and three supporting or enabling ones. The five key skills are:

1. Discovery, finding the “why” of things in science, business, or daily life.

2. Creativity, fashioning something new in one’s head.

3. Implementation, making the fruits of creativity real in the world.

4. Influence, interacting with others to inspire, direct, or empower.

5. Physical action, interacting with things or the body in mindful ways.

The enabling skills, which power the five key aliveness skills, are:

1. Basic mental skills, such as perception, classification, and emotional release.

2. Symbolic thinking and interpretation, including language, mathematics, and scientific notation.

3. Responsibility, including global consciousness, ethics, and a religious sense.

Career success in the new millennium will depend on shifting one’s focus away from the list of things electronic intelligence does best and toward the things only self-aware humans can do.

Read the full article here.  What is interesting is that hyperworkers will embrace the portfolio concept, and work for more than one business, enterprise or organisation.

Now all we have to do is convince the ATO that two or more part-time jobs does not a tax grab make!  Tax reform anyone?

Written by evenitup

March 14, 2009 at 10:17 am