Today’s Pondering~Speak for yourself…


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Recently, I’ve seen a great deal of posts on social media saying things like, “There’s no reason for anyone to be unemployed,” or “There are plenty of jobs out there.” I wonder, when people are saying these things, are their heads completely up their rear ends or have they simply not considered who makes up the population of unemployed workers? Recently, I went on a bit of a rant on Twitter after seeing yet another post on the subject. This time, one of my favorite actresses posted. And while I don’t think she meant anything hurtful by what she said, I think sometimes people don’t consider that generalizations simply don’t work for this situation. I’ll share below:

Some people seem to think it is acceptable for a grown woman who has already spent her time working in lower paying jobs (while she was getting her education) to go back to working those same lower paying jobs because she finds herself in the unfortunate position of having lost her job. Without considering why or whether or not she is even able to do those jobs (which are designed for people who have more physical strength and stamina), people are chiming in to say, “Yeah, they don’t deserve unemployment. Make them go back to beginning and start over.” This simply isn’t right. Especially in the case of an individual who has been either wrongfully terminated or eliminated due to widespread layoffs/reductions-in-force.

And when you look at the people who are in higher paying management positions, in many cases, you can see that the larger companies tend to hire those individuals who are pliable. Those who will not go against the grain and attempt to use independent thinking. They want recent college graduates or those who are clearly living the popular narrative because if they have too many people questioning what they are doing at the top levels, they risk losing their kickbacks. If there are companies out there who actually hire based on qualifications these days, please point them out to me. Over 1,000 rejected job applications in a year would indicate differently.

For those who refuse to bow down and do things that go against their religious beliefs and moral values, it is hard to find a place where you can fit in and thrive without having to water down who you are. And in a culture that boasts such inclusion and diversity, no less! When evil is in power, it takes all necessary steps to ensure that the capable, faithful warrior will not advance in their arena.

Yes, there are and always will be those who take advantage of all of the handouts that the government can give them. But if you’ve been unfortunate enough to be someone who has worked for the majority of their adult years and found yourself in the position of having to ask for help, you know that it isn’t that easy for some to access the help that they’ve paid into over the span of their working lives. It isn’t right to shame people who have likely paid more into the system in taxes than what they are getting out if they ever find themselves in need of some help.

If our employers were truly hiring people who were, in fact, qualified for the work that needs to be done instead of those who fit a profile, then I suspect there wouldn’t be such disparity in the number of available jobs and the education/experience level of the available workers. Instead, you see things like programs for high school students that allow them to fill positions where they receive $15.00/per hour or more to be an apprentice. Experienced workers aren’t considered for these “special” positions. So, there are individuals out there who are looking for work in their field, but can’t get those positions because they are reserved for younger workers who don’t have families to support or regular expenses to pay. I’m all for preparing kids for the workforce, but what happened to learning how to work by becoming an intern, a minimum wage cashier, or food service worker? That’s where you learn the basics, not where you should be forced to go because all of the “good” jobs have been given to inexperienced, uneducated interns.

I, personally haven’t been able to even get an interview for lower-paying or entry-level jobs because I hold two advanced degrees and employers are afraid I’ll want too much money. They don’t even ask me. They simple throw my application into the “No” pile without a second thought. So, being judged as part of a group of individuals who are struggling to get back into the workforce is not something I enjoy. To date, I’ve submitted no less than 1,500 resumes and applications for positions that range from data processing to HR management. Over twenty years of combined management and Human Resources experience and I can’t get a job in that field because I stepped out of HR for a few years to have a child. And, with all of my management experience, I can’t get a job managing a restaurant or store because most of my work was done in non-profits and the insurance industry and not in retail.

This is why it is important to stop generalizing and start examining the root cause of the issue before passing judgment. If you are unemployed due to the “pandemic” or some other reason, I feel for you. I pray that you will catch a break. And I encourage you to ignore the bellows of those who have no clue what it means to be qualified and unwanted.

Rebecca Benston is the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media and the author of over twenty titles currently available through Amazon and other outlets. Her books include a mystery series (The Rona Shively Stories), empowerment resources such as Wise Up to Rise Up, Don’t Be Stupid (And I Mean That in the Nicest Way), and From Judgment to Jubilee, children’s books including Grumble D. Grumble Learns to Smile, All the Scary Things, and See How Strong You Are. Benston lives in Springfield, Ohio with her awesome daughter, Mya and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and telling it like it is. She enjoys being able to help other authors get their stories out there through Higher Ground and has recently expanded her freelance services to offer more extensive guidance as a writing coach and social media manager. For more information, you can contact Benston at highergroundbooksandmedia@gmail.com.