What to do, what to do? Hmmmm. Let’s see,
- Can you type 60 + words a minute without errors?
- Do you have an average of 8,000 keystrokes per hour on 10-key without errors?
- Do you have 2+ years experience in your chosen field?
- Do you have a degree from college (preferable a BA or higher)?
- Can you perform 3 or more tasks at the same time, for multiple supervisors, without errors and with an extremely short deadline for each task?
- Can you handle high stress situations that would put a Psychiatrist/Psychologist in the Looney Bin?
- Do you have special training as a typist, data entry specialist, proofreader/editor or audio medical/legal transcriptionist?
- Is your credit score over 500 no matter what the job is?
- Are you willing to work extremely long hours for extremely low pay?
- Are you willing to do everyone else’s job on top of yours?
- Are you able to perform customer service with a smile even when you want to choke the living crap out of the customer?
- Are you able to take the blame for everything that has gone wrong since the beginning of the human genome?
If you can say yes to most of these questions, and many others, then you should have no problems in the job market.
For the rest of us trying to break into a new job market, or make enough money to pay the bills, here are a few nasty realizations.
Most companies nowadays are looking for that one person who can do it all, is already trained, has mondo amounts of experience and is willing to take a beating day in & day out for the next 30 + years. They are looking for people who don’t question their procedures, policies and changes in the job description. If I remember my history class, they were called slaves. In sci-fi and entomology, they are called drones.
Companies are no longer willing to hire someone they have to spend the time and money on to train in their procedures. Apparently all companies have identical ways of doing things. Therefore all the other companies should have already trained you. Never mind that all the companies feel the exact same way. Or that this would be your first job, if someone would actually hire you.
Companies also don’t want to hire anyone fresh out of high school or still in college. Lack of an actual degree coupled with extreme youth tells them that all you want to do is drink, do drugs and have sex. Therefore, you would not be willing to work 12 to 14 hours a day with the lowest salary legally allowed. They also feel that you would not be willing to work only a few hours a week with minimum wage (or less if they can get around the law) per hour. I’m pretty sure that there is also a small degree of jealousy involved, as well.
If you are of a higher age group, don’t get your hopes up. Companies don’t want you either. You might actually have a family. This means that you also don’t want to work 12 to 14 hours/day for excessively low wages. First, you want to spend time with your children and your spouse. Second, you might have to take time off because your child/spouse is sick or because the school has such unreasonable requirements like going to parent/teacher conferences and other icky things like that. You might even want to have holidays off! How irresponsible you are! Third, you might actually want to be paid enough so that you can cover all you bills. Not to mention feed your family. Very anti-company.
Then there are the companies that don’t want someone with multiple jobs during their life in the workforce. Too many jobs that are less than 1 or more years shows that you are not loyal, have ADHD, are a dreamer or just plain don’t want to work. It also shows that you don’t play well with others. Job seekers are not allowed to be human, have feelings, opinions or to expect loyalty from their employers. Never mind that you might have been involved in the Military (parent(s) or spouse), was offered better paying positions in another city, county, state, etc. Or that you had to move due to lower costs of living. If you have stayed in the same town/city, then woe betide your chances of finding work outside of day laborer.
So, what can you do?
Well, if you can hack the pimply faced, pants around the hips, greasy haired, self-centered, all around “why me” laziness of the younger generations and have wonderful customer service skills, then fast food might be just what you’re looking for. No more is this a job that high school kids take for some extra cash on the weekends or during summer. No! Now you have to compete against college graduates (from an AA up to and including doctorates), 20 + year workforce veterans and other average adults that can no longer afford to work in that nice cushy office job that only pays $8 – $10 dollars an hour and is part-time on top of that. McDonald’s is offering $12 an hour in small towns such as Lander, WY. I am sure it is even higher in the big cities around the nation.
Gas stations in the bigger cities have also joined in with fast food chains when it comes to the wage train, but us small town folks still have to suffer with minimum wage. Of course, the same cons apply as you saw in the previous paragraph.
Or, if you don’t mind answering questions day in and day out, you can be a Customer Service Representative. As long as you are willing to suck up all of the complaints, whining and threats from both directions with a smile. And no passing the customer on to the next level up. That is not allowed. The supervisor’s only job is to make sure you don’t actually kill anyone and get your job done. Heaven forbid that they actually step in and deflect an angry customer from destroying any self-confidence you might once have had. If you decide that you want to work as a CSR from your own home, be prepared to work for multiple companies that use the call center you work for. Also, you will have to lay out the money for the accepted type of computer, amount of RAM/ROM, special software, high-speed internet access and headset required by the company. Be aware that they rarely reimburse you for this. There is also a training period that usually requires you to spend 6+ weeks at their main headquarters. Most of the time this is paid, but training done online usually isn’t.
Let me see. What else is available?
There are a multitude of other types of jobs available online. If you have a degree (BA or higher), have a high credit score, are willing to relocate, will work for low wages (some microjobs will only pay you 1 cent for 1 hour of work), or you don’t mind working for some company in India, Australia, or anywhere else outside of the U.S. Most of the “online” jobs that I personally have looked into are based out of India and do not bother to show their pay scale in USD. Since I don’t know what the legalities are of working from your home for a foreign company, I have yet to apply for any of these jobs. I do know that very few foreign countries have the same copywrite (copyright?) laws that the US has, so I worry about job offers that want you to retype a book from a PDF file into MS Word or other format for ebooks. They usually require a high rate of typing, also.
Another problem with working from your home is all of the scams and MLM companies out there. If they ask you to buy something from them upfront, it’s a scam. If you are required to buy only their products (on a weekly/bi-weekly or monthly basis), and are willing to recruit your friends & family, it’s usually an MLM. Either way, you are being asked to pay to work. Sadly, there are many job offers out there that wind up in one of these categories. Then there are the “Temp Agencies” for online workers. It is amazing how many of these get away with charging the employee a fee. Most likely, they are also charging the company a fee. How are any of these three types of “employers” staying in business? Obviously, the US government doesn’t care that its citizens are being ripped off, just as long as they get their taxes.
Also, if you work from home, you will need to have a PayPal type of account. Or, be willing to hand out your bank account number to every Tom, Dick & Harry on the internet. Occasionally, there are companies that will pay you by check, but only if your account with them has a minimum amount & you remembered to ask for your pay on time. These are usually the companies that you see offering work for severely low amounts for a large amount of time. You will rarely be paid more of than once a month and that is only if they are happy with your work. If you have an error or it took you more time than was allotted, then you’re screwed.
I have since found that the majority of US companies outsource most of their typing/data entry jobs to foreign companies. Because it’s cheaper. God forbid that they should outsource to US citizens and make sure that we can afford to buy their services or products. If it is cheaper for them, why do they charge more?
Just something for you to think about.