Do you need a job?
In this economy, job seekers are finding it harder and harder to find work, and many are asking why it doesn’t seem to be improving. Why are local merchants always telling them that they don’t have anything available for them to do even at minimum wages.
Let me share my observations and thoughts for a moment.
About 2 to 3 times per week, a person will walk into my store and ask if I am hiring. There are several things about this that I find interesting as I will list below:
- The person has no clue what my business does and has never been in my business.
- The person looks like they just crawled out of bed or is ready for the beach.
- The person has not given any thought at all to presenting themselves as a potential employee.
- The person doesn’t seem to care if I say yes or no to their inquiry.
When a person walks into my store asking if I am hiring, the first question I always ask them is “Have you ever shopped in my store?” The answer I always get is, “No.”
Now, go back and re-read that last statement and think about that for a second or two before continuing. It would make you think that we are not teaching our youth anything about preparing themselves for the world of job seeking. What ever happened to a person researching a business and finding out everything they could about the business before applying for a job so they could not only impress the potential employer and show their true interest in the business, but also to prepare themselves for questions about why they would make a good fit for that particular business.
My typical response to these people is to explain to them in fairly layman terms why I am unable to offer them work at the present time. Keep in mind, I never mention their appearance, attitude, or anything about them personally, as I understand that everyone has a bad day now and then, and others are just so desperate to find work that they really never think about their appearance or presentation skills.
I always tell a job seeker that in order for a local business to provide job opportunities, they need to shop at local businesses.
Most people instead, shop at big-box corporate giants, which in turn is heavily supporting the Chinese and corporate world instead of supporting their local economy. More and more small businesses are closing their doors permanently and people are wondering why. The more small businesses that close, the less jobs that are available to a local community. People are then forced to commute farther and farther in hopes of finding work in another community. That works for some, but for others, the cost of transportation, longer child-care hours, and less quality time spent with their families ends up costing them more than the job is worth. This results in higher unemployment and more taxpayers supporting more families drawing unemployment and welfare benefits.
My recommendation to anyone seeking employment with a local business is to first become a customer of that business. Then, try to tell as many other people as possible about that business and encourage them to become a customer as well. Find out what the business is about. What products to they carry. What do they do to help support the local community. Are the owners/managers local residents as well? Once you know as much as possible about that business, and you have done everything you can to help get more people to shop at that business, then walk in the door dressed as if you are ready to go to work on the spot. Politely ask to speak to the owner or manager about potential job opportunities. Present your case to the owner/manager by telling them what you have done to become familiar with their business, support their business, and how your employment at their business would be a benefit to them. Make your case.
You may not always succeed in getting hired with the above approach, but I guarantee that if a job is not currently available at that business, your name will certainly be at the top of their list when a position does become available. If you don’t CARE about the business you are asking to hire you, then why should you expect them to care about hiring you?
So, in closing, always remember:
- Become a customer.
- Learn as much as you can about the business.
- Promote the business to your friends and family.
- Prepare yourself to make the best presentation of yourself as possible.
- Present yourself as if you are going to be hired on the spot, and not after you have showered and changed clothes.
- Be honest, genuine, respectful, and always remember to have at least a one page resume or information sheet about yourself prepared to leave with the prospective business. They may not hire you then, but they have something physical in their hands to remember you by along with your personal impression that you leave them.