Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

...and Statistics

You know what precedes that, right?

The statistic I began to wonder about is the premise of the "hidden job market." That's the one that says that 80 percent of jobs are unadvertised and that you get most jobs through contacts and networking.

I submit that my career has been representative of the real life of much of my generation. I'm not talking about the mythological baby boomer whose job experience supposedly matches that of my parent's generation, with lifetime employment yada yada. I know people who have had lifetime employment (I'm married to one), but that's become the exception, not the rule, and it's beyond me why the punditry trots out that old horse in every economic downturn.

Nope, nossir, I've had 12 so-called permanent jobs, including contracting gigs that lasted as long as or longer than some of the "permanent" jobs. Including short-term contracting and steady freelance work, but excluding one-off story sales, there are 20 bits of data to throw into this pool: 20 short or long-term jobs acquired either from advertised positions or from networking/contacts. The average duration of these jobs, by the way, is 35 months, which is just about the number presented for average job length before the job pundits began to make fools of themselves last fall.

(Drum roll) May I have the envelope please? Networking/contacts wins by the slender margin of 10 to 8, with two ties: jobs or gigs I applied for conventionally, and for which I was a serious candidate on my own merits, but which I eventually got with an assist from contacts. This suggests a resource that's somewhat short of the 80 percent proportion.

I'm not saying the hidden job market is complete bunk. I'm saying that there's something in my division of labour, which has been more often like two parts conventional, three parts networking than two parts conventional, eight parts networking. None of this is new to me, either (the first time I had a job coach was 27 years ago) and while the means change, the objectives don't: get the job, one you can do and preferably one you'll like doing.


Blogger massmarrier said...

Spot on, Un-Cull.I get the giggles reading the cliché about the rapacious and pampered boomers -- that would be us. The elders slam their kids, which is normal. The youngster slam their parents, which is normal However, we didn't get the live-long jobs or the pensions. We paid the ever-increasing SS and other fed taxes for the Greatest Generation while paying the freight for our kids.

I'd liked to have had the option of a career-long job, even if it were soul numbing. I missed that too.

12:08 pm  

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