Streams

Undercover Job Seeker

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mary Gatta, senior scholar at Wider Opportunities for Women in Washington DC, an adjunct professor at Rutgers University, and author of All I Want Is a Job!: Unemployed Women Navigating the Public Workforce System, talks about her "undercover" work as a client in a New Jersey career center and what she found out about women's efforts to find jobs with a living wage.

EVENT: Mary Gatta will be speaking at Rooney’s Ocean Front Restaurant in Long Branch, NJ at 7PM on June 18th, sponsored by the Monmouth County Democratic Women’s Caucus.

Guests:

Mary Gatta

Comments [13]

jm

Jgarbuz: college in the US is far too expensive to throw away 4 years on one set of skills that might not survive the exponential evolution of the workforce (and predatory lending still flourishes in our country). Or, you might discover after 2 years that you don't want to focus on engineering. A few people might be able to predict a lifelong passion for a specific path at the age of 18, but they're in the minority. At least a percentage of today's graduates must be malleable, because they likely will make several career changes throughout their lifetime.

My own fine arts degree has allowed me to thrive in technology. It was the perfect opportunity to transition from high school to the real world, and I established habits that gave me the ability to learn more specific skills as required by the needs of my career.

Jun. 16 2014 12:21 PM
kthmcgv from nyc

Jgarbuz: the liberal arts education that is the core of most 4 year degree programs is very important for citizens of a democracy. We all must understand are civic responsibility and have a background in history to make informed voting decisions. So college is not just for marketable skills although that is a big part.

Jun. 16 2014 12:15 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

JM

You make a good point, but college is expensive and certainly time consuming. And while knowledge is good, in the end companies today seek out skills at a cost they can afford. Are you a good writer or editor? Are you a good programmer? Are you a good sales person? Can you stand on your feet for long hours and be a good waiter? Generally, unskilled persons could often get government jobs, but those are drying up too. In the end, you have to be good at something and not just "educated."

Jun. 16 2014 11:51 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

The bigger pictures here is that the American economy is an Ad hoc capitalist economy that is base on circumstance. Neither government nor corporations are really engaged in creating jobs, training workers and above all having wages that are higher then poverty level. What will happen going forward is more and more unemployment and underemployment and low wages.

Jun. 16 2014 11:46 AM
jm

Jgarbuz: wrong. A college education is a foundation for lifelong skill acquisition. If everyone chooses a major based on what they believe will be a "marketable" degree four (or more) years in the future, skills might be obsolete. My own career didn't exist when I entered undergraduate school.

Jun. 16 2014 11:43 AM
jf from THE FUTURE

WANT A JOB? GO TO GOOGLE MAPS, PICK A TYPE OF BUSINESS, CLICK ON THE BUBBLE, COLLECT 100 EMAILS IN A GOOGLE DOC, BCC THEM ALL THE SAME RESUME IN EMAIL.
GET CALLS RIGHT AWAY!

Jun. 16 2014 11:40 AM
Rosie from NJ

One more thing: it seems middle aged women are facing "ageism". I went back to school to become a teacher but based on the teachers being hired in my own school system and most of the schools I have been invited to interview, most teachers hired are young, just graduated, females. One Stop or not, it seems that once you are a middle age woman, your chances of getting a job are not good regardless of qualifications.

Jun. 16 2014 11:40 AM
Jo from NJ

You are really missing the point of one-stops.. commuting in NJ sucks and it provides a convenient place to take care of multiple needs in ONE place. For Union county, people would be sent between Elizabeth and Union for help with unemployment, emergency assistance, food stamps, etc.

Jun. 16 2014 11:40 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

College is worthless UNLESS you derive a real skill out of it! Today what's required are SKILLS that others are willing to pay for. Some people just can't learn a real skill not matter how much "education" they get. They are UNSKILLED workers! You have to ask yourself what SKILL do I have a shot at acquiring successfully? What SKILLS are you really good at, or could get good at?

Jun. 16 2014 11:38 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

College is worthless UNLESS you derive a real skill out of it! Today what's required are SKILLS that others are willing to pay for. Some people just can't learn a real skill not matter how much "education" they get. They are UNSKILLED workers! You have to ask yourself what SKILL do I have a shot at acquiring successfully? What SKILLS are you really good at, or could get good at?

Jun. 16 2014 11:36 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

"Single mom with children." THere's the problem right there, mommy. Where's dad and why is he not living with his children and thus helping to care and support them? How much longer is this single-mother thing going to be milked?

Jun. 16 2014 11:33 AM
wft from NYC

did anyone see Starbucks is now going to offer its employees FREE College?!
Sure, it's an online degree...but still, it's FREE.

Jun. 16 2014 11:31 AM
Miscellaneous from NYC

Having been an employee as well as an employer, I can definitively state that much of the difficulty with hiring/being hired is lack of education. I have worked in law offices when we've had college summer interns in and they can't write a simple business letter (which is something I learned in the third grade), can't use a typewriter even though computer keyboards were derived from typewriter keyboards, can't do proper research, have poor reading comprehension skills, poor listening skills, poor math skills, and little to no scientific knowledge. Even in this day and age, when children are practically born with computers in their hands, they can only really play games and Tweet. I find it ironic that tweeting permits a maximum of 140 characters and it's about all some of these kids can do to communicate with that much text. They can't use the kinds of programs that count in the real world - word processing (only minimal usage), spreadsheets, Nexis/Lexis, bookkeeping software, CAD. As our culture becomes more lax and permissive in all ways - behavior, etiquette, minimum clothing requirements, lack of delayed gratification, etc. - most of the job seekers out there have $600 cell phones and want all the bells and whistles, but don't have the wherewithal to get a job and earn the money for these things themselves.

My advice to job-seekers: GET EDUCATED!! And I don't just mean get a diploma, I mean get a REAL education. Everything in this world is interconnected and the more you know, the better your chances of getting a job. Read and make certain you are literate. You'll never successfully get through an interview if every other word in your vocabulary is either "like," "f--k," or both. If you feel compelled to get tattooed, have it done in places that are covered by business attire. Be well-groomed: clean, proper hair cut and no colors other than those in the homo sapiens genetic code. Keep piercings to a minimum. Have a definable and unequivocal work ethic. When you are paid by someone else to do work, that does not mean spending your work day texting your friends. And keep your personal business and unusual life choices off your social media account. Employers read those now and no matter how qualified you are, no matter how well your interview goes, no matter how good you look, doing stupid stuff and posting it on line will kill the job opportunity for you. Period.

The above advice will help you get and keep a job. No compromises.

Jun. 16 2014 10:40 AM

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