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Friday, April 19, 2013

What made you give up job hunting?

Here is a news article by Associated Press Writers on "Dropouts: Discouraged Americans leave labor force"; for people with and without disabilities. It's very interesting, yet it's sad. I believe we all feel the same way when we deal with a lot of rejection.

Apparently some people are saying we should just keep going and not give up, but it's easier said than done. You would feel like giving up the job search is the only solution after too many rejection and that nothing would make any difference if you continue.

Well, enjoy this article.

Dropouts: Discouraged Americans leave labor force
Dropouts: Discouraged Americans are giving up the job hunt for school, retirement, disability
By Paul Wiseman and Jesse Washington, Associated Press Writers | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago

FILE - This Friday, March 29, 2013 file photo shows a help wanted sign at a barber shop in Richmond, Va. U.S. employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, the fewest in nine months and a sharp retreat after a period of strong hiring. Many discouraged Americans are giving up the job hunt for school, retirement and disability. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
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Associated Press -

FILE - This Friday, March 29, 2013 file photo shows a help wanted sign at a barber shop in Richmond, Va. U.S. employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, the fewest in nine months and …more

WASHINGTON (AP) -- After a full year of fruitless job hunting, Natasha Baebler just gave up.

She'd already abandoned hope of getting work in her field, counseling the disabled. But she couldn't land anything else, either — not even a job interview at a telephone call center.

Until she feels confident enough to send out resumes again, she'll get by on food stamps and disability checks from Social Security and live with her parents in St. Louis.

"I'm not proud of it," says Baebler, who is in her mid-30s and is blind. "The only way I'm able to sustain any semblance of self-preservation is to rely on government programs that I have no desire to be on."

Baebler's frustrating experience has become all too common nearly four years after the Great Recession ended: Many Americans are still so discouraged that they've given up on the job market.

Older Americans have retired early. Younger ones have enrolled in school. Others have suspended their job hunt until the employment landscape brightens. Some, like Baebler, are collecting disability checks.

It isn't supposed to be this way. After a recession, an improving economy is supposed to bring people back into the job market.

Instead, the number of Americans in the labor force — those who have a job or are looking for one — fell by nearly half a million people from February to March, the government said Friday. And the percentage of working-age adults in the labor force — what's called the participation rate — fell to 63.3 percent last month. It's the lowest such figure since May 1979.

The falling participation rate tarnished the only apparent good news in the jobs report the Labor Department released Friday: The unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low of 7.6 percent in March from 7.7 in February.

People without a job who stop looking for one are no longer counted as unemployed. That's why the U.S. unemployment rate dropped in March despite weak hiring. If the 496,000 who left the labor force last month had still been looking for jobs, the unemployment rate would have risen to 7.9 percent in March.

"Unemployment dropped for all the wrong reasons," says Craig Alexander, chief economist with TD Bank Financial Group. "It dropped because more workers stopped looking for jobs. It signaled less confidence and optimism that there are jobs out there."

The participation rate peaked at 67.3 percent in 2000, reflecting an influx of women into the work force. It's been falling steadily ever since.

Part of the drop reflects the baby boom generation's gradual move into retirement. But such demographics aren't the whole answer.

Even Americans of prime working age — 25 to 54 years old — are dropping out of the workforce. Their participation rate fell to 81.1 percent last month, tied with November for the lowest since December 1984.

"It's the lack of job opportunities — the lack of demand for workers — that is keeping these workers from working or seeking work," says Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the liberal Economic Policy Institute. The Labor Department says there are still more than three unemployed people for every job opening.

Cynthia Marriott gave up her job search after an interview in October for a position as a hotel concierge.

"They never said no," she says. "They just never called me back."

Her husband hasn't worked full time since 2006. She cashed out her 401(k) after being laid off from a job at a Los Angeles entertainment publicity firm in 2009. The couple owes thousands in taxes for that withdrawal. They have no health insurance.

She got the maximum 99 weeks' of unemployment benefits then allowed in California and then moved to Atlanta.

Now she is looking to receive federal disability benefits for a lung condition that she said leaves her weak and unable to work a full day. The application is pending a medical review.

"I feel like I have no choice," says Marriott, 47. "It's just really sad and frightening"

During the peak of her job search, Marriott was filling out 10 applications a day. She applied for jobs she felt overqualified for, such as those at Home Depot and Petco but never heard back. Eventually, the disappointment and fatigue got to her.

"I just wanted a job," she says. "I couldn't really go on anymore looking for a job."

Young people are leaving the job market, too. The participation rate for Americans ages 20 to 24 hit a 41-year low 69.6 percent last year before bouncing back a bit. Many young people have enrolled in community colleges and universities. That's one reason a record 63 percent of adults ages 25 to 29 have spent at least some time in college, according to the Pew Research Center.

Older Americans are returning to school, too. Doug Damato, who lives in Asheville, N.C., lost his job as an installer at a utility company in February 2012. He stopped looking for work last fall, when he began taking classes in mechanical engineering at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

Next week, Damato, 40, will accept an academic award for earning top grades. But one obstacle has emerged: Under a recent change in state law, his unemployment benefits will now end July 1, six months earlier than he expected.

He's planning to work nights, if possible, to support himself once the benefits run out. Dropping out of school is "out of the question," he said, given the time he has already put into the program.

"I don't want a handout," he says. "I'm trying to better myself."

Many older Americans who lost their jobs are finding refuge in Social Security's disability program. Nearly 8.9 million Americans are receiving disability checks, up 1.3 million from when the recession ended in June 2009.

Natasha Baebler's journey out of the labor force and onto the disability rolls began when she lost her job serving disabled students and staff members at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., in February 2012.

For six months, she sought jobs in her field, brandishing master's degrees in social education and counseling. No luck.

Then she just started looking for anything. Still, she had no takers.

"I chose to stop and take a step back for a while ... After you've seen that amount of rejection," she says, "you start thinking, 'What's going to make this time any different?' "


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Does Americans with Disabilities Act really work?

I think this is a good time for us to have a discussion on how to solve Deaf unemployment issues. Let's start brainstorming ideas here, shall we? 

Deaf unemployment is very high, and no one is doing anything about it. That is why we should take some action to end this problem. It's not just about Deaf people who keep getting rejected by hiring employers, it's about you as well... if you're deaf or hard of hearing. Whatever happens to them can happen to you, too.

Americans with Disabilities Act protects our rights in employment opportunities, access accommodation, and the likes. but it doesn't really prevent discrimination and ill-treatments against deafness. It does not make any much difference except that it provides you the right to file for discrimination lawsuit against anyone. The deaf discrimination continues to exist nevertheless. Compare to the past (pre-ADA and good economy), Deaf unemployment rate is still the same. Yes, it's true, we still do have (about) the same expectations as hearing people's, but... aren't we really tired of fighting to death for our more equal rights? Aren't we tired of working twice as hard as our hearing counterparts everyday?

Does ADA really help us at all in terms of employment?

Do you feel that ADA may even prevent some employers from hiring Deaf applicants? I do feel that it may have prevented them from hiring the likes of us for two reasons: the cost of accommodation and the fear of lawsuits. That just makes it worse than it was before the ADA.

I believe ADA does more harm than good to people with disabilities. It forces employers to be responsible to pay out of their pockets for disabled employees' technology assistance and access accommodation. Therefore it makes persons with disabilities less competitive than their counterparts without disabilities. So, wasn't it a smart decision to enact this type of law? What were they thinking, really?

If you have the power to edit ADA or make a new law from a scratch to make employment more accessible to the persons with disabilities, what would it be?

From there, it may give me some ideas to create a petition for strengthening work opportunities that could be more accessible to the Deaf and other persons with disabilities.

Someone once told me that they thought the government should use SSI/SSDI money to build an office building and hire Deaf and people with disabilities. Do you think it would be a good idea? Would it work?

Do you think the government should be responsible for the expenses of disabled workers' access accommodation and/or technology support, not the employers'? Would that make more sense to you?

Any other ideas? What are the best ways to solve Deaf unemployment problems?

Monday, April 1, 2013

6 Career Myths You Shouldn't Fall For

Here is a really good article for anyone who's considering a career change or getting into a college. I will provide some tips about your career choice at the end of this article if you can scroll further down.


6 Career Myths You Shouldn't Fall For

January 7, 2013      
You've probably heard the same bits of career advice tossed around over and over from well-meaning friends, relatives, and even bosses. But plenty of the maxims that we hear repeated actually aren't true. Here are six of the most popular career myths that you shouldn't fall for.

1. A college degree will get you a job. Generations of students have been told that if they get a college degree, they'll easily find a job afterward. Unfortunately, it's no longer so clear-cut. Degrees no longer open doors the way they used to, and too many new graduates are remaining unemployed or under-employed for months or even years, as employers opt for more experienced candidates. This is frustrating and confusing for graduates, who often feel that they did everything they were supposed to and they're not getting the pay-off they were promised would come.

2. Do what you're passionate about and the money will follow. In reality, not all passions match up with the realities of the job market. If you're passionate about poetry or painting, you're going to find very limited job opportunities for those things. In fact, the people who get to do what they love for a job are the lucky ones; they're not the majority. A better goal is to find work that you can do reasonably happily; it doesn't need to be your passion.

3. If you can't find a job, just start your own business. Starting your own business is hard, and it's not for everyone. It's not as easy as just having a skill and selling it. You have to have something that people want to buy from you more than they want to buy it from your competitors. You also have to be able to market yourself, deal with financial uncertainty, have some savings as a launch pad, and overcome plenty of other challenges. It's not a cure-all for anyone who can't find a job or is unhappy in their career.

4. Your major in college will lead to your career. Students often come out of school thinking that their major will lead them to their life-long career path directly, but it's very often not the case—especially for majors in the liberal arts. You might have an English degree but end up in HR, or a sociology degree but end up selling ads, or a music degree but end up as a professional fundraiser. On the other hand, degrees in the sciences, technology, engineering, and math are more likely to end up pointing you toward a more defined career path.

5. If you're not sure what you want to do, go to grad school. Grad school makes sense when you want to follow a career path that requires an advanced degree. But it's a bad use of time and money if you're hoping it will somehow point you down a career path, or if you're going because you're not sure what else to do. Many people who go to grad school for lack of a better option come out a few years later saddled with large student loans, and not any better positioned than they were before they enrolled. Which leads to…

6. Grad school will always make you more marketable. Grad school generally will not make you more marketable unless you're going into a field that specifically requires a graduate degree. In fact, it can make you less competitive, by keeping you from getting work experience for that much longer and requiring you to find a higher-paying job than you might otherwise need because you need to pay back school loans—and even worse, if you apply for jobs that have nothing to do with your graduate degree, many employers will think you don't really want the job you're applying for, since it's not in "your field."

Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog, where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She's also the co-author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager's Guide to Getting Results, and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development.


STerras's note:

I have a few tips and warnings listed here for you if you are unsure what career is suitable for you.

1. I've had some people telling me about their career goals and going back to school to get a higher degree. If you are unable to find a job and thinking that going back to school to get a higher degree will solve your problem, please reconsider your decision. If you have completed a second degree, you'll likely face the same problems you had before going back to school. If that occurs, it will result in a waste of time and money.

2. Never let anyone, not even your family members or friends, tell you what kind of career is good for you. You must know yourself well enough to figure out exactly what is best for you, which is very important, because not every career is for everyone.

3. When choosing a career that you like, do a lot of research on it. To get a better idea of what it's really like or how it works is to meet with professionals in the field of your interest through good networking. LinkedIn is the best place to meet with and ask questions to appropriate people. Just researching your career choice on the Internet alone is not very informative enough.

4. If you don't know what you want to be, consider your hobbies as they can be transformed into one of your professional occupations. If you love sewing, seamstress job may be the one for you. If you like to craft wood, you may be interested in becoming a wood frame designer. Those are just examples that may give you something to consider for yourself.

5. You have to be careful and extremely knowledgeable when it comes to profession of your interest. Many people end up being unsatisfied with their jobs, and others frequently change their careers over the course of their lifetime. 

6. Your passion and ambition are really important. If you aren't passionate about what you do, then your career choice probably isn't the one for you.  

7. If you have just graduated from high school and are preparing to go to college. Suppose you aren't sure about what to study, the best thing to do is just wait until you have finally figure out what you really want to do. In the meantime, go to community college and work on improving your skills in any or more subjects. A lot of people who graduated from college ended up regretting their study majors. Do you honestly think an 18 year old would know everything about their major choice? I don't think so.