Let’s Get Ireland Working

Lets Get ireland Working

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will hold a special Cabinet meeting this week on job creation. In a spat in the Dail last week he rounded on independent TD Clare Daly for her temerity in questioning the government’s commitment to solving the unemployment crisis in Ireland.
“Do you think no one over here [on the Government side] recognises the scale of the challenge for Europe, where 26 million people are unemployed? Have you not heard me say on many occasions that no leader in Europe could be proud of this situation?”

Well Mr. Kenny, here at http://www.icanwork4u.com we are waiting with bated breath to see what your cabinet ‘think-tank’ comes up with. While we commend you for the expansion of the Job Bridge program and the new JobPlus program, both of which focus on getting jobs for people who are over one year on the dole, ie. those who are long-term unemployed, we cannot help but wonder what, if any assistance is being given to people who are either recently unemployed, or who were once self-employed and are now unemployed or under-employed?

Our experience at iCanWork4u shows that there are many, many people out there who were recently self-employed, who today are unable to find full-time or part-time work through the usual channels, head-hunders, recruitment agencies and back-to-work agencies such as FAS etc. Many more people are signing on for social welfare assistance but are working one or two days in order to boost their income, maintain their skills, or keep their resumes current.

At http://www.icanwork4u.com we sincerely wish you well in your endeavours to get Ireland back to work and we pledge our help, through our icanwork4u website to help in any way we can, helping employers find employees, and vice versa, using our free service. There are many other like-minded individuals and agencies who are willing and able to help, but who for the most part are excluded from government plans and schemes. Could we humbly suggest that you harness the good will of such people, including ourselves at icanwork4u, to assist you in ‘getting Ireland back to work’. The ‘top-down’ initiatives are fine, but there are lots of willing hands and many great ideas out there – all you have to do is ask, Enda! We, ‘the people’ would like to help.

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Getting past that tricky Phone-Interview filter

Most employers and recruiters use a phone interview to filter out unsuitable candidates for positions they are trying to fill. Getting past this Phone-Interview filter is a difficult task and many job-seekers fall at this first hurdle. This short video may help you or someone you know to ace that phone interview and land a face-to-face meeting where they can really sell themselves. Please share this iCanWork4U ‘Help Video’ on getting past that tricky ‘Phone- Interview’ filter’. You never know – It may make a difference. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnYRcZIm00E&feature=youtu.be

 

 

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The Five Stages of Grief – Seeking a Job in a recession

It’s been three weeks now since the company you worked with for two years closed down. Through no fault of your own, you are out of a job and rapidly running out of cash. You have signed on for unemployment assistance but your heart is not in it. You are embarrassed and are avoiding your friends. You listen to the news and you find out that the country is awash with new jobs. There’s the US multi-national in Cork creating a hundred jobs in the pharmaceutical sector over the next two years, and the IT company in Limerick promising to hire fifty new graduates this year. Then there’s the online gaming company in Galway looking for dozens of software writers and support engineers, and the call centre in Waterford, with sixty seats to fill, not to mention the hundred thousand internships in Job Bridge and Jobs Plus.

So how come you are not punching the air with joy? Well, you could be experiencing the Five Stages of Grief that inevitably most job applicants suffer from. Whether it is registering with a head-hunter, joining an online jobs board, sending a CV to a PO Box in the newspaper, or signing on with FAS, the default process is usually along these lines; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.

Denial – You have sent out 150 resumes in the past week’s frenetic anxt to get a job, any job, anywhere, fast. You used the scatter-gun approach. You applied for positions like it was a clay-pigeon shooting competition. Pull. More is better, right? Pull again! The jobs you applied for ranged from CEO in an FMCG company (wtf is that?) to Lead Project Manager in SAP (that one took two hours to complete online). Your post office should be offering frequent stamp-buyer points to you!

Your resume has been done, and re-done so often now, that even you don’t recognise yourself in it anymore. You have paper cuts from folding A4 pages and the ink-stain on your hands just might be permanent, having bought the cheapest ink-refill cartridges you could find, only to see them bleed-out all over your ‘looks like you bought it in Ikea’ home computer station. Eventually you printed the CV’s and cover letters on your neighbor’s home printer, making a mental note to buy him a ream of laser jet paper…would he notice if you just bought the cheaper photocopy stuff in B&Q?

You buy a pack of 500 envelopes (why don’t they sell them by the dozen?) and you set up a little assembly line at home, inserting letters and resumes into envelopes and then licking them closed, until you noticed that the calousses on your thumbs were matched by the allergic lumps on your tongue from stamp-glue. You now prefer the taste of the 65 cents stamps over the 5 cents ones that you bought to make up the postage on the left-over Christmas stamps from 2010, that you found in your car’s sun visor.

Your first batch of Resumes were all posted at your local post office, but you don’t like the looks the staff give you, as you wait around for an hour to make sure the post office van arrives from the sorting office to pick up the mail at 5pm, like it says on the box. In the following days, you take to posting the envelopes in different towns, driving from post-box to post box, figuring one of them has got to be ‘your lucky box’.  Occasionally you wonder if the cover letters matched the carefully hand-written addresses on the outside of the envelopes, then you dismiss that thought as paranoia. As you look at the last letter in your hand, you try to remember what exactly was the job that you applied for at Price Waterhouse? Ah well, nothing ventured, nothing gained eh, and you pop it in the post-box near the hospital car park which you notice is full. Hmm…might be a chance to start a mobile car-valeting business here. You make mental note to research that field, or did you already do that last week?

In the meantime, you have started your online job-seeker onslaught. Your wife and family are informed that you are not to be disturbed, except at mealtimes, while you continue to trawl the net for ‘the perfect job’.

For the first time in your life you are able to accurately calculate the time it takes to load a ‘Monster Jobs’ job page to within a nano-second. After three days without shaving and consuming double-digit coffees you conclude that you have ‘done the net’. Conservatively you have registered with over ninety  head-hunters, twenty-seven online jobs boards, forty-two self-help groups including iCanWork4U at http://www.icanwork4u.com In rapid time, you have sent your now newly-edited resume to over three hundred employers in two days. You are bursting with confidence. The radio were right. There are thousands of jobs out there, and one of them is yours.

Anger – Your routine is set. 7am rise. Get children to school. Buy the paper, scan the headlines, then straight to the jobs section. Home by 8.45am to wait for the postman. You wait every morning, even the mornings you know there is no postal delivery, looking for the anticipated flood of enthusiastic replies. You wonder if there is any chance that there is a postal strike on, that you haven’t heard of? Heck, you don’t even get junk mail. There must be something wrong! You go down to the post office to see if there is a bundle of mail for you that your postman overlooked. No luck, but you do notice the clerk is hovering over his panic button and seems to be edging to the exit door. You catch yourself looking furtively at the CC TV cameras in the post office.

At home, you wait by the PC, which you have moved downstairs to the hall-way, so that you can observe the your post-box, land-line phone, mobile phone and email without moving. You make more coffee. The dog needs walking, the grass needs cutting and the kids have to be picked up from school, but there is always one more resume to send out, one more job posting to look at online, one more head-hunter calling at 3pm to interview you for ‘her files’. You are so busy you forget to pick up the kids. You get a phone call from the school. Your wife is less than understanding.

The frustration is building. The questions are damming up in your head. Why isn’t the phone ringing? Maybe it’s dead? You call it from your land-line. Why is the postman avoiding my house? Jeez, What is wrong with this internet connection? It would be faster walking to the FAS office than trying to log onto their website. Does anyone answer emails anymore. The voice-prompts at the Dole office have changed, you can never get a live person. What is wrong with this country? You are now on a one-man quest for a job, to the denial of all else. Isolation is your middle name! You are totally consumed, focussed on only one goal. Get a Job.

You begin to put on weight. You avoid the pub, settling instead for the lower-priced wine in the ‘offie’. You are cranky. You are depressed. Everyone else around you is concerned, but you don’t even notice. Your frustration is beginning to turn to anger. Your anger has no vent valve. You know something is wrong when your bank-statement comes in the post. You are in overdraft! You know this is not working. You need to re-evaluate your work expectation. You need to relax too, but you cannot while the stress builds, and builds. Something’s gotta give! (that’s the next post).

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Jobs Plus: Time to re-think this failed strategy

The Government’s new Jobs initiative, ‘Jobs Plus’, which was launched by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tainiste Eamon Gilmore and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, with much fanfare and joy last month and whose aim is to take 75,000 long-term unemployed people off the dole by providing them with employer-subsidised work placements, has been an under-whelming failure so far, with just 327 people applying for the scheme.

At icanwork4u we are not really surprised that this much touted PR stunt has not found favour with either the employers or the long-term unemployed. In a blog we posted two weeks ago we made the point that this new initiative paid no attention to the huge numbers of recently unemployed people, especially the young people whose only option seems to be emigration. Nor did the scheme address the droves of unemployed or under-employed self-employed people who are being forced into an ever-growing ‘Black Economy’ just to feed their families.

On our website http://www.icanwork4u.com we get messages and comments every day from people who are looking for work or from employers who are looking for staff.  Many of the messages have a common theme. ‘We want to work…please help us’.

Providing a ‘selective’ subsidy to employers in the hope that they will hire people who have been on the Social Welfare or Unemployment Assistance for a year or two or more is an artificial interference in the jobs market-place and like all artificial measures in an open market, it has failed dismally.

Put yourself in an employers shoes. yes you would like a 2-year subsidy of up to €10,000 to hire an extra employee, but no, you wouldn’t have a clue where to start looking for such a person, someone who is two years on the dole, is local and who wants to work for your company. You are not going to go down to the ‘Social’ and start telling everyone in the Tuesday or Wednesday benefits queue that you are seeking a qualified butcher, an electrician or a lathe-operator, who is ready to start and has been signing on for 24 or more months. Not going to happen. Likewise you certainly will not put that on your Job Advertisement in the paper or on the internet. What would your customers think? What would your employees think?

Put yourself in a potential employees shoes. ‘Hmm…I would like to get a job. I’d like to get off the Dole. Let me re-do my CV. Yes, under experience, let me see, Two years collecting Unemployment. That looks good, bound to put me on the top of the applicant pile!’

Not, Duh!

At http://www.icanwork4u.com we believe in the open market approach. If there are subsidies for employment they should apply to all new employees, not just the long-term unemployed ones. Getting Ireland back to work is not easy but injecting artificial barriers and incentives into the process is a non-runner….and the low response to this Jobs Plus initiative is proof positive that the system is in need of overhaul, not band-aids.

If Joan Burton really wants to take people off the dole, she should invest in marketing the skill sets of the people who are in the unfortunate position of needing help. A subsidy to local jobs boards, like icanwork4u.com so that we can market people’s job-skills and availability, would address the failure of the Dept of Social Welfare to market the unemployed and place them in work. That, and a small universal subsidy for all new hires, say a 0% Employer PRSI contribution, for year one and year two of a persons employment, might go a long way to encouraging employers to take on new staff and reduce the burden on the government purse by reducing the amounts required to finance the Welfare system.

The severe budget that this government is threatening in a few short months will further reduce the consumer spending multiplier and shrink the economy further.

At http://www.icanwork4u.com we believe that there is a better way to encourage business and grow our economy. Does anyone in Government really understand how the market-place works? They should be asking the people, the employers, the entrepreneurs and the employees, not the civil servants for advice. It is not too late to do the right thing!

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“Coalition’s fo…

“The Coalition’s focus on jobs will be “relentless”. The Live Register shouldn’t be seen as a list of people who should be discarded”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will hold a special Cabinet meeting today, July 18,  on job creation. Hopefully there will be some more meat on this story when the Press Conference is held later today. At iCanWork4U we see the devastation and depression caused by unemployment every day. We believe that it is high time to think way outside the box to tackle the rising level of unemployment in Ireland and the EU. In our opinion, simply throwing more money at light-touch or passive and unimaginative initiatives will not break the cycle, create jobs and get the youth of Ireland on the payroll and off the emigration ship or plane.

In a spat in the Dail last week he admonished independent TD Clare Daly for having the temerity to criticise the government’s commitment to solving the unemployment crisis in Ireland. 
“Do you think no one over here [on the Government side] recognises the scale of the challenge for Europe, where 26 million people are unemployed? Have you not heard me say on many occasions that no leader in Europe could be proud of this situation?”

Well Mr. Kenny, here at http://www.icanwork4u.com we are waiting with bated breath to see what your cabinet ‘think-tank’ comes up with. While we commend you for the expansion of the Job Bridge and JobPlus programs, which focuses on getting jobs for people who are over one year on the dole, and we support the idea of tapering off the ‘dole benefits’ like rent allowances etc for people coming back into employment, coming off the long-term Live Register, we cannot help but wonder what, if any assistance is being given to the ordinary unemployed, the folks who are either recently unemployed, or who were once self-employed and are now unemployed or under-employed?

Our experience at iCanWork4u shows that there are very, many people out there who were recently self-employed, who today are unable to find full-time or part-time work through the usual channels, headhunters, recruitment agencies and back-to-work agencies such as FAS etc. Many more people are signing on for social welfare assistance but are working one or two days in order to boost their income, maintain their skills, or keep their resumes current.

At http://www.icanwork4u.com we sincerely wish you well in your endeavours to get Ireland back to work and we pledge our help, through our icanwork4u website to help in any way we can, helping employers find employees, and vice versa, using our free service.

There are many other like-minded individuals and agencies who are willing and able to help, but who for the most part are excluded from your government’s plans and schemes. Could we humbly suggest that you harness the good will of such people, including ourselves at icanwork4u, to assist you in ‘getting Ireland back to work’. Include us, ‘We the People’ in your talks about solving the unemployment problem at this morning’s Cabinet meeting.

 

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Hiring an older employee – a smart decision

When I was in my twenties, I thought that anyone older than 30 was a has-been, ancient! When I was in my thirties, I thought the my colleagues in their forties were ok, but the guys in their fifties were just clogging up the system. Time for them to be out on the golf-course giving us young Turks our chance at promotion. When I was in my forties, I never really thought about older or younger colleagues as being anything other than just that, colleagues, all of us, and them, on one team, some working harder than others, but all valuable assets in our company, all adding to the depth of experience and energy that makes for a good all round resourceful business.

Now that I am in my fifties, I realise that I am that guy! I may be the go-to-guy for advice, but I definitely am the run-from guy when I am seeking help, or God forbid, work!          (In the interests of full disclosure I do work in Galway at iCanWork4U.com and write the blogs for http://www.icanwork4u.com and for http://www.mayors4jobs.com but I don’t really call that work, more like a labour of self-interest..oh, ok a labour of love).

Did I do anything wrong? No, I just got older, or at least faster than I ever thought possible, than I ever imagined …not in my worst nightmare could I have imagined being thrown onto the scrap-heap because of my age, but there you have it. I have arrived! And by all accounts I am not alone.

The much touted Ireland that the IDA loved to market was one where 50% of the population was under 25, well educated, articulate and industrious. But that has all changed. That was twenty years ago. Today, those well-educated guys and girls in their twenties are the new 45-55 year-olds. They are also the early retired, or the newly unemployed. They are the keepers of the corporate knowledge and the mentors because of their experience. They are also the entrepreneurs and the risk-takers, though not always successful. they are your friends and your neighbors, and they should not be ignored just because they are in their third or fourth decade of work.

In many societies, age is honourable and experience is revered.  Not so it would seem in Ireland where the largest and most intransigent percentage of those seeking unemployment assistance is the over 50’s. Why? Well we don’t emigrate much and we were the business owners and labourers of the boom, who lost our businesses and jobs, or were down-sized first in the Celtic Tiger ‘Bust’.

Statistically, the population of Ireland is living longer and healthier. The average age of an Irish Person in Census 2011 was 35.1 years old, as opposed to 33,  just 15 years previously. In ten more years the average age will be 37, or more. The percentage of the population over 50 years old is set to rise from 21% in 2011, to 32% over the next 20 years. The over 50’s now represent the fastest growing sector of Ireland’s population, despite the baby boom of the past 3 years, statistically, there will be more people over 65 years old in ten years time than there will be people under 20 years old.

That statistic is changing one more demographic, the dependency ratio. Right now our dependency ratio is 47% approximately. This means that there are two people working for every one dependent person (Under 18 and over 65 years of age). In the coming ten years that will shrink to reflect the European average of 1.8 working people to support every single dependent person.

So, Employers, why should you hire an older person? Here’s my top ten reasons to hire someone older than yourself to fill your next vacancy.

10. Older employees have more experience, are more responsible, need less training and are less likely to ‘drop the ball’ on a client, a sale, a complaint or a project.

9. Older folks go out less and suffer fewer Monday ‘hangovers’, Tuesday ‘pulled my hamstring at training excuses’, Wednesday ‘have to bring the kids to Lapland trips’ or Thursday ‘got lucky last night’ brags, than the younger set.

8. Older employees don’t do pregnancy.

7. Experienced workers get the job done faster, take fewer breaks and usually take more pride in their work. They also do it for less pay and fewer benefits than younger employees, as many have paid-up mortgages, car-loans, pensions and health insurance.

6. Just because they are older doesn’t mean they are dull. The best office stories and jokes are told by older employees. They also love a laugh, especially one to share back at the active-semi-retired club.

5. Because they own a car already the older employee is more likely to be on time and possibly offer other younger, car-less employees lifts to and from work, thus improving overall productivity.

4. They have done it all, raised kids, bought houses, holidayed in Florida, so your older employee is more satisfied, less restless and much better at budgeting than the younger ones.

3. As an employer, it’s ok to ask an older employee ‘what would you do if you were in my shoes’? They give better experience-based advice and don’t tell their skittery younger colleagues the stoopid question you asked, on their Facebook pages

2. Older employees have less responsibilities and commitments at home and so can work earlier or later, flexi- or part-time, longer or unsocial hours.

And, the ‘Number One’ reason to hire an older person as your next employee

1. Getting an ‘aatta boy’ look from your dad and mum for hiring one of their mates!

But seriously folks, the stats are out. Ireland needs to keep it’s older population at work longer (not to mention that the retirement age is now 67), so that the PRSI contributions continue to come in to the exchequer for longer, given that more and more people, and most of them without private pensions, will continue to depend on the finite public purse for their Social Welfare Pension in the future. Working later into life is healthier, more productive and less likely to lead to depression or dementia.

Taking on an older employee is just the right thing to do and it bucks the urban myth that ageism is rife. The older candidates reading you job advertisement think it’s all about ageism. It’s not, it’s about doing what is best for your business. Don’t filter the Resumes and CV’s for your next job by chucking out the over-50’s. Take a chance next time and open your mind to the myriad advantages and plusses an older worker can bring to your office.

There are plenty of older, and younger potential employees registered onhttp://www.icanwork4u.com – take a look at iCanWork4U.com today and think ‘experience’, think ‘can-do-attitude’, think ‘good-fit-for-my-business’. Hey, you never know, today may be the day you find the right person for that job and it may just be an older person too.

Posted in Career, Depression, Education, Employment, EU, Galway, Head-Hunter, Ireland, Job Search, Job-seeker, Jobs, Mayor, Resumes and CVs, Skills, Social Welfare, Stress, Training, Uncategorized, Unemployed, Unemployment, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Social Media 4 Job-seekers 101

The Real You v’s The Blue You: You don’t have to be squeaky clean, but it certainly helps your chances of landing a job, succeeding at interview, or selling yourself, your company or product if your ‘Online Profile’ looks a bit more like the person Isitting in front of me!

I can’t tell you how often I have been turned off a promising candidate after I’d had a look at their Social Media profile. Being one thing on paper, another in person and yet another online can lead to all sorts of problems at interview time. Don’t be a ‘Jeckyl and Hyde’, be yourself and be true to that person, in reality, in life and online.

At http://www.icanwork4u.com our whole team agrees that being consistent, honest and a little conservative works a whole lot better than the opposite when looking for work or approaching a potential employer about a position they have advertised

This advice is not just for Jobseekers, it applies to Business profiles too. You never know who is looking at your profile online and how it may effect business relationships or sales down the road. 

Icanwork4u and Mayors4Jobs ( http:www.icanwork4u.com and http://www.mayors4jobs.com ) are working together to match prospective employees with potential employers. We have enabled local businesses to find workers, whether full-time or part-time, casual, temporary or seasonal, once-off or contract, more easily and for free!

If you are seeking work in Ireland or indeed anywhere in the world, post your profile, including your skillsets, location and availability today for free at http://www.icanwork4u.com/registerworker

If you are en employer, no mater what your employee need is, from full-time worker to odd-job contractor, post your job here, for free at  http://www.icanwork4u.com/registeremployer or use our express job-list form here http://icanwork.wufoo.com/forms/r7x2x3/ 

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