Are You a Member of Today’s Lost Generation?

Are You a Member of Today’s Lost Generation?

In 1926, Ernest Hemmingway described his contemporaries, disillusioned with life after World War I, as the Lost Generation. Today, the United States has yet another Lost Generation. Unlike its predecessor, however, this population isn’t (yet) driven by angst, but by desperation. They need a job and are lost about how to find the right one for them.

There are numerous places where job openings are advertised, of course, including newspapers, career fairs, state employment assistance centers and job boards. While all of those can be helpful, our research here at WEDDLE’s indicates that the largest single source of employment opportunities today—the biggest bulls-eye, if you will, for those seeking a new or better job—is the Internet.

By at least one count, there are over two million open jobs now posted online. But with over 50,000 job boards in operation, it’s easy to get lost and to stay that way on the Web. To put it another way, you can run down an awful lot of blind alleys on what we used to call the information superhighway.

What should you do if you’re looking for a job on the Web? What you would do if you were lost in the real world. You might:

  • Ask for directions. Coworkers and friends may know exactly where you should be going, and can point you in the right direction. Their advice, however, can also be misleading. Unless they work in the same career field and have the same employment goals as you, they can send you off to job boards that work better for them than for you.
  • Use an automated guide. In your car, that’s called a GPS; on the Web, it’s called a search engine. Unfortunately, however, these systems are far from fool proof. A GPS will send you down a road that no longer exists or that was never finished, and a search engine will locate job boards by the thousands but cannot indicate which are best for you.
  • Tap the experts. You use a Zagat guide to find the best restaurants for your tastes, so why not do the same for job boards? The American Staffing Association has called WEDDLE’s Guide to Employment Web Sites the Zagat of job boards. Its2009/10 Guide, the 9th edition, will be available shortly, but you can order it now and get your copy as soon as it comes off press. (Click here to reach our catalog.)
  • I know that sounds shamelessly self-serving—and I apologize for that—but I’d rather be guilty of being proud of our book than see so many people lost on the Web.

    Thanks for reading,
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    1 Comment

    1. This post is all too true. There are people who have been in the industry for a while and because of the recession may find themselves out of a job. If they haven’t evolved to web 2.0, then it seems that Darwinism can take effect. I agree with you that job boards can be pretty confusing. It seems they aren’t really tailored to specific job qualities. Where do you think social networks play a role in all of this? Thanks again for the post