Obviously, I am employable, but not by anybody who wants to pay for an employee.
This is the general consensus among those who will actually hire me. For a career salesman, like myself, thousands of jobs exist. Having spent much of my career seeking out finer opportunities I know this to be true. There is no lack of work for sales people. Every business needs representation to bring their products to their clientele. There is, however, a surplus of people searching for work. This creates a new dynamic that has developed over the last decade and strengthened steadily since 2007.
Leaping technology has plopped a computer, fax, scanner and camera into the hands every savvy and even not-so-savvy job seeker. Everyone becomes a potential employee with a mobile or home office. Responsibility for business overhead shifted from the business itself to the employee. This revolutionary business model had been building steadily and a new flag was hoisted onto the roof almost instantaneously once the iPhone appeared. One day you had to go to work and the next it was coming to you.
This is the natural result of corporations large and small taking advantage of the self service factor. Technology has triggered the consumer to catalog their information and wipe out their own administration and customer service. From gas pumps to grocery stores to home computers you may now purchase anything and ensure proper delivery because nobody is going to put in the wrong information. You want your stuff. Sure, there is fraud and many people have lost a great deal to crooks, but the ease of placing all your banking online and pushing a button to get whatever you want, even cash back, FDIC insured, makes it worth the risk. As a result, administrative jobs disintegrate because the consumer is now tasked with doing all the work once faithful employees entered into the system. The database that was once formulated by people from every corner of the world and took days or weeks to compile is updated instantly and logged into a central server that only needs two IT guys to manage.
Purchasing via computer shifts money from your bank immediately and whatever you are buying ships within minutes. Great for the consumer? Maybe. Does that consumer have a job? Is it a real job where they have to go someplace and do something and interact with the world and they get paid for the time they do it? OR – Is it a fake job? A fake job develops through the loss of other jobs and works as a bonus system for the employer. You need them more than they need you so they will hire just about anyone. These are the sales jobs of 2012.
Sales organizations are now able to demand representatives come ready to work with their own laptops, GPS, cell phones and vehicles. You will get paid IF and WHEN you sell something. Base salaries are almost non-existent. I see ads for jobs with base salaries. I apply for them. I have interviewed for them. I haven’t had one since 2009. The jobs that I am offered and sometimes accept are strictly commission. They talk a great game. “You’ll go far here. We need rainmakers. If you know how to network there is unlimited potential.”
When you come to work with all the tools and gas in your tank and only get paid IF and WHEN you sell something, your alleged Employer has nothing to lose. You sign off on a W-9 and the contract can be broken at any time. You don’t even really have to work. It’s not a real job. You can put in the time and dedicate yourself to being all you can be and they might even hand you a stack of business cards and a sales binder, but you are still basically unemployed. Without an office to report to and a desk to put your stuff at you are relegated to working from home, phone and car. There is no camaraderie, even if other reps exist nearby. There is no health plan or 401K. As an independent contractor you don’t even have the luxury of workers compensation should you get hurt. This is why you keep meeting realtors who are selling some other really cool product that you might need and if you know anybody looking for work – they’re hiring.
This is false. Nobody is hiring anybody – BUT – they are looking for slaves.
The rise in unemployment is primarily due to the acceptance of such business practices. The American vision of jobs going overseas may only be reflected through manufacturing. Goods may be imported and a few call centers outsourced, but the larger portion of who we cite as unemployed are able to, and many are, working from home, doing what ever they know how to do. While statistically unemployed 1099 forms are piling up at the IRS.
It is true that people are making less money now because they have to pay for all of the overhead an employer once assumed. Businesses are run from post office boxes. Some of them are corporations with as few as three employees, all of whom are in the same household. One may even be a dog. Nobody checks. Small businesses like this can outsource everything with a website, a couple photocopies and business cards for their contracted slaves. Small privately held corporations like these thrive with holdings of real estate and vehicles which the company CEO, President and Vice President live inside and drive around town. All receipts are retained to account for every expense while each company officer is paid a paltry sum to report on their 1040. They can lay themselves off at any time and collect unemployment, too. This is legal.
It’s not fraud. It’s the American way.
Even though employed at the cemetery and unquestioningly handed health benefits, without a paycheck, I needed money to support myself so I sought work elsewhere. My job search also fulfilled the requirement to maintain my unemployment funds. Although I had been sending out resumes from the time I started working at the cemetery almost a year prior, I had few interviews and any that I had been offered held the same prospect: straight commission, maybe an evaporating draw, no benefits, 1099. So I had not moved away from the cemetery and held out until my paycheck turned to zero. But I did not quit.
I found another detail. It was a slavery position like all the rest, commission, no draw, no office supplies, my phone, my gas, but it was something I knew how to do. Sell advertising.
And IF and WHEN I sold something I would get paid. Yay!