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Recruiters Should Also Be Cheerleaders, Not Discouragers

Hi! I just wanted to run by you the most insulting recruiter I spoke with this morning. She called to discuss a paralegal position. When she asked about why it was that I have a lapse in employment since 2015, I simply explained that it was due to personal reasons and taking care of my ailing mother. This individual told me directly that I needed to stop applying for paralegal positions because I was not going to be hired with a 5 year lapse of employment. She went on to say that I would be better off to apply as a receptionist. I told her that I know what I bring to the table. I have over 20 years of managerial experience, I have a Bachelors Degrees with honors and I hold a concentration in Human Resource Management. I’m well aware of the lapse in employment, however, that by no means takes away from my education nor ability to rejoin the workforce nor means I should have to enter as a receptionist to get my foot back in the door somewhere as such!

How dare she. Yes, I am so upset. I handled ALL of my mother’s medical and legal affairs as well as my own. I have worked with attorneys during the 5 years I have been technically out of the workforce, on various legal matters, whereas I do the leg work to help save money for others to include filings at the courthouse. Things of that nature cannot be sporadically placed on a resume! I also successfully run and write my own blog!Honestly I felt belittled and discouraged. It’s hard enough to stay positive in a world that classifies those with “disabilities”, as people that are unworthy of a decent and normal life, but to now have a so called “professional”, take 30 years of hard work, education, and skills and tell you that means nothing, is absolutely embarrassing and down right unforgiving.

I pray that she is placed in another position because obviously her “truth telling” skills need polishing.

I’m sorry, I really needed to get this out. Thank you for listening.

It is so very discouraging every time I apply for a position. I receive that call back and the interview is going well, then there is “the question”! “So you have not been working for 5 years, is this accurate?”

YES! YES! YES!

“What happened?”

I’ve tried being truthful to shortly say, “health issues, personal issues, taking care of my sick mother who passed”. What else was I supposed to say? Apparently employers do not want the truth. So many times I want to say, “I’ve been fighting for my life, fighting to find out why I couldn’t get out of bed for 3 years, fighting to stop throwing up from chemotherapy, fighting through infusions, fighting through pain without medication to help, fighting disability for 33 months because apparently they saw absolutely nothing physically or mentally wrong with me, fighting the biggest battle of my life.”

Now that I’ve fought that war, recruiters want to tell me, my five year fight isn’t worthy enough to deploy me back into the battle fields of the workforce? Bologna!!!

I have more experience in my pinky than any kid coming out of college these days, I spent 25 years working 45-60 plus hours a week learning processes and procedures from the ground up, re-writing structures, collecting, managing, hiring, recruiting, coaching, learning the ropes of every position, learning laws, and so much more.

I’m not even applying for leadership positions, I’m applying for entry level positions. As the saying goes “don’t tread on me”, well my saying right now is “don’t mess with me.”

I’m too the point whereas I’m going to begin reporting every discriminatory remark, person, company I come across, I’m tired!! This government and United States we live in wants those with disabilities to work but yet they do not properly teach companies how to properly employ nor talk to nor help individuals who just want a chance to get back into the workforce.

Do I know if I can even work again full time? NO, I DO NOT! I am asking for a chance though. That is something I deserve. I do know know given the opportunity, I can work from home, work part time, work evenings, work weekends, a lot easier as a start to a new beginning rather than no start at all!!!

To ALL the recruiters out there, take this advice, look beyond the actual resume, look at the person. Listen to the person’s experience. Ask the correct questions. Simply “why have you not worked in quite some time”, is not legitimate enough to make the best business decision!

11 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I thought one of your most thought-provoking points was about the lag between laws and the training needed to apply them. There are many legitimate reasons to take time away from work. As you pointed out, we continue to develop our skills whether we are being paid to or not.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. I have done many things during the last 5 years, it’s hard to put it on paper, especially when the majority of those years were doctors appointment, medical research, etc… it’s hard.

      1. I can only imagine how you felt talking to the recruiter. I hope you didn’t internalize that nonsense! When I read you work, I only see strength and insight!

      2. Thank you! I have to say, I did really get so hurt and angry. I’m having such a hard time getting back out there. I really want to obtain employment in the legal field, compliance, health advocation or writing. The jobs that are reaching out to me are very different from that. They are collections, etc. I have so much experience and a great resume and degree. My information is on LinkedIn as well. I have great references. I’m not going to just settle though. I enjoy writing. I enjoy bringing awareness to health issues. I can’t simply accept a position that brings stress into my life and induces my flares.
        But, yes, it did deeply discourage me for a bit!

      3. You may have already considered this… Schools are constantly scrambling to catch up to new regulations and compliance standards. Also, students with health issues, especially the invisible varieties, desperately need advocation and representation.

      4. I would love to get a job in a school too. The first thing I ever wanted to be was a teacher. Great suggestions! I will begin looking into this and also the blogging portion. Funny stories, my oldest son and oldest grandson are both highly intelligent. My oldest would get in trouble for disrupting the class because he would complete his work before others, then attempt to help classmates. He needed to be challenged and placed into an honors program. Once he was in the honors programs, he exceeded. Now we are facing this with my grandson. The first 3 years of my grandsons schooling, his teachers tried to say he was ADHD. He isn’t, he was bored. He would tell them also. He is also a math wiz!

  2. Amen sister.. so very well spoken. Your not alone on your feelings. I also had a 4 year gap in my employment due to having to take care of my elderly father. Finding employment within my degree field became difficult. I now no longer work due to my own disabilities. Your words hit home. Thank you so much for sharing… Blessings.

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