To Apply or Not to Apply – in Year of the Monkey!

How Companies Unwittingly Expose Their Prejudices

Stagnation, Money Drive Job-Hopping in Era of Millennials

Now that the Lunar New Year of the Monkey has been ushered in, with recessionary trends threatening to take the global economy on a tailspin, is it a good time for job-hoppers to indulge in their favourite pastime?

The primate may hop from tree to tree either in search of fruit or for fun, but businesses will not take kindly to whimsical staff monkeying around or prone to vacillation.

Monkey silhouette clipart

These are Gen-Y times and so this may be dismissed as fossilised thinking, possibly with reason. But, if you are perennially seeking your next big break, you risk being cast aside as someone fickle and lacking a sense of credible professional direction.

Nonetheless not being alert to market dynamics will not be in your interest, particularly when you see your career stagnating. You are where you are for mutual gains – you will have to fulfil your obligations to the company and vice versa.

Silence can be Edifying: Whether or not you are ready for a career change, shooting out expressions of interest can help you glean information about the companies you apply to – often from their silence!

For the sake of this piece, let us assume you have all the skills required for the role you respond to.

pay-peanuts-get-monkeysWhen your job applications fail to get a response, it can signal many things.

  1. They may not be seriously scouting for a candidate and advertising a position is merely to build a database of profiles that they can dip into when a need arises.

So silence will betray their lack of sincerity. In effect, they are wasting your time.

  1. You are perhaps overqualified for the role and they have budgetary constraints that can explain why you were not called.
  2. It is possible they are looking for people from a certain race or sex without wanting to make it explicit.

prejudiceEqual-opportunity employers: Perhaps, even as they pitch themselves as equal-opportunity employers, in reality they are the opposite – a cradle where all discriminatory practices reside. This can include age bias!

The biggest offenders may be among companies looking to fill entry-level positions. With all applicants being equal on paper it is easy for them to exercise their prejudices.

In the electronic era we are in, it hardly costs you anything to send out your resumes for every opportunity you stumble onto. By the same logic, it costs nothing for businesses to post openings online – unlike in the past when they will have to pay for publishing opportunities in the print medium!

Monkey stampNow they advertise for free and you can submit your applications, too, for free with little effort.

Unwittingly, though, companies expose their prejudices by ignoring resumes that fit their bill.

Candidates who are ignored may gain nothing from it but at least they can get a view of companies they can safely remove from their radar!

Personally, until about a year ago, I had the habit of sending out applications without being serious about them. The idea was to test the market.

But when I was looking for change and when I did land the Genesys job in June last year I did have reason to believe that here was a company that did not practise race, age or sex discrimination!

It is a perception based on what I see within the organisation. Skills and experience are all that counts. Well, if you think I am saying so with a selfish intent so be it.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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