By Rich Figel
Although I was being somewhat facetious in my Jobs of Tomorrow post in which I suggested tattoo removal as a future franchise concept, today's Fark.com thread on awesomely bad tatts shows why it might not be such a silly idea. You'll find that link at the bottom.
At yesterday's WorkForce job fair, I saw plenty of unemployed people with tattoos on arms, legs, faces, and backs. Many looked like they were going to a cook-out at Ala Moana Park, or on their way to a pick-up game of hoops. Some guys wore ties and long-sleeved white shirts, which kind of confused me -- were they Mormons on a mission, or just over-dressed?
It makes sense to wear a sharp suit if you're applying for a sales job in the men's department at Macy's or Nordstrom -- two new participants I hadn't seen at prior job fairs. Otherwise, I'd say leave the tie and suit at home. Business-type aloha shirts and pressed slacks is the norm, so go with the flow, fellas.
What bugged me the most was overhearing how locals were talking to each other. Lots of casual profanity with every other word being "f---ing" this or that. Young guys were the worst offenders in that category. I seriously wonder if they would be capable of conducting a normal conversation if the "f" word was removed from their vocabulary.
It's also apparent that many of these unemployed people don't read newspapers or watch local TV news. If they did, they wouldn't be showing up unprepared and dressed for failure. Which brings up one of my big pet peeves: people (not you since you're reading my blog) who SHOULD be looking for every bit of free advice they can get are not taking advantage of what is available to anyone who wants it. Plain and simple, they aren't doing their homework.
The cost of a newspaper subscription is cheap compared to all the useful info you can find related to job searches and career advice. In the Sunday Advertiser classifieds, Beth Busch -- the WorkForce executive director -- has written some really useful columns for job seekers. I feel our CareerChangers.tv website also offers plenty of valuable tips and links to resources. Yet we aren't getting as many visitors as you would expect with so many local people out of work. What the heck are these unemployed folks doing with their free time?
On a positive note, there were more employers looking to hire -- Beth said they had 135 participants, which is about a 20 percent increase over last year's job fairs. There were also about 10 percent fewer job hunters attending, so it appears more people are finding work.
The problem though is most of the jobs are of the low-paying variety. I mean, it's great to see hotels and the hospitality industry were seeking workers, and entry level is better than no jobs at all. But for older, more experienced professionals, it's still tough going. They'll have to either upgrade their skills or get advanced degrees if they want to continue working in certain career fields.
We did manage to find some job seekers who were brave enough to go on camera and pitch themselves. Other people we approached didn't have a clue on how to sell themselves to a prospective employer. If you can't say out loud why someone should hire you, why should anyone hire you? Next job fair we plan on bringing in a professional business consultant to coach candidates in that area.
Here's the link to a Fark.com thread on bad tattoos. Warning: some of the photos are mildly NSFW or kind of gross... such as the belly button-centered tatts. Ewww! (My original post on Tattoo Removal Parlors idea.)
And if you know anyone who is looking for work, please tell them to check out our show on OC16! They can get details and times at our CCTV website. Mahalo.