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WWL: Looking for Work
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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 Jobless in Connecticut?  Now What?


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49:00 minutes (23.52 MB)
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The recession came late to Connecticut—but a recent report out from the Connecticut Department of Labor leaves no question. It's here. 

Connecticut lost more than 25,000 jobs in the last quarter of 2008. So far, 2009 brings more losses with cuts across all kinds of industry including high-tech pharmaceutical jobs at Pfizer and service jobs at Connecticut’s tribal casinos. One out of every 14 people in Connecticut is now jobless. So what happens next?  Today Where We Live, we’ll get a grasp on the job market - and we'll talk with experts in the job-search field. How can experienced professionals market themselves in a new economy?  Also, what’s on the minds of young people looking to enter the workforce for the first time?

Join the conversation!  Add your suggestions, questions and comments below. 





*Today's show originally aired on February 4, 2009.  Listen below for John Dankosky's interview with Capitol reporter Anna Sale on the state budget crisis. 

Anna Sale on the State Budget Crisis 3/25/2009

6:17 minutes (3.02 MB)
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 One thing I have not heard

 One thing I have not heard about, and I haven't listened to this entire show yet (downloaded it to listen later) is employer etiquette.  My fiancee moved with me to CT from TN (I'm a student now and originally from New England) and left a very good job in the process.  She has not been able to find anything nearly as good in CT.  In the process, employers have not done what I believe is only proper. They haven't sent responses when they said they would.  At one job she made it through a few rounds of the process over the course of about a month to the point where it was between her and another candidate.  The employer did not have the decency to call her to tell her she did not get the job.  At another job, she was supposed to hear back by the end of the week.  She didn't hear back.  She didn't hear Monday or Tuesday of the next week.  She finally called, only to be put through to the person's voicemail.  She left multiple voicemail messages since the woman was apparently not available to take her call regardless of the time of day, and the woman never responded.  These are the worst, and there are a lot more that are not quite as bad, but still frustrating. 

I do not understand why an employer expects these employees to be begging for jobs, but nearly across the board they display a lack of etiquette on their part.  It goes along with complaints from other people I've heard on air about how impersonal the process has become now that so many employers want your resume submitted online and it is nearly impossible to meet with someone face to face.

Employer Etiquette


We are in a vastly changed world re: corporate job search etiquette versus, say, 20 or so years ago.  Before I got into the resume/outplacement business I worked in the Human Resources Department of Connecticut National Bank.  We would post a mid-level position for two weeks in the Hartford Courant, get in about 30-40 resumes - pick out the top dozen and interview them.  We had the resources to send letters to all the people we didn't schedule for interviews.  Today that is unheard of.  The same posting - in the Courant and on the internet, will pull in perhaps 200+ resumes - many of them totally unqualified for the position.  So, that is a factor.

RE: why employers don't get back to people during the selection process.  A lot of it is due to the fact that until the decision is made and the offer is accepted they don't want to contact anyone - because they made need to make an offer to another person.  When the offer is finalized then, unfortunately, the urgency of the moment is such that they don't contact the "losing" candidates.  21st century organizations like to run "lean" - and many of these fundamentals have simply gone by the boards.  Similar to the frustration of calling a company wanting to talk with someone - and you have to go through six levels of "automated voice response" before you get to talk with a live person.  These things are unpleasant, and unfortunate, realities of the current business climate, and I don't see it changing.

RE: employers not wanting to be contacted.   Many of my clients end up with great responses when they do direct marketing - unsolicited - to target companies.  By mailings, working through social networking referrals (such as Linked In), and by calling.  I would not let some negative responses deter me from making those contacts. 


John Brubaker





today's program

I came back to CT after my PhD in molecular biology, having accepted a "postdoctoral fellowship at Yale in 2006. Like many of my colleagues, classified as temporary workers, we work in labs across the country, supported by various grants, including those issued by the National Institutes of Health. Thus, the money has already been invested in me, and many of my colleagues. Yet, with the current job market in our field, many people leave science (some voluntarily, some because of a lack of funding, or looming uncertainty with grants). While we can retrain people to find new opportunities, we really need to ask ourselves what types of people are going to fit our economy and how can we be more open-minded toward those who may have transferrable skills. 


Please see the following blog, which is posted by an anonymous postdoctoral fellow:



Listener Comment from Douglas

When I listen to people describe how they have lost their jobs, when I hear how 20+ year dedicated employees are terminated with small severance packages, I wonder what I should tell my kids about employer loyalty?  Does anyone owe anything to their employer anymore? Is job security a thing of the past? Should we all be worried as we approach our 50's that we will be replaced?

Employee Loyalty

A great question.  The answer, as far as I am concerned is that there is an ethic in the workplace that has replaced the ethic of the company from the "Gold Watch" time of American employment (stay at one company until you retire).  it is that famous line from the Godfather - "nothing personal, just business". 

I believe there is a balance here - give your employer your loyalty and your best effort - but also be aware that due to changes beyond anyone's control (new products, new technologies, economic conditions, acquisitions) there is less future certainty in today's employment than ever.  And for the up and coming generation - the day of the "20+ year employee" is almost extinct.  Young people will have careers with "chunks" of time - 3-6 years is a good one.  That is where we are, in my view.


John K. Brubaker