Paranoia - hairlessness and finding employment

This economy and trying to find a job has me in the dumps! I've had a fair share of interviews, no takers, and although I know I am my worst enemy and that it's all in my head I keep reverting to what I strive to keep at bay normally. POSITIVITY! Of course I can't read minds either but I keep feeling that I'm being rejected for my appearance and not my skills - I'm a jack of all trades, master of none. I've been a welder, tour guide, retail manager, shipper/receiver, inventory control, machine operator, electronics assembler, farm hand............ the list goes on and on and on. Most jobs that allow me to work for them find I'm incredibly useful as they can put me in just about any department (including the office) to help wherever it's needed. So why can't I find a job? I keep thinking it's cause of my bald head BUT this is who I am and I won't be wearing a wig to work so what's the point of wearing it to the interview? I don't want to work for anyone that's going to judge me based on a medical condition however I do need a job and there are so many people out there that seem to be under the impression that sexy people are better employees (which is completely untrue).

I have to keep reminding myself that the amount of people who are unemployed right now are incredibly high and that it's very plausible that someone with an engineering degree could be applying for the same job. Being a single parent makes things difficult as well because I'm restricted to working a day shift or I'll never see my kids and they need a parent considering that their father isn't around for them. It seems that most of the jobs I'm qualified to do are for shifts I can't work or for some strange reason they require a diploma or certificate of some sort. What I don't understand is why anyone would go and get their master's degree for a job that most graduates can only do part time for a minimal salary. The world is a highly specialized place now where a degree is required to pour water for the head honcho and it's driving me crazy. In a world very different but not that long ago you didn't even have to make a resume, you just walked in, spoke to the manager or owner who would interview and maybe even hire you on the spot. Potential employees were trainable and not always expected to walk in knowing everything. There are people older and wiser than me that still have no idea how to use a computer let alone write a resume and print or email it.

Another concerning factor is that many places have allowed young adults to be supervisors, managers and HR representatives. Psychological studies show that today only 31% of men and 46% of women reach adulthood by age 30! "Adulthood" meaning maturity levels and ability to care for one's self and take responsibility for their actions, etc. (all the stuff adults are known to do and take care of - the list is extensive and at time stressful). How scary is that???? It's no wonder I don't get promoted, I'm not kissing some child's butt and trying to gain favoritism, I'm busy doing my job and doing it darn well if I may add. At the last place I worked at I was passed up for a promotion for a higher paying sales position because my early 20-something year old manager decided it best to hire her friend for the job (did I miss something, hiring from within first went out the window?). I was more than qualified for the position but of course excuses were found, all different depending on who you asked too. Yeah, I'm still bitter about that one but it's not something I carry around with me, I'm just venting. Honestly, I feel so much older than I am and starting to sound like my dad when he'd curse those young foolish people. I'm frustrated and feeling a little down due to this lack of working and feeling useful and earning a pay check. I'm going to try and keep my chin up though, it can't rain all the time!!! If you've made it this far, thanks for listening. :)

Views: 175

Comment by Carol on September 28, 2010 at 12:24pm
One of my biggest problems is that I'm not overly competitive, I'm far too laid back and modest to blow my own horn and step on people along the way. I'm also terribly honest which tends to scare some people. I've been called a 'know-it-all" before, apparently people aren't allowed to be knowledgeable in various things (meanwhile I thought I was selling myself)? I'm well aware that recent graduates are settling for jobs that don't even require degrees, that's the economy for you. I know a police officer who just graduated and ended up working at foot locker because he's not experienced. You just can't win sometimes. I'm going to start using my old resume which worked better for getting called in for interviews and hope that's a step in the right direction. ;)
Comment by Tallgirl on September 28, 2010 at 7:04pm
Support those kids, even if you have to take two part-time jobs for awhile. Then get the dream job when kids are out, your schedule is freer, and the economy is better. You may have to compromise your values a bit, but the kids and food come first. Good luck! (Can you put the kids to work, ha ha?)
Comment by Rose Marie' on September 29, 2010 at 5:53pm
Hi Carol

It is very difficult to find a job out there at the moment and my heart goes out to you. I'm sure this is terribly stressful for you and your family.

I've always felt that alopecia (no matter which way you deal with it) impacts on people's lifes. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be challenging. Your skills should so override how you want to present yourself (let me reassure you that I totally support your choice), but I also understand that in interview situations people are faced with the need to make fairly quick judgements (wrong or right). I'm in a position where I sometimes have to interview people and because of my understanding around alopecia and other conditions I do my best to learn about the person before making a judgement. Many things can influence you during the interview process and decisions often depend on a myriad of different criteria. If you were going to a job that required you present yourself with make-up (Make-up counter job), you wouldn't arrive at the interview without make-up and not groomed. If you are in the public eye there may be a requirement that you present yourself in the uniform provided, with that type of criteria you wouldn't refuse to wear the uniform - you just wouldn't go to the job if it wasn't something you felt appropriate. I feel you really need to find out what the criteria for presenting yourself is at any given job - as presentation is a very visual thing and I'm afraid the interviewers/company makes the choices they want. If you want the job you either fit their criteria or go else where.

My understanding of you (and I may be wrong) is that you prefer to be present yourself without hair as this makes you feel more like you. if this is the case then I would put a photo on your CV and also a paragraph explaining your alopecia (as sadly not all understand what it is). That way when you are called into an interview they will be fully expecting you as you want to present yourself and will be very interested with what you have to offer rather than how you choose to look. You would have already given them the thumbs up with regards to alopecia and you can really get down to what is important during the interview process.

I wish you all the best in the future and hope the job of your dreams comes along soon.

Rosy
Comment by Carol on September 29, 2010 at 6:42pm
Thanks Rosy! I'm mostly looking for work in a factory or warehouse at the moment (my last job turned me off of customer service) so my appearance at work is not a priority - they just want you to be dressed in whatever and wearing steel toed shoes. As for sending them a photo, I just remade my resume and my picture is a faded watermark in the background of the resume (I'm thinking outside the box and I'm worth the extra ink) :P
Comment by Susan P aka DGADBS on September 30, 2010 at 7:29am
Good thinking Carol and that's some great advice Rosy!
Comment by Carol on September 30, 2010 at 9:53am
That's exactly how it is for me too Babylon! You're working with people though so I can understand them being a little concerned about your appearance but it doesn't seem to matter because even trying to secure a factory job, someone's got an issue with bald people. It makes me want to ask, if a bald man came to the interview with the exact skills and experience I possess, would you hire him? Would certainly make them think. The biggest problem too is how do you even begin to cry discrimination when they don't actually say anything offensive? After all these years it's just something you get to know, alopecia has made me very good at assessing people (not judging - there's a difference). This kind of makes me want to expose these HR lookism issues with a candid camera - one interview bald and another with hair at the same company (of course I'd have to change my name for the 2nd interview along with a few resume details). Would be interesting to see though, now I just wish Canadian TV was better so I could interest someone in helping me with this! New goal hmmmm????

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