The Reason You’re Still Doing Interviews…


My diet has been shifting lately. I desire new things and some of those things mean I have to give up certain foods or find substitutes for them instead. This month, it’s been butter. I don’t want to consume so much butter; but since substituting cooking oil for butter, my consumption of butter has gone up higher than I would’ve liked. So, I’ve switched to I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! in an attempt to try something new. Something better. Something that does just the trick so I’m not working hard to make it fit. In the same way, there are people who are seeking a substitute environment for work. They’re searching for something better and a company culture that will do just the trick for them. Well unfortunately, while the butter substitute may have worked out in my favor, there are many job-seekers and employees who can’t say the same about their professional environments; or with their attempt in finding one.

It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality

In scoping LinkedInIndeedZip-recruiter, and several endless rabbit holes of career.coms, going from interview to interview, it’s clear that the working world creates common unhealthy environments that the current and next generation is, simply, not standing for.

Every day, I receive a message from a friend in corporate or see a post from a stranger online who is either “quiet-quitting” or has the desire to leave their position, with reason. No matter how long they’ve been there or how much they’re getting paid, jobs are just not as appealing as they used to be. Millennials, early Gen-Z, and even Gen-X are seeking out career opportunities in entrepreneurship and exploring income options outside of companies and corporations.

Now, I’m not only speaking out for others; I’m also speaking out for myself. Am I the only one who can’t seem to land a position that meets basic prerequisites for a safe and productive work environment? One that isn’t expecting me to fulfill the requirements of two or more positions upon hiring — regardless of stating otherwise amidst the interview process? Or one that isn’t lacking in diversity and inclusion — despite the “trend” that’s risen for all companies to hire more immigrants, women, people of color, those with disabilities, or extremely educated and experienced individuals who may not have a standing college degree?

Personally, I’ve been through my share of habitual embellishment from companies upon interviewing all the way through to hiring and fulfilling work duties. So, I thought it best to spread the breaking news. The working world is just not better.

Businesses would do well to grasp the firm and infrequently acknowledged reality that employees, new-hires, and job seekers world-wide are needed in their applicable positions, just as much as they need the business and its provisions. This standard and vulnerable fact seems to be lacking throughout interview and hiring processes, in active roles where employees may leave or are let go due to insufficient support or unprofessional and lack of communication, and the inability for companies and businesses to pay workers what they deserve for the work they fulfill, either expressed in job qualifications and duties, or otherwise.

A half truth, is a WHOLE lie

People need to know what they are stepping into. Falsifying expectations and standards prior to contracting employees is highly discouraged. Placing employees in compromising positions where they are forced to lie on the behalf of the company, hiring managers, and/or colleagues immediately moves a work environment from safe to extremely insecure. Unfortunately, issues like this don’t just stop when you land that “dream job” you’ve been waiting for. I can say from experience, the more “dreamy” the job appears and the more wealthy and educated the target audience or company representatives are, the higher your chances of ending up in a place where your integrity is undermined. We all know we can’t stop those who already master the art of underhandedness, but employers can set the tone by, first and foremost, providing a morally correct standard in the work environment. This is not only beneficial for employees, but for employers as well.

Let’s stretch things out

In addition to honesty, workers need flexibility. Employers should seek to always provide as much support for their employees as possible. Which means workers desire flexibility in:

  • Time
  • Salary
  • Concern

Employees aren’t attempting to make companies pinch their pennies. They’re demanding more pay because the economic state calls for it. Since the pandemic, we’ve seen an influx of workers who have had to seek out other means of financial sustainability because minimum wage and basic salary pay does not currently help to fulfill the basic needs of life. Rent has gone up, the housing market has crashed, consumer goods have risen in pricing, and healthcare expenditures have tripled since 2021. An employee in 2023 making $50,000/year starting salary won’t be able to sustain their livelihoods the same way an employee in 2013 making $50,000 would have. In fact, Steven Kotler states in his book The Art of ImpossibleExternal drivers are fantastic, but only until we feel safe and secure — meaning that we have enough money to pay for food, clothing, and shelter and have a little left over for fun. In US dollars and today’s economy, the research shows that this is somewhere around $75,000 a year.” This indicates that Americans need to make a minimum of around $75,000/year in order to meet basic needs and still live comfortably.

More money? No problem.

This is an unpopular opinion of mine: Moonlighting should not be a restriction for workers whose salaries are not conducive to the upkeep of their basic needs. Moonlighting is the act of working at secondary job, especially when your current employer is not informed. Prohibiting moonlighting in some companies prevents workers from being able to earn an extra source of income, if needed. Quite unfair to say the least, being that a substantial raise or promotion isn’t always in the cards for everyone. Times call for an economic change and employers should start to consider hopping on the bandwagon.

Not only do employees deserve the opportunity to earn more pay, flexibility in schedules should be a necessary goal across all businesses as well. While PTO and Sick Days, even mental health days, should be a given at most jobs, the opportunity for remote work should be more commonly available as well. We no longer live in a world where working in-office should be a requirement if your position doesn’t call for you to be physically present. For example, cold-call Sales Agents should be able to work from home. Digital Marketing Specialists and Coordinators should be able to work from home. Even Therapists have proven to run successful sessions and businesses from home. COVID-19, while tragic, created a pathway for workers to obtain a healthy lifestyle while still fulfilling their respective duties from where they are at the time. Remote work is REVOLUTIONARY, if you ask me. Several positions we may have walked, driven, or even flown to, proved that they could and were in fact capable of being conducted from the comfort of our own homes. Remote work has brought families together, has helped several workers across the globe acquire a healthy work-life balance, and ushered a way for employees, who thrive in an out-of-office environment, to feel less stressed and pressured about traveling to work daily without sufficient rest and recuperation or having to be in a social environment regularly.

People need to feel safe

This brings me to my next and last point; concern. We live in an age where people are growing more and more aware of their value every day. Workers know what they deserve to get paid based on their experiences. They are cognizant of jobs available that will help them succeed and support their growth as well. This means, they can also discern, rather quickly, if they are not being valued or heard by their employers or colleagues. It is important to build a rapport with your employees and new-hires that helps them feel supported and secure under your employment. Have conversations with your employees and get to know who they are as people and not just their positions — and see what doors that will open if willing to seek solutions and break down fear and intimidation barriers that may have been set in place through poor workplace culture habits or past employment struggles. In doing this, you’ll be facilitating opportunities to be able to see different perspectives and show concern for what may require critical attention and compassion in both an employees’ personal life and work life. Genuine concern for your employees and the development of their lives will allow you to bring humanity into a workplace, thus improving your workroom environment to be more understanding and productive through consistent support and security.

Now, I am no business expert and I am no employment manager. But, I have been a job-seeker, I have been a new hire, I have been a neglected employee, and I am currently a growing individual and entrepreneur that wants to see both companies and their employees thrive. Let’s build a better hiring and company culture to help retain more employed individuals across all industries seeking valuable team members. I hope these tips help to do just that.

“There’s no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.” — Richard Branson

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