Being a single mother of four who barely survived under-employment, I worked through poverty. Even so, I lost my home to foreclosure and almost every ounce of dignity and self-respect in the process. Here's the thing, I came out the other side with a greater understanding of hardship, a deeper desire to fight for the jobseeker, a surge of tenacity which never fails me, and endless stories - my own and those of others who have shared their personal brushes with poverty and loss of pride.
High unemployment continues to plague the US and the rest of the world. Many jobseekers have grown weary of their lengthy searches for work and have settled for part-time work or under-employment in order to receive a paycheck - any paycheck - and strive to simply "get by". Unemployment figures released by the government reflect positivity, but is the situation really improving? Are people getting back to work? How do we truly measure unemployment?
Realistically, we cannot. The latest jobs report released July 3, 2014 by the Bureau of Labor & Statistics declares the unemployment rate to be 6.2% and while that seems low, it translates to 9.2 million Americans of working age which the government recognizes as unemployed.
9.2 Million unemployed is too many. The monetary strain on our government is only eclipsed by the personal strain on each unemployed person and their families. What can we do when it seems impossible to ease such a burgeoning situation?
I learned this past week of a campaign for change -- a campaign for awareness. This campaign is called Million4Christmas. Apploi, a nifty job search company which connects job seekers with employers through an innovative mobile app, has decided to dive in deep, to strive to make a difference, and help get America back to work. Their campaign mission? To help a MILLION people find jobs before Christmas.
Apploi began its Million4Christmas journey last week in Massachusetts when a team landed to plan and host a series of events specifically aimed at jobseekers -- creating unique opportunities for those needing jobs to meet industry leaders, hiring managers, and career mentors who will support and guide Apploi job-seeking members along their career paths.
Arthur Ashe, revered tennis pro said, "One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation." That's what this is all about -- preparation and self-confidence!
The Million4Christmas campaign will conclude on Christmas, 25 December 2014. Apploi's hopeful gift? To prepare as many jobseekers as possible in the job search process and help a million people find work. I, personally, cannot think of a better gift or better reason to celebrate.
Wouldn't it be revolutionary to do something really disruptive? To drive change by the action of humans? To use technology in the best way possible to create incredible and true employee experiences and attract and retain the right talent to your organization, the ones who need and want to work? I have had a keen interest in helping people find jobs since I began my career as a recruiter many years ago. I cannot wait to watch where this campaign goes and see the many lives it changes.
I believe in the possibility that good and true work exists today, that technology surely aids the process, but that humankind is still required to create and respond to other humans. Thanks Apploi for reminding us to be human.