Getting A Job: Where Did Job-Seekers Go?
Librarians who aid job seekers say they're seeing fewer of them. They hope some have found jobs. But they fear many have just given up altogether. Part of our Labor Day-inspired series on work and careers.
Starting in about 2008, Niles Library staff would spend a big part of their day helping job-seekers find career websites, upload their resumes and navigate online applications.
About six months ago, though, it stopped, said Judy McNulty, who heads the library's reference department.
"We used to have people coming in and saying, 'I lost my job today,' and asking for help. We're not seeing that now," she said.
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In June, she held two drop-in workshops for job seekers, and nobody came.
That has her worried.
"Bob Podgorski (a careers expert who has given presentations at the library) would say people are so depressed they don't even try anymore," she ventured.
"Especially on a level that's not managerial or professional--people that just need a good job--we're not seeing them."
At the Morton Grove Library, however, Natalya Fishman said job seekers still come in to get help with applying for jobs online. And people are still attending job seeker workshops, though they're not crowded.
Judy McNulty at the Niles library reports that, in talking with her colleagues at other libraries, the Park Ridge library has told her that their Illinois Department of Employment Security job workshops are not as full as they used to be, and the Arlington Heights Library reports it is only getting about eight people a week seeking the best job sites.
However, people are still checking out the "What Color Is Your Parachute?", "Change Your Career" and "Make Your Dream Come True" type of books. They're also picking up the library's fliers on the best websites for job listings.
"So is it (the decline in people seeking librarians' help) because they've gotten jobs or given up?" McNulty queried. "There's no way to tell."