Desperate Job Seekers Sink to New Lows

Just when you thought the job market couldn’t get any tighter and the rate of unemployment couldn’t get any higher, the American job search process has reached a new low. Job seekers are now auctioning their skills and services to the lowest bidder! That’s right, layoff victims and the unemployed can bid for jobs at a new job hunting site called Jobaphiles, and cash in by undercutting other job seekers who may be bidding on the same jobs.

Desperation: How Low Can You Go

On the surface, the Boston-based site looks OK with an eye-catching website and long legal statements, terms of use, and privacy notice. “Jobaphiles is a free job-auction website. You can post a job and local college students and recent grads will then bid for it by indicating how much they’re willing to work for and why they should be hired.” But, the site is not just limited to students, and given American ingenuity before you know it copycat sites will be springing up all over the country.

It’s not the site nor the creative idea, vision or mission behind it that’s the culprit. It’s the behavior of job seekers and employers alike that’s suspect. Why? Because the unemployed can bid on the lowest amount of money they are willing to accept for work, and employers can pat themselves on the back at finding a cheap labor source. It could well turn into a disastrous case of greed taking advantage of desperation!

What’s the Christian Thing to Do?

I’m reminded of the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:11-32), who became so desperate that he was willing to hire himself out to a hog farmer to make ends meet. This was as low as you could go if you were a young Jewish boy. In his desperation, the lost son was willing to do anything–even something unclean–to survive.

Job search processes that end in bidding wars take advantage of desperation and “poorness in spirit”. Trying to get a “one-up” on another job applicant discredits you and leads to a poor self-concept. If you can legitimately work at a cheaper rate than the next person, that’s different; but if you’re trying to undercut others at all cost, what about God? Where’s your Christian witness?

Yes, your situation has changed. You are now unemployed. There are a number of questions you should consider before jumping on the new job search bidding bandwagon:

• In your desperation, are you trying to hold on to what you know how to do instead of looking for opportunities to do new things and grow?

• Is God leading you to do conduct your job search this way in the first place?

• Do you need to sell yourself so low just to win? (Matthew 10:10)

• Given your past history, your present situation and your dreams and hopes for the future, is this the wisest thing to do?

If you decide to search for jobs using a site like Jobaphiles, that’s up to you; but consider this: your identity is not in what you do; it is in Christ and His sufficiency (2 Corinthians 12:9).

 

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