Real Market Pain

This month’s already been a rough one.

One client, upon receipt of her resume, wanted to forgo the revision process, wanted a partial refund, and asked to “end this relationship” with no further explanation. Wow.

Another resume client refused to do career counseling despite her being completely at a loss for where to go next.

One job-seeker sent us a list of demands and concerns a mile long, and hadn’t even placed an order yet!

A valued former client threatened to stop making referrals if we didn’t get her in our already tight project queue.

Sheesh.

It’s enough to make a business owner want to throw in the towel and go pick Pink Lady apples for a living. What’s going on? Let me make sure we’re doing our job right, here.

Is it our product?

We’ve put together the most talented resume team out there; Seriously, our writers are word wizards; they’ve won awards; they’re nationally certified, even multi-credentialed with certifications, degrees, and relevant career paths. More than that, they take the whole client into account to design a personalized document that addresses every single stated challenge and concern. People would be amazed at how much thought we put into a 1-3 page document.

Is it our process?

We have the most comprehensive information gathering process I’ve seen, comprised of an hour of coaching/consulting and a very well crafted questionnaire to both help clients generate resume content and prepare them for their interview process.

What about customer service?

We’re responsive as all get-out. When I can’t answer the phone personally, our administrative manager certainly does, if only to get back to customers with a real live voice to say “we’re super busy, how can I help”.

Maybe we’re slacking on followup?

Our infrastructure is technologically rich, making it possible to track projects through every step and get back to existing clients immediately to address their needs. At any given time, 3 people are paying attention to a single client.

Am I ranting?

That’s not the goal here (well, not the primary goal). The point is we’re doing all we can to keep customers happy. We’re staying relatively small, offering a high-touch service, and bringing clients into the process all along the way. Put another way, we’ve set up a system to control our extensive resume development process so that nothing and nobody gets overlooked or under-serviced.

But I guess there is one thing that we can’t control:

The economy.

In following up with all of the aforementioned aggrieved clients, this what they had to say

“Things are tight right now.”
“I was really counting on this resume to change everything.”
“I just don’t have the money.”
“It’s hard to justify paying for anything.”
“I need help now, not in a month.”
“No one will hire me no matter what I do.”

The pain is real and it flows amongst anyone involved in the job search process, directly or indirectly. I suppose I need to buck up with my self-absorbed complaints of “difficult months” and instead relish the fact that I’m employed and in a position to help. And although my intentions with BrightSide are honest, simply offering or even successfully delivering, such help may not be enough to make the pain disappear.

Only getting a job can do that.

If I’m truly open to criticism (which I try to be), it hurts a little. And I suppose we’re all hurting at least a little in this economy. If it’s not us, someone we know is out of work and not getting the recognition they deserve–sometimes for no other reason than there are just too many applicants for each job available.

After several months of non-response, anyone–even the most seasoned, well-established career professional–will get discouraged. It’s a lonely, frustrating feeling and it seems to be inextricably linked to looking for work.

At the base of the issue, it just hurts.

And I guess one way to offer support to anyone in this position is to hurt a little bit with them.

9 July 2010 | Career Transition, Job Market, Resumes | Comments