My Reaction to The Comment War That Was “6 Reasons You Don’t Have a Job”

by Rich DeMatteo on June 28, 2011 · 54 comments

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Last week I wrote what many have called the best post here on Corn on the Job.  One fellow went as far as personally calling me to say it was the greatest blog post he’d ever read.   But I can’t please everyone, and the (nearly 80!) comments on  post proves that fact.

6 Reasons You Don’t Have a Job” wasn’t meant to offend anyone.  But it did.  Holy shit, it certainly did.

In the “controversial” blog post, I offered six of the most occurring reasons why people are out of work.  While I didn’t list the economy as one of the six,  I clearly stated that the economy is surely a factor, but most use it as an excuse, resulting in barely keeping their head above water, or worse, letting the excuse of the economy force their own slow drowning.  Say what you want, but it’s just fact.  For those offended by the kick in the ass I served, grow up and use my words as motivation to work even harder.  That’s all I can tell you.

If you don’t fall in those 6 reasons or the economy, then why are you so upset?  I’m clearly not talking about you.

The majority were offended when I said that homeless people aren’t as employable as the non-homeless.  I do apologize if this came off as harsh or bold, but it certainly does take much more work for the homeless to get a job.  This was meant to start a fire under the ass of those that simply aren’t working hard enough to find employment.  Instead of bringing a small flame, my words lit a short fuse to a stick of dynamite.  And you know what?  I love it.  A little emotion/passion never hurt.  How about you bottle some of that up and use it.

Now to talk about the comments that actually really did piss me off and are absolutely ridiculous.  In two of the mentioned reasons (Poor Resume and Poor Interviewing Skills), instead of offering lengthy advice and tips, I suggested that my services be hired.  More than a couple comments suggested that I am “self-serving” and that my only motivation for running Corn on the Job is to make money.

How dare you?    Do you have any idea how long, and how many hours I’ve worked on Corn on the Job?  Do you know how many people have benefited from my fucking free advice, stories, tips, weekly #JobHuntChat on Twitter, and general willingness to answer questions through email, Twitter, and Facebook?

No.  You apparently don’t.

Did you EVER think that you could simply find the COTJ Search Bar and type in the words “Interview” or “Resume”?  If you did that, you might find 15-20 FREE blog posts on those topics. It only takes 5-10 seconds to use the search bar, and I hope you do use that tool.  My intention here is to help people and offer as much free advice as possible.  I promise that if you spend some time, you’ll find the resources you need.

If you must know, “I want your money” because in that particular blog post, I could never cover each reason why your resume is terrible or why you’re an awful at interviewing.  Honestly, the possibilities are endless, and I could write an entire post, or even a book on each.  Rather than offer general tips that probably won’t help, I suggested what I know would help.  That’s my job.

So the offer is still there.  You pay me money, and in return you walk away a better interviewee, with a better resume, and more confidence in your job search.  Or hey, you can just use that search bar and read hundreds of free blog posts.  That choice is yours my friend.

My time is certainly worth your money, but don’t get it twisted.   I’m 200% about helping job seekers.  I’ve proved that over and over again. The question you should be asking is, are you helping yourself?

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49 comments
Garret
Garret

Rich, I am an avid reader of your blog, as well as many others regarding job hunting. I honestly feel bad for all the people that were so upset with your other posting. Yes, some of the things you wrote could (and did) be taken out of context. You were giving great advice, and from the brief interaction I had with you a few weeks back in an email conversation, you seem to be a great guy in general. The truth, or "tough love," as you are referring it, is not fun to hear, and from the few comments I read before I started getting upset myself (at which point I simply quit reading them), those people don't really want to hear it. Part of me wonders why they read your blog if they are simply going to attack you for trying to help. I for one appreciate the honesty in your posts, and while I don't necessarily agree with 100% of everything you say, its not hard to see your benevolent intent. The arguments from that other post reminds me of a book I read a long time ago called "Wizard's First Rule" by Terry Goodkind. The "rule" addressed is that people will believe a lie either because they want it to be true or because they fear it is true. It seems that many of the people who are out of a job are looking to blaming others for their prolonged joblessness because its easier to believe that to a certain extent it isn't their own fault as well. I want to point out that currently I am unemployed, and yes it sucks. But moping around about how the world is against me and all the reasons I won't find/get a job (focusing on the problem) is not going to accomplish anything, instead I am learning as much as I can about the confusing world of job hunting, and applying what I learn into future efforts at landing not just a job but something I will love getting to do (focusing on the solution (another great lesson from the aforementioned book)). As for me, I am glad you are not going to stop writing your blog because a few folks got their panties in a wad! Garret F.

Catherine
Catherine

I have to say that reading this post, as well as the one it is responding to, just makes me want to work with you and "hire" you for help more. Seeing someone who has such strong conviction stand up for himself is a positive thing. As a job seeker, I thought the advice from "6 Reasons..." was spot on and gave me something to think about as I continue to look for opportunities and send my resume out. Anyone can Google tips for resume writing/interviewing and find plenty of "free" advice all over the internet. Most of it is garbage. I think succinctly saying "hire me" is a lot better than trying to put oodles of necessary information/critique into one blog post which can never be tailored to each individual person who reads/uses your site. And hey - I'm from NY so I'm all about the splash of profanities.

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

It's your blog, do whatever you want. If I were you, I'd dedicate a page to success stories and the process you go through to improve people's resumes and the outcomes they have. That's just me. Telling me your going to help me doesn't do much for me and maybe you could increase your uptake on your services if folks could see more definitive examples. Just a thought... I love when you get all heated up ;) -Shane Mac Just some dude...

Diana
Diana

Some people are so sensitive. The problem is that they react SO quickly that they don't allow themselves to actually read the words on the page. It's sad really. I just had something similar happen on my Brazen post about childless people being discriminated against at work. Some parents didn't read it the right way and were NOT happy. All I could do was laugh though, and point out the way that it should have been taken if they took the time to read it. For the record, I agree with your 6 points.

HR Whisperer
HR Whisperer

Hey Rich, just found you and your blog, courtesy of Dan McCarthy. Spot on stuff you've got here. Refreshing. Think I could learn things. I subscribed.

Grace Boyle
Grace Boyle

The other thing to consider is that it's not that big of a deal to offer your services and to be paid for your profession. People are so sensitive to self-promotion but obviously, you give a lot of free advice and that's what this blog is for. I may not have read the original post closely, but like you said, you were unemployed for a long time. Walking the talk and also being a professional/recruiter really gives you close and informed opinion. I suppose in other people's defense, there are often the intangible items where I know many successful, experienced people who can't find a job. It seems the people who left comments were also very defensive...since it's their livelihood they really must have felt the sting. Of course, you know that is how the job industry and career market is...but people are sensitive. That's just it. I can see it also really struck a nerve for you too. Bottom line, it's your blog. Everyday you can do whatever the fuck you want :) Keep on rocking. All press is good press.

Jamie
Jamie

I definitely wasn't offended by this, but as someone who has been out of work for over a year and a half, I can see how it would be disheartening to some. Many of us are drowning in a sea of negativity, low self esteem, piles of rejection letters, and phones that don't ring. It might be beneficial to have six separate posts about each of the six reasons, go in to depth and turn it in to something positive and motivating. Instead of something accusatory like "Six Reasons Why You Don't Have a Job," maybe "Six Problems Holding You Back From Getting a Job and How to Fix Them." Okay that could use a little wordsmithing, but maybe your audience would have a different reaction to that? For those of us who are working hard to find jobs and are frustrated, it's hard to hear something like THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT, (even though that's not the direct intent of the article). There are so many resources out there that will elaborate on what everyone is doing, but what would be more useful would be a resource that elaborates on how to do it right.

Suzanne
Suzanne

Keep up the GREAT work! Sometimes people don't like to hear the truth. I admire you for speaking out and for also defending yourself. (and I am sorry that you had to do this but some folks just get offended if you use the word 'crikey' even) I just recently "revised" a resume for a friend. It took me hours. It was dreadfully written, almost ghastly. I cringed when I read it initially. I was harsh with him about the changes that needed to be made. I am NOT a coach nor do I ever plan on taking on that challenge. I can't imagine doing this on a daily basis. Kudos to those that do.

Holly
Holly

Hi Rich, I think your article was spot on. It is easy to lay blame on things out of one's control. You suggested that people take a look at themselves and assess how they are doing on things they CAN control. I am out there looking. I have things that I am great at (therefore find them easier to do) as well as things that I am uncomfortable about or procrastinating... Your article simply asks folks to be honest with themselves. You got "backlash" because alot of people aren't willing or able to understand that their visceral response is because the message was "heard" somewhere deep in them, and they aren't ready to do what they need to do. I wish more people were direct and able to accept others when they are direct. Stop shooting the messenger folks!

will
will

lists like "6 reasons you don't have a job" pertains to certain people.. not the whole country. None of this should have to be explained to a grown up (or even the pretend ones). Unless the writer specifically says "you're all lazy and worthless," you really don't have to take these lists to heart unless you're a sensitive nelly. Real life isn't spongy.. falling down hurts I promise. Don't flip your lid and blame a blog writer for your problems when he tries to point out that you're just not moving in the right direction. I feel like (some) people without a job do 4 things. 1. Feel sorry for themselves 2. Blame everyone else 3. find a job 4. hold out for a better one Stop lying to yourself and your friends. Jobs aren't impossible to find. Maybe your favorite high paying job is tough to find... but lets be real.. there are plenty of shifts at Wawa.. plenty of hours at your local restaurant, mall, gas station, etc. You just don't want those jobs.. you have too much dignity right? Am i talking about the homeless? nah.. that's the extreme.. and when you start bringing up extreme examples as a talking point, you're lost in the discussion. The economy sucks, but that doesn't mean you have to suck too. Step up your effort. It's easier than it looks.

Amanda
Amanda

Rich- The beauty of a blog is that it's your opinion, in your voice and from your perspective. There are times when I don't agree with what you say, but guess what, I shake my head and I move on. And then I come back, because for every post that makes me shake my head, there is another post where I gain a little nugget of knowledge or am challenged to think about something differently. For all the haters, move on. There is more to life that getting worked up over a blog post.

Tom Bolt
Tom Bolt

Rich, I'm glad that you defended your earlier post against all of the unfounded criticism. I won't repeat your points (which were spot on) but I do feel that one point needs to be amplified: "IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, PEOPLE!" You have done a marvelous job of creating a community of job seekers and job helpers and provided a mechanism for them to talk to each other. I don't think many really understand just how much energy goes into the work that you and others do for free...nada...no compensation. Sometime is is necessary to ruffle a few feathers to get that job done. If your blog caused a few people to do an honest examination of themselves, fix what is wrong and get a job, it is worth it. Keep up the good work.

dream
dream

By the way, the way you continue to malign the homeless and your ignorant assumptions about them is truly disgusting.

dream
dream

Your use of profanity proves your incompetence as a "professional". Why don't you heed your own advice and grow up?

Sigal Grosvirt-Dramen
Sigal Grosvirt-Dramen

Dear Rich, Your Blog is a wonderful resource that I regularly consult and forward your messages to my LinkedIn network of contacts. I have seen your post “6 Reasons You Don’t Have a Job” almost as soon as you posted it. I LOVED IT!!! As a coach myself, my first instinct was to post it on my LinkedIn home page for all my contacts to learn and apply your suggestions. Basically, people KNOW what keeps them from being hired. Me? Being a coach, I am fully aware that I have a serious problem networking face-to-face. However, not everyone (actually most people) would rather blame outside forces for them being out of work. Yes, we were all downsized, laid-off, or dis-employed (whatever you want to call it) for no fault of our own. However, that does not mean that we are not responsible to get ourselves out of this dire situation. While I was ready to introduce your posting to my LinkedIn network, I started thinking...how many of my contacts are ready to read this…I did not come up with many names. I consulted with a trusted peer and we both agreed that one should be somewhat mature to fully understand the true meaning of your posting. Sadly, I decided not to post “6 Reasons You Don’t Have a Job” on my LinkedIn home page because I knew that most of the people in my network are not ready to hear the truth. I volunteer as a job search coach…job seekers do not like it when I tell them the truth!!! I tell it like it is…no more…no less. That’s what “6 Reasons You Don’t Have a Job” is…the truth…no more…no less. It is my hope that you will find strength and wisdom to keep bringing us THE TRUTH just the way it is. Many thanks for all your efforts; make your points, hold your ground…much courage to you! Best Regards, Sigal Grosvirt-Dramen

chris
chris

Although I disagreed with some of the 6 reasons, I was disappointed when some folks went to name calling. I understand defending one's point but I must admit, I was also disappointed in your tone in this response. If I'm being honest, you made some good points with the "6 Reasons" post but they were lost with the implications in the way it was worded. Maybe I just don't know you as well, but I think you could have responded just as effectively without the aggression, but hey its your fucking blog. I don't have an issue with you at all. My sincere hope is that we can all move on and I look forward to reading your future posts on other topics.

Kimberly Roden
Kimberly Roden

So Richie Rich. I've been guilty of overreacting to one of your prior posts and have apologized for that. But not this one OR the last one. I've made it a personal endeavor to help job seekers with resume advice and interviewing tips as well as volunteer my time with Dress for Success. I also work about 50 hours a week. Having said that, I've rewritten resumes and it's taken me HOURS and have explained the reasons for the rewrite. I've recently had the "heart warming" experience of having a job seeker be offended at my revisions and get pissy with me. Let's see, he's out of school for 3 years and I'm in my 24th year of HR and, like you, was a job seeker. Please understand that I'm not being arrogant but I feel confident in my ability to provide productive advice. I even had one job seeker send me homemade cookies because he was so thankful. I digress. You have provided the flippin (I'd say the other word if we were speaking but I have digital-footprint-paranoia) information for a long time via your blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Why not ask the folks who were being critical: "At what particular point do you continue providing free services?" Would they work for free… because that’s what it is. No, they wouldn’t. Be real, time is money and you should be capitalizing on your skills and experience. This is entrepreneurship in the making and I say go for it. It's when we say, “hey I'm good at this... maybe I can make money from doing something I love and that I'm good at." Not rocket science. Sorry you had to go through this but perhaps if they are not interested in paying you, you can recommend a Mega-Certified Resume Writer and they can shell out $1000 for resume services and pay for the letters behind someone's name instead. Your offering is based on real life from both sides of the desk. I wish you much success in your endeavor and you’re right… how dare they! Rock on.

Jenny Foss
Jenny Foss

OK, Corn... deep breaths. Deeeeeeeep breaths. You threw out a blog post that was, by design, going to spark up some heated conversation. Don't get mad that some was, um, more heated (and personal) than you anticipated. You got the fire you were seeking, and made some valid points for your followers. Which we appreciate. This is the world of blogging. People bite sometimes. Especially when you stir the pot. Those who realize your value, and whose style aligns with yours, shall hire you. Meantime, rejoice in the notion that you got people talking and a little riled up. And then take a few more deeeeep breaths! ;) Cheers man. Thanks for the lunchtime read! Jenny Foss JobJenny.com

Jen
Jen

I was looking forward to reading this all day and it did not disappoint! :) I'm actually glad you didn't run away with your tail between your legs like so many other bloggers out there do. You can't please everyone and like I said before some people need a good kick in the pants to get up and do something. I know from personal experience that you aren't just in this for the money. And I have sent two people your way for help (hey you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink). All blogs are self-serving. That is the point of them. And I have thought to myself on many occasions, that you must eat, breathe and sleep this stuff in order to be on the ball like this. I know I couldn't do it. :) Keep up the good work, Cornz!

Bridget Forney
Bridget Forney

Minus a few profanities and a rather defensive tone at the end, I thought this response was well-written.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey there! Thanks for commenting and subscribing! Hope you enjoy your time here!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Grace - Thanks for the comment! Right, it really isn't a big deal to offer services. This is my website, right? There are def other reasons than the 6 I listed. And I did say that, but I do think those are the major 6. If people don't fall in those 6, then I'm surely not talking to them, and they shouldn't have been offended. Thanks for your thoughts here!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Jamie - I agree with you and I think what I'm going to do is write an ebook on each of these 6 points and then more. Each point might be a chapter It will probably end up being an ebook for sale, but for only a small fee. Thanks for the suggestion and your comment!

will
will

Jamie, i think his articles intention was executed just fine. I can't speak for him.. but from where I sit.. most people in our generation are used to having it lobbed to us.. you know what i mean? Sometimes there's no soft way to put it. There has to be that person who will say "you're not approaching it the right way and here's why." Of course your loved ones will support you in most cases, so there's your emotional support. People on the internet, mainly the ones who want you to find a job have to be the ones to say it straight up. Are you currently on unemployment?

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Thanks, Suzanne! Yep, resume reviews and re-writes are no easy task! It takes time and it does deserve some monetary reward! Thanks!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Holly - Thanks for your comment! Yep, I just wanted people to take a look at themselves and offer some help. I received some "backlash" for a few reasons. #1, people can't take criticism, and #2, people don't understand that I provide free resources but still need to make a living. I'm glad it received this much press, because that means it definitely hit a nerve with people. After they think about it for a few days, they will open it up and start being honest. Thanks!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Will - Thanks for the comment . Excellent! Excellent! Excellent! Those four things are perfect. THINKING jobs are impossible to find will actually continue to drag the person down further. Dignity definitely plays into it. I've been there myself, and that dignity can really cause someone to move backwards in their search. Thanks!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Amanda - I agree with your points. I felt I needed to write a follow-up. I needed to get my point across once more, and also make sure people understood my words were simply making a point. Maybe harsh, but its true. Thanks!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Tom - Thanks for the comment. It's def not all about the money, and no, no one knows how much work for free people like you, I, and the other experts out there put in. We love helping out, but we still do deserve money for our time. We don't always ask for it, but it's important to ask for it at times. Thanks.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Dream - All I've ever said is that they have a harder time gaining work that non-homeless people. That is it. And honestly, I would believe it to be true. Not sure what's disgusting about that. Can homeless people find work? Absolutely. Is it harder for them to find work? Yes. That's all.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Dream - Thanks for your comment. If you're going to bash my professionalism, at least use a name. If your name really is "dream", then I apologize. My use of profanity included the "F" word. It's a blog, not an article in the New York Times. A blog post is supposed to include feeling and passion, something that my blog posts will never be without. I felt like saying the F word. In fact, I felt like saying it more, but I held back. If this was a company blog, sure, there would be much less F. But, it's not. This is my personal blog where I've helped tens of thousands of job seekers. If you want to accuse me of being unprofessional for tossing profanity on my own opinion based blog, then so be it. But I'll be damned if I'll lose emotion and life in my blog.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Sigal - thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree that not everyone is ready to hear the truth, but honestly, do I want to work with someone who isn't ready for the truth? No. I don't. If someone isn't ready to hear it how I see it, then I can't help them. I appreciate you wanting to post this to your network, and I understand why you decided not to. I'm grateful that you've stopped by and it means a lot to have your support.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Chris - Thanks for your comment. My tone in this response was warranted in my opinion. The way it was worded worked...obviously. It hit home with people. If job seekers want to read a fluff blog, then go elsewhere. I will always tell it how I see it, even if I must ruffle some feathers. Obviously, there is nothing personal between us and you are absolutely allowed to voice your opinion. That's what a blog is for. I have mine, and you have yours. Then we share it. But I'm damn good at helping people prepare for their job search. I've put in god know how many hundreds of free hours for COTJ. Damn anyone who considers me self-serving. And you bet I'll have a bitter tone if someone says that about me.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hi Kim - Thanks for the comment! I don't think you ever overreacted in the past. Sure, I may have got you a bit heated, but I learned from that situation and I hope you did too. I may have my stubborn and edgy sides sometimes, but I do believe that's what keeps it interesting here. I won't ever sugar coat my feelings, even if that does upset someone temporarily, I never really mean to offend anyone. And 'flippin' is totally cool here. We don't need to go full on F! And you're right! I'm a damn entrepreneur. I'm doing what I love and what I'm good at. Because I love it, I do too much for free. If folks would have spent 5 minutes looking around a bit, they would have found that part out quickly. And for now on, I'll just tell them to go to a certified writer and pay $1,000. Good suggestion! Once they hear that, they'll come running for my absolutely insane low priced resume review for $50. Thanks for your comment and support!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hiya Jenny - While the tone is a bit angry, I really wasn't. I'm just holding my ground and continuing to make my point. When someone bites me, I'll run for the band aid at first, but when warranted, I'll bite back. I bit back, but only to make sure people realize what I have going on here at this blog. I was offended when called self-serving. I absolutely needed to stand up for myself in that regard. Thanks for the comment!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Sabrina - I've been cracking up since I saw the picture you attached. Yep, haters will hate, but hopefully haters will learn :) Thanks for stopping by!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Jen - Glad it lived up to the hype! I will certainly apologize when I do offend, especially if that wasn't my intentions. However, when I have time to step back and look at a situation, if I still feel I was right, then I will always come forward and again share how I feel about the situation. In this case, I felt some people needed to grow up and face the music. Glad I've been around to help when I can!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Thanks, Bridget. Hey, if I don't stick up for myself, who will? Always appreciate your comments!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Will, thanks for the follow-up on Jamie's point. Maybe we are used to having things lobbed to us for an easy swing. The problem with that is you'll never knock it out of the park. I definitely tried to throw the ball straight and fast. Those who got the information hit a homerun, and those who missed it struck out. That's honestly too much baseball talk for me. Thanks!

Marty
Marty

See above Comment

will
will

notice how 'dream' doesn't argue the point.. only arbitrary words used through out the post. If you don't think this type of language is used by professionals all across America; you're naive or just plain stupid.

Marty
Marty

Don't feed the Trolls :-)

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Will, he's what you call an internet troll. He might comment on blog posts a 100 times a day, just trying to get to people.