It is hard to believe but it is true that some people in this world are hell-bent to exploit the misfortune of others. Just like the hawk that seeks out the most vulnerable, so are certain individuals out to cash in on the growing desperation among job seekers. Just last week, my friend was involved in a circus with a ‘potential employer’ who had posted an advert through one of the most popular advertisement online groups.
The NGO presented itself as one looking out for program support team members and was in an ongoing recruitment process that would take on board the first candidate identified as appropriate. They actually indicated that the CVs would be reviewed as they trooped in hence the pressure for candidates to quickly apply.
As the friend considered her suitability for one of the positions, she noticed that she was expected to sit for a personality test at a local firm and as she went out to check out on the costing and the process of the test, she started growing cold feet towards the whole process. As she sought advice from different people regarding personality testing, a close friend of hers became quite suspicious as she had received a similar reply to another job she had applied for. It was suspect to receive similar response for different jobs.
We helped the desperate lady facilitate various due diligence processes including checking out the indicated physical address. In this case, the address was a building abroad with no local addresses yet they indicated they have operations in many other countries. A close look into the organizations operating from that building did not reveal the existence of the said NGO. With this, hairs were raised and the possibility that this was a hoax was real. The rest is history.
We have heard that desperate times call for desperate measures. We are most vulnerable and unstable when we are stressed, frustrated and losing hope. It is at these moments that we need to be extra vigilant not to make critical decisions as they may draw us into more depression. As we agree that the level of unemployment has been on the increase, we need to still keep our cool so that we do not over expose ourselves to the schemes of people out to fleece the desperate.
At times when we are losing hope, any deal looks a good deal and we can easily sign along the dotted line to sell our own lives on the promise of a better lifestyle. How many times have we seen thousands of people being shipped to destinations that have been declared unfit for employment due to the mistreatment of foreigners? I have even overheard some people say they would rather be mistreated in foreign lands than suffer locally.
Before you throw in your application for any given job opportunity, facilitate your own due diligence. Talk to people from the onset and don’t wait until things have gone awry for you to start confiding in others. Reflecting on the case of my friend referenced above, she would have found herself stuck in a career quagmire had she not confided in a few persons she considered important in her job search effort.
Be even more careful in instances where requests for cash are included as part of the recruitment process. Never send money via phone money transfer systems or through your credit card as you could just be sending money to a ghost institution whose main occupation is to milk you off the remaining cash as you struggle to make your ends meet.
My parting shot is: As much as you may be desperate in your job search, be cautious. Take time and talk to people. Don’t be overly secretive in your job search lest you find yourself slipping into a hole, alone.