at the end of the article.
This is the story of a well-behaved young man. Who listens to all advice. That ticks as many boxes as possible. But that hits a wall.
Double degree and English proficiency
In a country that venerates dual skills, at the beginning of the 21st millennium he thus won a university degree in biology lined with a Master’s degree from a top management school.
Recruiters want multilingual employees? Never mind. At 24, David leaves, CV under his arm and 1000 euros in his pocket, to perfect his English abroad. After a few odd jobs and once he learned English, he picked up a marketing product manager position allowing him to use his dual competence science + management. At stake: 2,500 euros net per month. He stayed there for 4 years. Before returning to France, the young man took advantage of the 2008 crisis to refine his experiences with a road trip to the United States. Good career start.
Export salesman for 12 years in the region
David then returns to his native region. He is hired in a flourishing industry and settles in a city of 50,000 inhabitants. Here again, his bet to combine scientific studies and managerial expertise proved to be a winner. Until 2020, he used his knowledge of biology, his business science and his bilingualism in English to practice the profession of commercial export. Direction Europe, China, Indonesia or Brazil.
My employer at the time was happy with me. I started at 29,000 euros gross per year and received 55,000 euros at the end of 2020. A good progression. An exciting but tiring job becoming more complicated following my divorce and joint custody of my children. I had to reduce my movements.
The shock of a dismissal then a retraining
2020 is coming and this sinister Friday with an innocuous meeting, at 5 p.m., with the management.
The meeting was, in my opinion, to address the question of recruitment, he says. My leader saw it differently. He explained to me that my life choices were detrimental to his society. Clearly, according to him, I had “put a ball and chain on my feet with my children”. … I had a month to leave.
A shock. And months to recover.
At the start of 2021, the forty-year-old is remotivated. He decides to think about a retraining. Remain a company executive but switch to a sector where he can reconcile joint custody and his obligations as a single father with his daily job. Say goodbye to long trips abroad, he wants to get a job close to home that doesn’t require traveling too far. He chooses the real estate sector and more specifically real estate development. Not the simplest but the most profitable, as we explained in this survey “Converting to real estate: tips and dead ends”.
To give himself every chance, he embarks on a diploma course that he finances with his own money.
A very closed sector which does not open the door to converts
And he begins to canvass companies in his region at the same time. Ten years of commercial experience, ongoing diploma training, a diploma from a top school, international experience, perfect English. With these assets, it should go smoothly. A hundred applications later, David is disillusioned
I don’t understand, he breathes. I am super motivated. I agree to lower my financial claims. 30,000 euros gross per year would suit me to start. But no one answers me. A recruiting firm, weary of the struggle, told me that he was not a guidance counsellor.
The few employers who have accepted a discussion with him explain that he does not have the required experience.
And to think that the ads highlight the search for a so-called personality. I am more than motivated. I form myself. And nothing. Yet I feel like I gave myself the means to succeed. I want to get up early in the morning, cross the street to find a job. But nothing.
Employers unable to detect potential
David points to the hypocrisy of employers in this sector who do not align the facts with their words:
Some employers advertise stating that they are going to train young people in their trade for lack of candidates. So, I apply for these same companies highlighting human capital, the well-being of their employees. I especially see interviews where I am asked questions about my family, my place of birth. All in 20 minutes flat. Yet my skills are duplicable. My current training is of high quality. Do recruiters prefer people in the job?
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Six months from the end of his unemployment rights and at a time when companies are complaining about the shortage of candidates, David points the finger at their inadequacy to the skills crisis:
It’s not true that the French don’t want to work. They are mainly faced with companies that do not know how to detect potential and give a chance to a profile that is not strictly identical to those they have always recruited. I’m not the clone they hope for, but my ability to adapt can be seen in my retraining. I did not choose the easy way, this conversion is not accessible to everyone. But my interlocutors do not seem to see it. I want to work but no one wants to give me a chance.
* The first name and certain biographical elements have been changed at the request of the person concerned in order to preserve his anonymity.