We asked job hunters: What’s stopping you from returning to work?

Last updated: June 21, 2024
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Elyssa Duncan
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We asked job hunters: What’s stopping you from returning to work?
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As vaccine rates are beginning to pick up across the United States, it seems as though the light at the end of a long, dark #Coronavirus tunnel is growing brighter. This means job seekers can begin moving forward with their job search.

Various industries - especially hospitality and food services - are beginning to ramp up hiring, but they’re having a hard time finding workers to fill the openings.

So, we asked our Jobcase members what’s stopping you from returning to work? Here’s what we found.

Most people cannot find work that fits their requirements

A majority of the members who responded expressed that they were having trouble finding jobs in their area or roles that accommodate their work-life demands like childcare scheduling and salary necessities.

"I’ve been trying to find a remote job since I have two kids at home and one is still a newborn but haven’t had any luck yet."
- Ilaisaane Latu

Some members expressed the offered pay was not high enough:

"Cannot find a descent paying job that will pay my bills."
- Wayne Hamilton


"Looking for a part time job. Still looking for a job that fits me. Tired of working for peanuts."
- Linda Gajewski

And some members are just hitting dead-end roads or employer ghosting following applications or interviews:

"I have had several interviews and no seems interested. Also, I have received emails letting me know that I got rejected."
- Tommy Bauer

Related read 

Many people are uncomfortable returning to work because of COVID

Fear is a powerful emotion, and it has been in overdrive since the COVID pandemic shut down many businesses over a year ago. With so much change and ambiguity that has happened, it’s no surprise that many people are uncertain about returning to work due to fear of contracting the virus or bringing it home to loved ones.

"I am uncomfortable returning to work because of COVID-19.'
- Lynne Barton


"I left my tech position due to fear of bringing covid home to my babies and now employers are saying I'm not eligible for hire because I have less than a year experience..but I don't get discouraged I know I made the best decision for me."
- Dodrelan Roberson

COVID-related reads 

Despite the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) that intends to prevent #ageism in hiring for workers 40 or older, age discrimination may seep into the job search process.

"Ageism is a huge problem, especially for women."
- Selina-Marie Serrano


"I seriously think it’s my age. I’m 58. Even though I look and act much younger, I get overlooked for a younger person."
- Tammy Hughes


"I’m disabled, over 50, and haven’t had a job in over 15 years. I’m not even sure I have any skills employers are looking for."
- Stacey Walker

Overcoming ageism 

What's stopping you from returning to work? Comment below or jump into the conversation here.

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Butler Lily
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because of my laziness

48w
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Lee sara
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That was very helpful, and I appreciate your teaching me. Your blog posts are top notch in every way. You made available for public consumption a blog entry that, albeit lengthy, was incredibly interesting and useful. hurdle

1y
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Denise Re'ala
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Order Picker at Barrons Educational Series

Unfortunately, I have a transportation problem since I don't drive and therefore, can't just accept any job I want. In Suffolk County, Long Island, the bus service is limited. Yet, in my case, a real work at home position is not only practical. It simply makes sense.

3y
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Patti Gerhardt
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Need a decent job to showcase my skills and competence

I'm taking the summer off to recover from a brutal spring covering for people on FMLA leave and then we all got laid off due to budget cuts. Now they bus people in from IL who don't know english to do my job for way less money.

3y
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Alison Sanchirico
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I am an experienced HR Coordinator - 31 years to be exact. While I was still employed prior to COVID my hourly rate of pay was a little more than middle of the road for going rate. Now that so many people are out of work, companies want the highest education and experience but for half the cost. I've never seen anything like it before. Companies are taking advantage to the point where you can't earn a living wage anymore. I made 27.47 and company want a higher degree than I have for 16.00 and 17.00 dollars an hour. Very disturbing.

3y
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Ronda Marten
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I live in a smaller city and the higher paying jobs tend to either demand hard skills that don't correspond with mine or have physical demands that my body just can't fulfill. I can't take the part-time or low paying jobs because I am single and the only one to pay my bills. Right now I can pay them with unemployment and healthcare aid. It is $370 minus taxes a week not $1000. If I take a low paying job I lose the healthcare as well as the unemployment. So even if I make the same as $370 per week healthcare etc is now taken out and considering how much it costs I'd lose quite a bit of income and would struggle to keep bills paid. I'm 49 and have bad knees. Taking two or more jobs would be extremely painful and frankly add to healthcare costs. I've worked hard all my life and need to make calculated decisions. I'm applying to places and doing freelance work. Contrary to some people's opinions, not everyone who is still receiving unemployment is lazy or living in luxury.

3y
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Nari Davis
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I’ve run into many of the same issues with ageism, low paying jobs and endless dead end applications when applying for my career skill set.

3y
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John Coe
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Customer Service Associate at Lowes Home Improvement

Although it is supposed to be illegal, I think age is still used to not hire older workers. They can't ask your age so now they ask what year you graduated high school. They would rather hire a young person who they feel may be with them for a number of years than an older one who is not be able to be the career person they want. Then the young person is gone to greener pastures in 6 months to a year. Older workers are severely underrated as to what they can contribute to a company. And many of us don't need or want their benefits as we have better. Thus, another savings to the company. If I were an employer, I would hire as many older people as were qualified.

3y
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Richard Spain
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Office Automation Clerk at Internal Revenue Service

Frustration. despair. underemployment. too long a gap, reverse gender discrimination, outright ageism.

3y
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Laura Wade-Dahlberg
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For me, there are three main factors getting between me & a job.

  1. There's ageism, as I'm well over 55;
  2. There's the problem that I have multiple disabilities, so I need to work at home & can only work part time; & then
  3. There's the problem that I've been out of the workforce for several years, due to my disabilities.
    So, I'm working with a job coach through my community health provider & state Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), my local Works! (workforce) center - they're providing me with online, updated software training. I'm also using the various job sites, to find work-related self-improvement programs/training, as well as job listings.
    The biggest thing is, I just keep applying for jobs, even when I get ghosted by an employer, I just move on to the next one; I know that something will eventually work out for me.
3y
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