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Job Seeker Who Was Finally Offered A Position Told She Had To Complete 18 Hours Of Unpaid Training

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woman shaking boss' hand after being offered a job

A New York woman admitted to being frustrated with the job market after finally landing a position only to be told she wouldn't get paid straightaway.

In a TikTok video, Lohanny Santos previously went viral after she recorded herself on the streets of New York City with a stack of resumes that she was taking to minimum-wage jobs despite having two degrees. In another video about her unemployment status, Santos shared that she'd finally been offered a job, but unfortunately, it came with stipulations.

Santos was finally offered a job but was told she needed to complete 18 hours of unpaid training first.

Finding a job is difficult, but for Santos the job search felt almost impossible. In Santos' initial viral video of her on the streets of New York with her resumes, she explained that she never expected this to be her reality as someone who graduated from college with two degrees in communications and acting. 

"This is the most humbled I've ever felt in my life. I'm literally holding resumes, a stack of them, so that I can go in person to places and say, 'Are you guys hiring?'" Santos admitted. "It's honestly a little bit embarrassing because I'm applying for minimum-wage jobs, and some of them are not hiring."

   

   

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Santos explained that not only did she graduate college with two degrees, but she also speaks three languages. Getting emotional, Santos acknowledged that the search felt endless, and it's only exacerbated because she isn't finding any luck at the places where she's taking her resume

However, Santos felt her luck had finally turned around after being offered a job at a coffee shop, but she wasn't expecting to hear that she would need to work more than two full days of unpaid labor.

"As you know, I went to all these different coffee shops, and I stumbled upon other stores that I handed my physical copy of my resume to," Santos told viewers. She would ask managers at these coffee shops for interviews on the spot since she had her resume on hand. After walking into one coffee shop in particular, Santos spoke to, what sounded like, the manager or owner of the shop.

   

   

She asked if there was any possibility that she could be interviewed on the spot and was taken to a corner of the shop where the manager began asking her standard interview questions, such as why she wanted to work there and if she had any experience. He informed Santos that he was looking to hire someone long-term, which Santos agreed was perfect for her.

At the end of the interview, the manager of the coffee shop explained that he would need to talk to his wife about bringing her on board and would call her back in a couple of hours. Excited about the prospect of finally being hired, Santos left and, true to his word, a few hours later, she received a call from him.

"He was like, 'I spoke to my wife and we decided we can offer you a job to start tomorrow,'" Santos recalled. Her happiness was through the roof, and she agreed that the arrangement was completely fine, until the manager proceeded to tell her that she would need to complete 18 hours of unpaid training once she started.

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When she asked him to clarify, he claimed that he wanted to make sure she was a good fit and qualified for the position because they were a "serious" business.

"Then I felt so down again. I finally got a job, but the person wants me to work for free. That is not cool."

Much like Santos, many working-class Americans are finding it hard to secure a job right now.

According to government data, throughout 2023, United States employers added 2.7 million people to their payrolls. Unemployment even hit a 54-year low at 3.4% in January 2023 and increased slightly to 3.7% by the end of the year.

However, job seekers are still struggling to find work. In a 2023 survey from staffing agency Insight Global, they found that recently unemployed full-time workers had applied to an average of 30 jobs, only to receive an average of four responses.

More than half, 55%, of unemployed adults are burned out from searching for a new job. Younger generations were also affected the most, with 66% complaining of burnout stemming from job search. It may seem Gen Zers, like Santos, have the most trouble finding jobs due to employers refusing to hire them.

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From a survey conducted by Intelligent, almost four in 10 managers avoid hiring recent college graduates because they judge them to be unprepared for professional life. Employers also complained about how often Gen Zers are unprepared for interviews.

One in five employers claimed that a recent college graduate brought a parent to the job interview, while 21% of employers surveyed said they had a candidate refuse to turn their camera on for a virtual interview.

   

   

Employers also complained that the interviewees struggled to make eye contact, dressed inappropriately, and used inappropriate language.

It's a difficult job market right now for many young adults who are more than qualified to work in the corporate world and can't even get a response or callback from a minimum-wage job, like Santos. There is, of course, nothing wrong with working a minimum-wage job, especially fresh out of college when the adult world seems so new and terrifying.

The one good thing about this is that there are people out there like Santos who are experiencing the same things and can make it just a tiny bit less lonely to know that you're not the only person struggling to find employment right now.

The creation of a community has taken Santos by surprise, who said in another TikTok video that she was overwhelmed with the amount of responses she's gotten from people around her age or older who are in the same boat as her.

   

   

"There has to be something out there for me, in the universe," Santos said. "And that's why I share that because I have so many dreams. Just the fact that I could help at least one person on this app means the world to me."

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.