Archive for December, 2010

Zip Code Discrimination
December 14, 2010

The Green Commuter – Work Closer. Live More.

In today’s ultra-competitive job market, job seekers are spending extra time making sure their resume is polished, perfect, and a great representation of who they are and what they could bring to a company. If this sounds like you, it is a good guess that you have spent hours considering the right action verbs and defining your core competencies; however, have you considered how a hiring manager regards your home address?

You’re probably thinking, “What does my address have to do with anything? I am a solid candidate with great experience; I bring loads of great things to the table.” You also bring some serious baggage, in the form of miles to and from the office.

Because of the high amount of job seekers who are actively searching today, hiring managers have become more picky on not only getting the most for their payroll dollars, but also the attractiveness of the zip code in which a potential employee lives. A long commute (usually over 1 hour & 15 minutes) throws up a red flag to the interviewer that says:

  • “Great, this person is qualified, but constantly going to be stuck in traffic and turning up to the office late. Company productivity is going to suffer because they have a lousy commute.”
  • “Hmm, commuting from Leesburg to Washington D.C. everyday? That’s an hour and a half in good traffic! I smell burnout in a couple months!”

Face it, driving back and forth from an office for long periods of time is exhausting, you know this and so does a potential interviewer. You can say that it doesn’t bother you, or that you have done it before and it’s no big deal, but an employer knows better. They realize a long commute provides an excuse for calling in sick on a day when you “just can’t deal with traffic” and that worker burnout is higher for employees who have to battle rush hour before they even start their day than for employees who live close to the office. As qualified as you may be, your home address might be disqualifying you from your dream job.

So what’s the solution? Pack up your bags and move? Not in this real estate market!

Don’t worry, selling your house is not required, not when you realize that you do have options. Because cities and metropolitan areas are more spread out than ever before, people are looking for solutions to their commuting nightmares. Commuter Swap provides an option for commuters in opposite geographic areas to “swap” their residences to create a “home away from home” atmosphere. This concept keeps you sane during the week and makes your boss appreciative of your punctuality. Commuter Swap is a creative way to make a potential employer focus less on your address and more on why you would be an asset to their company.