The Real Mean Girls Of The Job Market: How To Know If Your Job Interview Is Real or Plastic
(Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures. The image depicts Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) at Old Orchard Mall in the 2004 film, Mean Girls, directed by Mark Waters and written by Tina Fey.)
In the 2004 Paramount Pictures film, Mean Girls, Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) tells protagonist Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) that there are two kinds of evil people in this world: those who are evil and those who witness evil and don't do anything about it. Twenty years after the movie premiered, 2024 ushered in a Mean Girls remake and a 2008-like job market. The Wall Street Journal even had a piece discussing the increase in unemployment among post-secondary graduates in white-collar jobs. If you are unlucky enough to be stranded in a sea of unemployment, where is your life raft, and what lurks under these murky waters? While Dorothy Gale was scared of lions, tigers, and bears, job hunters contend with increased competition, fewer job prospects, and bloodthirsty creatures called MLMs or multi-level marketing schemes/pyramid schemes.
(Image depicts Théodore Géricault's 1819 work The Raft of the Medusa housed at the Louvre.)
The Federal Trade Commission defines a multi-level marketing scheme as "Businesses that involve selling products to family and friends and recruiting others to do the same, which are called multi-level marketing (MLM), network marketing, or direct marketing businesses. Some MLMs are illegal pyramid schemes."
(Media from Wix.)