The #1 Lie Employers and Recruiters Tell

Jeff Altman
5 min readSep 18

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

I worked in recruiting for more than 40 years, filling more than 1200 full-time positions plus consulting assignments. I now coach job hunters with their searches, working worldwide with people in a variety of professions and careers.

When I worked in recruiting, I noticed a sad truth. Employers and recruiters told a big lie when describing the positions they were recruiting for. If you re-read my first sentence, you will see that I used the correct language, rather than perpetuate the lie when I described the jobs I filled as a recruiter as “full time positions” and not “permanent positions.”

The dictionary defines the word “permanent” as “existing perpetually; everlasting, especially without significant change.” Do any of you really think your job will be permanent if there is another economic slowdown? Seriously, do you really think your work is “permanent” by this definition or any other definition of the word that you can find?

Of course, not.

So why are jobs described as being “permanent positions?”

I think it all goes back to the way we have been conditioned from the time we went to school and were taught skills to prepare us for being employees. I am not speaking of math, English or science. I am speaking of conforming to systems and institutions that demand your loyalty without any offer of real reciprocity in return.

In school, you were taught:

  1. Do what you are told when you are told to do it . . . or else!
  2. Get good grades . . . or else!
  3. Have the right answers. Collaboration is cheating. Don’t collaborate . . . or else!
  4. Shut up. Don’t disagree . . . or else!

At work, you are taught:

  1. Do what you are told when you are told to do it . . . or else!
  2. Get good reviews . . . or else!
  3. Have the right answers . . . or else!
  4. Shut up. Be a team player. Don’t disagree . . . or…
Jeff Altman

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. Career Coach. Host of No BS Job Search Advice Radio & Join JobSearch.Community. It will help you