Western Civilization's Historical Guide To The Job Search [Infographic]

job search historyAs any student of economics can tell you, specialization plays a huge role in helping to grow a country's economy. That's true, too, of human evolution. As humans evolved and began inventing new technologies, we moved beyond being solely hunters and gatherers, and began to specialize in particular crafts.

Once we began practicing a division of labor, the way in which we looked for work eventually changed too. Of course, job hunting as we know it, at least in the Western world, is a relatively new phenomenon. It coincided with the dawning of the industrial Revolution, a little more than 200 years ago.

Industry's mass production meant that plenty of workers were needed to man factories, to operate locomotives, steamships and farm machinery, develop chemicals and more. The burgeoning technology created not just a need for manpower but managers to help create and maintain structure within a company.

As the Industrial Revolution wore on, employers found that they could become more selective in whom they chose to hire. Newly developed technology allowed companies to begin placing ads in newspapers -- around 1850 -- as a recruiting tool.

Today, of course, companies and workers have moved beyond just the print media. The dawn of the Internet has created all kinds of virtual tools -- websites and social networks, for example --- to help employers find the talent they need and workers to find jobs best suited to their talents.

Though methods for finding work have changed through the centuries, the need to work hasn't. For more on the history of job search in the Western world, check out the infographic below.


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David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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