In an economy as distressed as ours, every iota of positive news is both welcome and fraught with the advice to take it with the proverbial grain of salt. Economists in our nation’s capital have recently released the news that fewer layoffs have occurred in July ’09, since the economy took its worst nosedive last August (2008). However, this still means that 15 million Americans are jobless, and that number is predicated to climb into 2010.
The Department of Labor links the slowdown of layoffs to the fact that corporations are cutting costs, investing less, and therefore, posting smaller losses. Fears that gripped the nation earlier, causing freezes in manufacturing and housing, are beginning to thaw…slightly. Having not produced much in the way of new inventory in the past twelve months, manufacturers have all but depleted their existing stock and so, are firing up the plant equipment again, thus improving job opportunities in that sector. And, housing is up a bit due to the lenders’ bailouts by the Feds (read: the U.S. taxpayers).
While many financial analysts forecast economic growth in the third quarter of the year (July to September), particularly in the Northeast and the Midwest, we are still up to our eyeballs in the quagmire of the worst recession our nation has seen in twenty-six years. Competition remains fierce for the jobs that are available.
If you are unemployed, now is the time for you to explore other avenues/industries; you can’t afford to hope for your own industry to bounce back. If you are fortunate enough to be bringing home a paycheck, now is not the time for you to be complacent. In an economy such as this, where unemployment rates are predicted, next year, to rival that of post-World War II America (approximately 10.6%, as Washington expects), no one can be certain that their job will be alive and well tomorrow.
Regardless of the category in which you find yourself, take stock of your resources. “Resources” in this case does not mean the balance in your bank account or your investment portfolio: it means your resume, your cover letter, and your job search. All three must be powerful and focused in order to maximize your opportunities. Re-write your documents as necessary and revamp your job search to encompass not only Internet searches, but also, all forms of networking that target every level of contact.
Perusal of our previous articles concerning resume preparation, cover letter writing, and networking, including accessing the hidden job market, are at your disposal. If you are overwhelmed, take a step back, breathe deeply, and do something that you may consider radical in stepping outside of your comfort zone. Target a new and more stable field, contact your old college roommate, join that industry organization and, if need be, trust the crafting of your career documents to resume writing professionals.