First off, happy Remembrance Day everyone. This post will be a response to the e-mail I got from Forbes about wanting some blogger input on an issue. The question asked was the following:
Recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a jump in the unemployment rate to 10.2%. Some economists think we could be looking at 10.5% by early next year.
Given these grim forecasts, how do you counsel recent college graduates and others entering the job market for the first time in this employment climate? Is there any advice or strategies you find particularly useful?
In my personal opinion, these statistical data about the unemployment rate are viewed in a too one sided light. While I am not based in the US, from what I read a lot of those big companies that have been going under need to be restructured.
So imagine this. You are a company that was originally so careless where it seemed like you could care less about how many people you hired or how much money you paid everyone in bonuses. Example, itâ€™s like you had five people to screw in a light bulb, two people to flip on the switch and then another person to see if the light is good.
Now for whatever reason your funds have dried up and you are on the verge of bankruptcy. So, you as a company now need to get down to business. You now have to layoff a lot of people to be more profitable and smarter in the way you do things to be more sustainable. Example, you now have one guy that can screw in a light bulb, flip the switch and be smart enough to see if it works well.
Because of decisions like that, your company starts to profit again and you are back in business. As you expand because of these profits, you gradually hire more people. Now when you look at your numbers, your profits are up. But if you look at your employee numbers it is very low compared to before. Now is that a bad thing?
From what I read, in the US the economy is up but when people look at the unemployment rate that seems to have gone up too. Is it truly that much of a surprise? Isnâ€™t it necessary where that is just naturally what needs to happen for things to turn around?
Essentially, what Iâ€™m saying is that I personally donâ€™t think the unemployment rate is like the ultimate factor in finding a job or developing ways to make a living. Nor should it cloud you in fear Iâ€™d say. If you canâ€™t find a job, donâ€™t blame things like the unemployment rate or use that as a cushion to justify not finding one. Look at yourself and what you have to offer. Under regular circumstances, there is no company in the world that I can think of that wouldnâ€™t want to hire someone who can generate profits and results for a business. You have to sell yourself and your capabilities.
As well, for job seekers it should be viewed as a good opportunity in some ways. Like from a business perspective, five people that go out of business is in no way a ruling that a certain industry is dead or that now it is super hard to succeed in. You can view that more as an opportunity to establish yourself in a market that is revitalizing where it is out with the old and in with the new. For a new person wanting to find a job, in many ways this can mean that the companies are hungry to bring in new people who are current and more up to date as the old ways werenâ€™t working for the others to go out of business.
I think for people entering the job market it is smarter to develop the attitude now that you need to be in charge of your own income and not just be dependent on one source. I know most people that go to school are trained to live a 9-5 lifestyle as that is supposed to mean financial security. As you can see from the news, there is no such thing as job security. If a company goes under then that means a loss of jobs.
Be a little entrepreneurial Iâ€™d say. By that I donâ€™t mean go out and take a $100,000 loan and try to start a business. Example, if you are unemployed then see if you can find some freelance work to do. There are a ton of Internet sites to help you with this (Especially if you specialize working in a high tech and creative field). If you do find a comfortable full time job, take that as an opportunity to invest some of your funds in other things to make more money instead of buying materialistic items that you donâ€™t really need.
There is always something to do especially at this day and age when it comes to work. Look at how many stay at home moms there are nowadays who make a living by writing for online communities. How about people that discovered stock or forex investments? Everyone is always in school when it comes to life. So, donâ€™t think that just because you graduated with a certain degree or specialty that you canâ€™t do other things as well. I have even seen people work at a full time job as well as working as a real estate agent on the side since it fits in with their schedule.
Bottom line, always be doing something and try to see the opportunity side of statistical data like these. Generally speaking, I really donâ€™t see too much of a difference when it comes to getting a job or making a living. Basically, the people who are the most pro-active while taking advantage of the opportunities that are around them without allowing fear to dictate them are usually the ones that come out ahead. How is today any different from yesterday?