The New Normal for Jobs
Economists are blaming today’s employment market on a bad economy, an economic downturn and the worst recession in 75 years and maybe they’re all right. But I think it’s more. I think it’s the new normal and it’s here to stay. It’s not going to go away even when the economy picks up and the recession ends.
Gone are the days of the 40s through 60s era when you found a job, stayed there 30 years, and retired. Can’t go back to the 70s through 90s decades either when the stock market soared, the economy was strong and jobs were plentiful. In those days, people wanted to move up the ladder not just “find a job.”
Today, the majority of people who contact me begin by saying, “I can’t find a job.” The truth is often not so simple.
They can’t find the job they want. Or they can’t find the job they had. Or they don’t want to settle for a lower-level job. Or they don’t want to take a lower-paying job. Or they don’t want to make significant lifestyle changes. Or they don’t want to learn new skills. Or they don’t want to go back to college. Or they don’t want to relocate. Or they really haven’t looked very hard (unemployment hasn’t run out yet). Or a number of other reasons that allow them to blame everything but themselves.
Here’s What You Can Do
The way I see it, if you’re unemployed or underemployed, you have two choices. You can wait for things to change or you can adjust to reality.
Don’t coast until your unemployment runs out, your severance package is spent, or your savings are exhausted. Look for your new job now. The longer you’re out of work, the less appealing you are to employers.
If you need to finish college or get special training, do it. Find the money for it. Look for funding programs. Take out a loan. Get a second mortgage. Borrow money from your family. If the lack of education is stopping you, do something about it.
If you can’t live on what a 20-hour-a-week job pays, get two 20-hour-a-week jobs.
Millions of jobs are available for skilled trades. Consider getting vocational school or landing an apprenticeship instead of a four-year college degree. Last week, The Wall Street Journal ran an article about how manufacturers can’t find the skilled help they need. Maybe that’s a place to start looking.
Learn to live on less. If you can’t find a job that pays what you used to make, cut back where you can and learn to live on less. Do you really need cable? Do have to have an iPhone? Could you stop eating out? Look at where you can cut back and do it.
Stop Talking and Start Doing
Make an honest and concentrated effort to find your next job. Don’t just talk about how bad things are and do nothing to make them better.
I read an article the other day about a man who has been out of work for 14 months. Said he’s still applying online. Sends out two resumes every week. REALLY?! Two a week?! This effort is about the same as no effort at all. Fourteen months from now, he will probably still be unemployed.
It you want a job, stop blaming the economy, Obamacare, big business, politicians, etc., etc. etc. Take charge of your life. Don’t wait for the economy to change or the recession to end. See where you fit in today’s job market and do whatever it takes to work within it.
Sue Montgomery is a Certified Professional Resume Writer & Career Coach with 20+ years of experience creating resumes, cover letters and other tools that market people for the jobs they want. Sue is founder and president of Resume Plus.