Jobs Outlook Cloudy As Holiday Hiring Begins

Posted: October 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, job growth rate, Unemployment News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Jobs Outlook Cloudy As Holiday Hiring Begins

Macy’s released news that it plans to hire 78,000 seasonal staff to keep their stores profitable and customers happy during the holiday season. As Macy’s increases it’s holiday hiring by 4% this year, others are slowing down and the job outlook is cloudy ahead for many professionals that have been hunting for what seems like forever.

Payroll processing company ADP reported that private sector firms added only 91,000 jobs in September. When compared to the 15MM+ job seekers in the market, that’s a far cry from where we need it to be in order to balance supply and demand. Worse news came from the economists at that put the estimate at only 45,000 jobs added and revised August’s number down to 89,000 from the originally reported 91,000.  What’s this mean to you as a job seeker?

Holiday Hiring = Good Option

While you may have thought your days in retail were over, take a second look at what this might  mean for your job search. Let’s put aside that this will likely pay less that what you made in your professional career pre The Great Recession days, these seasonal jobs can turn in to full-time positions for top notch employees. They can lead to great networking opportunities within major corporations – for example, Macy’s employs 178,000 professionals. Whether your background is in finance, marketing, sales, operations or merchandising there’s a position in that company your skills transfer into and a season position may allow you to network into that role easier than applying from the outside. Plus, seasonal positions sometimes offer perks like store discounts and we can all use those during budget-tight times like these.

Layoffs Looming

News of layoffs tends to hit us from nearly every angle these days. Bank of America announced $5B worth of layoffs affecting 30,000 staff in September adding to an overall 115K+ total jobs cut by employers in September, up 56% from August. When compared to 2010, this year we’ve seen a 16.5% increase in planned layoffs (475K vs. 411K). The big difference is many companies are laying staff off quietly to avoid media coverage and bad press. These layoffs, combined with the slow job growth, is keeping the unemployment rate at 9.1%.

Stay Focused

Job searching is a frustrating process and in a market that has intense competition and employers that take weeks to respond (some never even do), focus and patience are essential. It’s easy to give up, focus time on something else (Facebook, Farmville or Pumpkin Carving anyone) and dig in your heels. At the end of the day, the early bird gets the…job. Networking is how 80% of jobs are landed in today’s market and that’s where you want to spend 80% of your time. The great news about networking is you’re already doing it without even knowing it. Dropping off kids at school, having friends over for dinner, volunteering at your local hospital – these are all natural networking opportunities where you will likely meet the person who knows someone that is “dying to find you and your skill set”.

Unemployment Worries Raise as Layoffs Loom

Posted: September 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching, Unemployment News | Comments Off on Unemployment Worries Raise as Layoffs Loom

It’s no surprise that worries about being unemployed are elevated. Just last month Bank of America announced plans to layoff 30,000 and the United States Post Office asked Congress to cut 120,000 jobs. With the most recent hires likely to be the ones that lose their jobs first (a strategy known as last in the door, first out the door) many fear that their already depleted unemployment benefits will be gone when they need to apply yet again.

Lack of Loyalty
With unemployment trending at 9 percent, give or take a few points, it’s likely we will see additional layoffs. This is the reality rather than a prediction and in August, I had an influx of calls from professionals that were surprised to hear their positions at companies they had been loyal to for 10, 15 and in some cases, 20 years say goodbye to them with less than a day’s notice. Loyalty in today’s economy is to shareholders, the bottom-line and keeping the doors open. If you want to keep your family fed and a roof over your head, you need to give up the idea of loyalty to a single company just as they gave up the idea of loyalty to employees. (I say this as someone whose mother has worked for the same company for 28 yrs.)

A New Approach
It’s time for a new approach: being loyal to you and your family. Put your needs first while avoiding being selfish. Do what takes care of your needs and that can mean taking care of your company and it’s clients as well.  Stay true to who you are and your work ethic while branding your skills, accomplishments and expertise in a way that presents itself best to a company with a healthy financial situation.  When is the last time you thought about the best way to take care of your needs rather than your client, or company’s, needs? This is the new way to approach your career.

Worry Later, Work Now
When I was young I was a stress puppy; one of those people who thrived on worry and stress. Then, at 23, while an executive at a Fortune 500 company, I got shingles. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a very painful nerve-based disease that’s caused by stress and is usually found in the geriatric population – yes, geriatric. I had stressed my system out so much that I had a geriatric disease, at 23. During my 3 week stress-induced vacation I read a statistic that said 92% of what you worry about never happens. For all I know, I read it in a newsletter written by a faux professor – but I believed it and it’s been my motto from that day on.

If you want to worry about layoffs and unemployment, do so. I recommend you focus on working – either in your current position or on a targeted job search strategy that will get you into a job and career to utilize the skills you’ve spent years acquiring and perfecting.