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 Briefing.com 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.
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%.
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”.