Earlier this week, Bank of America announced that they will be laying off 30,000 workers! That's a mind boggling number to many. Also, a fourth "green-energy" company touted by President Obama has filed for bankruptcy. One of those four, Solyndra, laid off 1,100 workers AFTER receiving over $500 million dollars from taxpayers. August saw the creation of ZERO jobs. Are you discouraged yet? Should you be?
I say no, you should not be bothered by this news. At a meeting with another business owner this week, I stated that this should be looked at as a positive. Granted, I'm not Mr. Cheery-face all the time, but hey, this is opportunity here for everyone. In the area of employment and work, I seem to be learning how to look for positive things when they present themselves.
As you may be aware, I like to encourage folks to pursue their passions, and to find ways to find an audience. Such an opportunity has come up for me for my coaching, but I need your help. It should take you less than 2 minutes.
Our local AM powerhouse, WBT, is hosting a contest for their next talker on Sunday nights from 6 - 8 PM. To participate, contestants need to create a video and get the greatest number of "likes" for their video. After contemplating this idea, I decided to enter the contest. We are in the voting phase of round 1 which ends on Thursday morning, 11/10/11 at 9:59 AM.
As a coach, and having taught workshops in churches, non-profits, and now at the community college level, I have seen many folks who are either in jobs they hate, or stuck trying to find work that is satisfying. That is one reason why I've been preparing a podcast to be called Cure For The Common Cubicle. This is also the concept for my radio show entry. I want to answer questions from listeners, and provide resources and information to help them. This is an amazing opportunity.
So here's how the contest works, and what I need from you:
All too often we limit ourselves as to the options available to us. We see most options as binary, that is, one or the other. We don't look for imaginative or creative solutions to the "problems" we are presented,or we discount things that interest us as being unable to generate income. Why is that?
I just came back from a trade show today in Greenville, SC, on behalf of a client I'm working with whose story we will feature soon. After speaking to several of the vendors there, I left very encouraged about the project we are working on, and that her project finally coming to fruition. It's been a long journey for her, and she is starting to see the dream come true after a number of setbacks. What if she had just thrown this idea to the side after she hit her first roadblocks two years ago? She didn't do that and now we believe that early in 2010, she will begin to earn an income from her idea.
We should not fear the threat of a layoff, but rather embrace the opportunity should it present itself. More new businesses get started during recessions than at other times. One of the common things people who lose their jobs and then find a better job or career say is "getting fired was one of the best things that ever happened to me."
A layoff is a great time to decide your next employment opportunity,or to finally pursue your dream. If owning your own business isn't your calling, then make sure that the next position you do take is a good fit for you and not just another paycheck.
Discouragement can sabotage the job search. When doors keep getting closed, we can begin doubting ourselves and give up. This is one of the reasons why economists state that the unemployment rate is really around 16% instead of near 10%. They get discouraged and stop looking for work, so they're no longer counted among the unemployed. People often fail to recognize opportunities that are out there for them. Discouragement further affects the job search process.
If you are discouraged, you may not consider applying for a job or entering a career field because of a lack of self-confidence. Or during an interview, your body language or tone of voice can cost you the job by conveying negativity.
As the country slogs on and begins to recover from the current recession, focus is on whether things will return to the way they used to be. Early signs indicate that they will not. As a part of cutbacks, companies have pared back contributions to employee retirement plans and other benefits. Employee contributions continue to rise, and pay raises will not be particularly large either.
One of the examples in Seth's blog that resounded with me referred to job risk. Seth says "Apparent risk is what keeps someone working at a big company, even if it's doing layoffs. It feels safer to stay there than to do the (apparently) insanely risky thing and start a new venture." I have been saying similar things for years to my coworkers in the corporate world.
When I worked at an avionics firm years ago, many engineers complained about the hours they were being required to work, and others perceived inequities while the industry was going through a downturn. It was far easier to pitch a fit than make a change. I noticed a few who decided to do something about it and jumped over to a financial services firm a few miles away. They took an apparently risky choice to move to an industry that was somewhat unfamiliar to them while those who stayed were taking an actual risk that their job would still be there at the end of the day.
This week I conducted a personalized job search workshop at the West Cabarrus YMCA in Concord, NC. The turnout was lower than I would have preferred, but it provided the opportunity to provide the attendees even greater value for the investment they made, and I was able to do things that I likely couldn't have in a larger group. The attendees ranged from college age to middle-age, but they all have one particular trait in common - sanity. Why do I say that? Because they were willing to take the time and invest a small amount of money to try a different method in their job search.
That was the gist of my conversation with a local morning news producer recently. About a week and a half ago, I sent her some information about the upcoming job-search workshop in the Charlotte area and explained how it would be different from any other workshop. She called me back to express her interest in what we're doing and to set up a time to bring me on their show to talk about it.
Looking for a job these days is more difficult than it has been in decades. Job searches are taking longer than ever before. Losing a job and being out of work for an extended period of time can lead to anger, resentment, guilt, and certainly depression. These feelings, in turn, can sabotage your job search, extending it even longer. So, I'm suggesting that you take these five tips and apply them while you are looking: