As I sit down this morning at my computer to plan a set of articles, I look online at the local paper's stories regardng unemployment. If you're not careful, it will discourage you. In a society fueled by the never ending cycle of news, the current view appears to be that things are beyond your control due to government inaction, government intrusion, corporate greed, and stingy banks. What's one to do?
Out of five personal stories in an editorial today, only one was from a lady who didn't complain about her situation, but got up and did what needed to be done to find work that she wanted, not just needed. The other four blamed their age, having to start over, the state's residents, the government, and the recession that supposedly ended 2 years ago.
A local columnist wrote me to ask for my input about following up after the job interview. He wants to know how to provide some feedback on how to follow up after they don’t get the job. What can they learn from it? Is it okay to reach out and question the hiring manager/ recruiter. He believes recruiters would be more likely to give you feedback because they want you to hone your skills for the next try.
This is an area I do tend to like discussing with folks, so let's see if I can be of assistance. First off, it is always okay to reach out and question the hiring manager/recruiter. In fact, I think it's a must. This not only helps you from the feedback perspective, it can help you for future potential interviews.
It is not uncommon for the interview process to take several phases. Just getting the interview is a good start because it means your resume has gathered interest. The first interview may be in person or over the phone, and it may be conducted by a gatekeeper and not necessarily the hiring manager. With increased competition for fewer positions, these gatekeepers are trying to thin out the applicant list. The gatekeeper will have a set of questions by which they will identify prospects for the next phase, typically an in-person interview.
A recent article in the Charlotte Observer noted that there is a large gap between minority applicants and white applicants in terms of success in finding jobs as well as just the general unemployment rate. The unemployment rate in the black community today is roughly 50% higher than it is in the white community, and the Hispanic community also seems to be suffering a higher unemployment rate than the white community as well.
Is this a sign of racism? I don't think so, although it may play a case in rare situations. Older workers are struggling to find work also. Virtually every demographic group you can think of is gonna complain about their inability to find a job. The truth of the matter is that currently, the unemployment rate hovering around 9.1% nationally, and much higer in certain other areas. If you factor in the under-employment rate and those who have given up looking, the rate hovers much closer to 17%.
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.
Today, President Obama will be coming to Charlotte to stop by a plant that has received $49 million in stimulus dollars for their "green jobs" efforts. His visit comes during a time of the high unemployment in Charlotte and North Carolina, the highest in at least 20 years.
Since the latter months of President Bush's time in office, the country has spent trillions of dollars in TARP, stimulus spending, and unemployment benefits. Folks will differ on whether TARP was necessary or wise for years to come. The stimulus was touted as necessary to keep unemployment below 8.5%, but it rose to 10.5%, with analysts believing that the "real" number is 17.3%. Unemployment benefits have been extended multiple times, and proposed to go up to 99 weeks. That's almost 2 years!
Apparently I upset at least a couple of readers by suggesting that they are responsible for their job search, and that if the search isn't going well, you might consider launching your own business. Although my articles were not intended to be political talking points, I was accused of that. There was also the dig about the Christian church as well.
But I stand by my points. You are responsible for your results. Unemployment in the Charlotte region is the highest it has been in at least 20 years. It currently stands at 12.8%. However, based on other studies suggesting the national unemployment level is likely over 16%, the unemployment rate in Charlotte is likely higher. In Hickory, one of the hardest hit areas due to it's manufacturing base, the unemployment rate is over 15%.
Here in the Charlotte area, the unemployment rate has reached 12.8%. This is the highest rate in 20 years, and all signs are that it will be a very slow descent, possibly years, before the region recovers. One economist predicts that the rate will still be around 11% around the end of 2010. What does this mean to you?