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Unemployment numbers keep going up. Now what?

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?


This is not the most encouraging news if you're a traditional job seeker. What do I mean by that. My definition of the traditional job seeker is the one who looks to do the same work they've been doing, regardless of if it aligns with their desires, and using the same old and tired methods like ads and jobs boards. Stories on the news continually show people talking about applying for jobs and not hearing back. The response by our politicians has been to extend unemployment benefits, now up to 99 weeks.

A common definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result". If you are applying for jobs online, or checking the paper and not seeing what you're looking for, what is your strategy? Have you considered other methods of finding jobs? Is your job search effort your new full time job? If not, it should be.

For some job seekers, it may be time to consider a career change, especially if what you've been doing is for the purpose of getting paid, and not a pursuit of what you love. I find many people doing the work they do today just a means of collecting a paycheck. It's not what they love, and sometimes they forget what they love. There are jobs that have left that will never return because of progress. There are also jobs today that didn't exist five years ago. Likewise, there are jobs that don't exist right now but will in the next few months to a couple of years. Maybe your passion lies there.

Regardless of what you're reading, watching, or hearing in the news, you are responsible for your success in finding work. It might be working for another company, but then again, it could be an opportune time to launch your own venture.


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