Labor Day

Sep 5th, 2011 | By | Category: abundance, aptitude, Career advice, career choice, challenges, focus, opportunity, recession, strategy, tactics, training

According to the news, Labor Day is the second most popular day for resetting career goals. It seems fitting on the day set aside to honor worker’s contribution to society that our thoughts naturally focus on our own contributions, and careers.

While we all want to contribute to society, our main career goal is to achieve success and financial security. Developing strategies to get a raise in this bad economy is a real challenge.

This is a peculiar time. While the economy continues to struggle, profits are at an all time high. It appears the theory of supply and demand has reached equilibrium far from the theoretical full employment scenario. Many of us find ourselves unemployed on this Labor Day, and many others worried they will soon be out of work. Not much to celebrate?

While the news seems to keep heaping one bad set of economic data on top the last, there is hope that things will get better. While the official unemployment rate hovers around 9% and the real unemployment rate exceeds 18% there are still 82% of the workforce employed.

If you are one of the 18% unemployed or under employed there seems little to celebrate. Looking for a job in this economy can be very depressing. A stack of rejection letters serves as proof of your efforts, but it also speaks of the lack of available jobs.

Since we are well into this economic situation, we must adapt to the realism that the paradigm has shifted. Although I fully expect the employment pendulum will eventually swing toward full employment, it may be a while, and then the employment landscape will look a lot different.

The global economy is a dream held by many as a cure all to all our long-term social and economic upheavals. The simple theory is that if we are dependent on one another for survival, then we must learn to work together. It is a great theory but does not match my perception of the human condition.
Be that as it may, and we can only wait to see the how the experiment turns out. We must adjust to the new brave world. This means learning new skills and tactics to deal with the economy we have, rather than waiting for the economy we would like. Although it may sound naïve, I believe the way Americans are going to get back to work is by using their initiative and creativity.

I have a friend who up until the housing bubble crashed operated a successful plumbing business, which employed as many as 10 people. Now he has sold most of his equipment, and is supporting himself by collecting scrap metal from construction sites. It is a big step down, but the same initiate that built the plumbing business is at work building a scrap metal business. Desirable? No. Necessary? Yes.

So when we look out at the unemployment landscape the only bright spot I see, is the American spirit and its ability to achieve.

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