Today’s morning ritual of sipping hot tea and reading the newspaper transpired without alarm until turning to the business pages. According to an article written by McClatchy/Tribune news, next year promises to be a rough one.
Breaking down the US employment figures for November (compared to the same month/2008), there will be little gain in jobs. Breaking down per job sector, the percent change over the past year is as follows:
Construction: down more than 20%
Manufacturing: down more than 15%
Professional and Business Services: down more than 7%
Retail Trade: down more than 5%
Education and Health Services: down more than 4%
Leisure and Hospitality: down more than 3%
On the brighter side, forecast for positions in the government are a pinch above even
Needless to say, breakfast was quick. Being in the human capital/management industry, I speak to individuals from all levels and demographics daily, vicariously experiencing each story and hardship. The upcoming year is another time to buckle down and find support in novel ways. According to today’s article “the slow recovery won’t bring much relief for job seekers.” Given things will not improve overall, that means we must also market our skills in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
With this in mind and the numbers as a backdrop, how does one keep their job or secure a new one if unemployed? Obviously networking is king but a close second must be in the package itself.
For those employed, continue pushing job effectiveness and develop quantifiable goals for the upcoming years. In this regard, write a business proposal outlining a particular situation which needs improving, the task required to deliver, the action you propose and will implement, and the results projected. Developing a STAR analysis is useful during evaluations and keeps you on focus. Employers wish to retain (and promote) employees showing initiative and willing to give a helping hand to the overall bottom line. The old saying “it’s not in my job responsibilities” no longer applies.
For those seeking employment, continue networking, practicing your branding statement/elevator speech, and develop effective marketing material. Knowing how to package yourself is just as important as the message itself. Keep your perspective on the employer, what will that person be looking for? Additionally, your message must be prioritized as the reader typically spends less than 15 seconds to review your material. How does one market effectively? As a certified resume writer, certified career coach, and co-founder of several human capital companies, I would recommend asking for a professional in the field for assistance as we often look into the mirror with myopic vision.
The upcoming year promises to be one of challenges but also can be one of vast opportunities. By developing and demonstrating your hard skills with solid and transferrable soft skills, the value you bring to a company can propel you above the crowd.
Wishing you and those in your life nothing but the best this holiday (and the many years to come),
Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International
Education Career Services
407-206-5883 (direct line)
866-794-3337 ext 110