Lost At Sea? Career Search Strategies and Tips for Today’s Job Market

Can you believe it is already August? Before you know it, you’ll blink and it’ll be Labor Day, and the summer will really be over.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of good news in the employment sector. Rough waters continue to prevail, and many may be feeling lost at sea in a turbulent economy. Careerbuilder.com summarized the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released its monthly summary of job data for July 2008:

  • Unemployment rose from 5.5% in June to 5.7% in July.
  • There were 51,000 fewer jobs in July. Total job loss for 2008 so far is 463,000. That is an average of 66,000 jobs lost per month.
  • The most notable losses were in construction, manufacturing and employment services. The drop for employment services indicates far fewer companies are using temporary help.
  • The report also mentioned that teenagers and young adults who usually take on part-time jobs during the summer have had challenges in finding a job this year.

What does all of this mean to you?

It depends. If you work in one of the harder-hit sectors, it could very well mean that your job is in jeopardy, and you need to start thinking about what you will do if you are out of work.

I’ve written a lot about job seeking in a recession. Some links that might be useful:

You are still feeling lost in a tailspin of negative jobs data? You can’t focus on what to do next? Here is some advice from my friend and colleague, Walter Akana, Certified Personal Branding Strategist at Threshold Consulting:

Stop everything! Evaluate where you have been, what you most want to do and think about where you can do it. Walter suggests answering the following questions from the book Zen and the Art of Making a Living:

  • What work best reflects who I am?
  • Whom do I want to serve/work with?
  • What will I most enjoy doing?
  • To what will I be willing to devote myself?

To help evaluate alternatives and focus, Walter recommends creating a personal career alternatives matrix. List your ideal job criteria, interests and capabilities in the first column, and then three or four alternatives in successive columns. This exercise is designed to help you focus on getting on a track that suits you, which might be a very different track from the one you’ve been on most recently!

Take the plunge and look for a job! Still need a great resume? Some help to write the perfect cover letter? I’m here to help! Write to me.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you!

Photo by Irish Sheep

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1 Response to “Lost At Sea? Career Search Strategies and Tips for Today’s Job Market”


  1. 1 Teena Rose August 4, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    If one gem results from the bad news on the job front, I’m hoping to see a shift in the mindset of the working population. Reading a book last year on building wealth (sorry I can’t remember the title), it suggested the young generation of today is the first estimated to not outperform their parents, both financially and on the career front. So, what does this all mean … especially when you consider the rise in unemployment rate and searching for a job during a recession, as you mentioned.

    My wish is that today’s jobseekers start looking at job-searching from a broader perspective. No longer do I feel that jobseekers should slip into the traditional 9-to-5 job with the capped salary and cramped cubicle. What I would like to see is more individuals shifting into consulting or business ownership roles. Why can’t a new graduate or back-to-the-workforce stay-at-home-dad jump right into business ownership?

    Why must people always think of a J-O-B in order to make a living? So many career spins are possible, you only need to identify a need and fill it. Negative career news, I feel, is opportunity. An employed person can be somewhat complacent, satisfied, and maybe even “job bloated.” An unemployed person can be “hungry and driven,” coming up with money-making ideas that result solely from that uncomfortable hunger and uncontrollable drive.

    Regards,
    Teena Rose


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