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:
- Ideas for how to recession proof your career.
- Suggestions of the best careers for today’s economy.
- Information about what to do next if you’ve lost your job.
- Rules for job hunting in a recession.
- Tips if your search is going on and on.
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!
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Photo by Irish Sheep