It seems every day there is a news item about unemployment numbers, hiring trends, layoffs or the possibility of recovery. Last week the Wall Street Journal reported “Job Gains Speed Up and More Seek Work”. The New York Times had a similar report, Economy Gains Impetus as U.S. Adds 290,000 Jobs, showing that, although 290,000 jobs were added, the unemployment number also went up. So what is a job seeker to do with all this news? Some suggestions for riding the hiring trends roller coaster:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Those weekly or even monthly reports are all “small stuff”. They are like the daily stock market numbers. Tracking unemployment roller coaster trends is not particular helpful in your job search. The fact is that there are still jobs and opportunities out there and every day people are getting back to work.
- Focus your energy. Put your time and energy into actions that will move you toward widening your network, locating opportunities through the hidden job market, interviewing successfully and being hired.
- Know the trends in your own industry. While tracking each week’s statistics on new filings for unemployment insurance is not helpful, knowing what is happening in your target field could be. For example, special report in NWJobs points nurses in the direction of current career paths. Likewise an earthday blog looks at trends in green jobs. Think about how to keep your skills relevant to current developments in your industry.
- Use the news to direct your job search to fruitful areas. For example, a recent Wall street Journal report on hiring trends notes that while companies are waiting for economic recovery, many are making increased use of temporary help. For a job seeker this may mean it is worthwhile to pursue such short term work right now.
- Learn from success stories. Every day there are people getting hired. Find out what job-seeking techniques worked for the newly hired and use their stories as inspiration for your own search.
While there is no doubt the economy remains tough and unemployment remains high, job seekers need to focus on the positive and put strong energy toward proven techniques for finding a job.