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Three Trends Job Seekers Should Observe

It is Labor Day!  At its very roots, “[Labor Day] constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”  That’s what the Department of Labor and other sources say.

Yes, we’ve made incredible contributions.  We’ve worked hard.  We’ve paid our dues.  So, is this how we are rewarded?

In honor of Labor Day, I wanted to share some points I think are definitive of today’s hard workers.  We are on the cusp of a new way at looking how we work.

Seven Careers in a Lifetime? Think Twice, Researchers Say

This comes from the Wall Street Journal and was written by Carl Bialik.  Why is this important?  Because, it points out how difficult this number is to prove.  What is a career?  Perhaps this is even more difficult to define today when new jobs in new industries are being invented.  The main point is that there is great uncertainty and great instability today.  No one is really sure what’s going to happen next.

Small Businesses Struggle to Find Skilled Workers

Dr. Ira S. Wolfe interviewed three small business owners to better understand this conundrum.  He concludes his article by saying:

“The frequency of these stories about employers reporting a lack of qualified workers despite high unemployment is increasing, making the situation much more the norm than an anomaly. The result is a growing sense of frustration among small employers about how out of work employees with less than optimum skills and a positive service attitude expect a level of compensation that feeds a lifestyle to which they’ve grown accustomed.”

Retire at 65 and go back and do something you really love

Daniel Pink points out in his book “Drive” that retirement happens at a point in American workers lives when they are ready to re-evaluate the next 20+ years.  He writes:

“Every thirteen minutes another hundred people – members of the wealthiest and best-educated generation the world has ever known – begin reckoning with their mortality and asking deep questions about meaning, significance, and what they truly want.”


What does all this mean?  Never before have we been living in such a time.  There are no historic similarities.  We are embarking on new territories and shifts.

To me this means that we need to manage our careers.  We need to pursue what we enjoy doing and we need to work harder than ever before.


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  • Julie Walraven | Resume Services September 6, 2010, 8:31 am

    You are totally right, Hannah! I see this all the time with my clients. I still have a few of the 25-30 year career in one job people and when they come to me, they have lost a job that they thought they would retire from and because of the economy now can’t. Even the 10-15 year people are in shock when it happens to them. The more people think of life as a career and building steps to goals, the more secure they will be. I really like what you said here: “To me this means that we need to manage our careers. We need to pursue what we enjoy doing and we need to work harder than ever before.” Agreed!

    • Career Sherpa September 7, 2010, 3:59 am

      Julie,

      It is about taking ownership, right? It is a whole new concept to those who’ve been used to the “old” way in which employers took care of their people. That’s not to say some employers aren’t good at treating their employees well, but in a short-term kind of way.

      We can only change what is within our control.

  • Margie Campaigne September 6, 2010, 11:41 am

    Having gotten my MRS 20+ years before my BS, I did not have a “career” in that time. I had a job, and it turned very long term – 22 years. Then it turned out my BS wasn’t enough to get any decent-paying job in my field (human services) so I stayed in my better-paying job another 10 years. Now that the company was sold out-of-state last year, I get to rethink everything. I am working on translating my passion for preserving the environment (long-term volunteer activism) into my new career in Sustainability. My experience already got me one exciting interview – now I just need one that lands a job offer. Good luck to us all!

    • Career Sherpa September 7, 2010, 3:48 am

      Margie:

      There’s a great lesson in this, isn’t there?! Well, there are at least two great lessons.

      I wish you great success in turning your passion into a rewarding job. Anything is possible once you set your mind to it. Believe and charge forward!