Saturday, June 02, 2012

Disappointing unemployment data causes job-seekers to rethink strategies

New employment slipped in May, according to Census Current Population Surveys, and there have been repercussions in the securities markets and for the presidential race.

The conventional wisdom for job seekers keeps shifting.

Back in the 80s and early 90s, during previous downturns, in mainframe IT one piece of advice was just, “you need a job”.  “A” was the indefinite article.  The problem was that such a track directed people down paths that would dead-end, in a market that would eventually insist on extreme, job-ready specialization.

Another variation on this “tema” was, you need to succeed only once (with an interview); you can fail countably infinitely many times.
In older days, you could lead a double life.  Even when I entered self-publishing, in the late 1990s, one could do that.  But that all changed with the advent of social media in the middle of the previous decade.  Now you must have an integrated presence and online reputation.  You may have to become more “partisan” than I had to be. 

Many people will soon lose unemployment checks as extended benefits end in many states.  And the percentag of long-term unemployed is rising.  This may be true in IT, where specialization is so critical now compared to times past. 

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