According to the United States Labor statistics 90.5 % of the eligible US working population is gainfully employed or as the cynics put it 9.5% are unemployed. Well….both numbers are wrong. For many that have dried up their welcome at the Unemployment Clinic and have seen the last government issued check for a while, they are not factored into this estimate.
Are you a bullish analyst or a bearish one on the real unemployment numbers? A fair market value estimate is that the unemployment rate is 11 – 14 percent and the employment rate is 86 – 89 percent.
Unprecedented numbers and unprecedented times….As CNBC noted this morning “It is hard to rely on historical numbers and events when we are living through an unprecedented time”
Who ever said business news channels cannot be profound and poetic.
Sometimes in difficult times the best way to start an article or a day is with a joke:
Someone told me recently about an architect, a surgeon, and economist. The surgeon said, ‘Look, we’re the most important. God’s a surgeon because the very first thing God did was to extract Eve from Adam’s rib.’ The architect said, ‘No, wait a minute, God is an architect. God made the world in seven days out of chaos.’ The economist smiled, ‘And who made the chaos?’
We are living in a time of chaos. Some may say fear, panic, depression, cynicism or even sadness. I look at this time as a time of opportunity.
I have been approached recently by some very prominent professionals asking for advice on how to publish a book. I took a talent and pursued a dream and that is how I approached the process. I think many of us are starting to realize we have a rare opportunity to take our hidden talents and passions and make them a reality. We are living in a moment of flux and we should not resist the chance to jump on and see where it takes us.
That leads me to the heart of my thought article…How do I get an edge and thrive professionally in a stagnant economy? It’s easy…Expose your talents and become a visible entity in the infrastructure of a global communications platform.
We all know Linkedin, Talentbar, Friendster, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and Second life, and the multitude of new platforms rising on a daily basis. Along the big diversified sites, there are niche sites devoted directly to your profession. Is your head spinning yet? Good, now take a deep breath and follow these few easy steps to becoming a star.
1.) A superstar shines because of their skill and not because they are solely being marketed. The most successful professionals rarely have to look for the next great opportunity. Make yourself known without letting anyone know you are doing it. Set up a personalized website and design it to expose your complete persona. Include your professional and academic background, groups or organizational affiliation, volunteer work, talents and skills, family/friends if you choose and long term goals and aspirations. A great sourcer/recruiter will find you.
2.) Be very concise and succinct on your professional profile. Peak the interest of a prospective employer with details of your accomplishments and skills but don’t away too much. Leave them wanting more. Grab them with little and when they find you, expose the best of you.
3.) Don’t be afraid to be different. The internet has become the new Hollywood for the world. Just because your colleagues at a network dinner are using headhunters and putting their profile on Linkedin and cold calling doesn’t mean you have to take that route. Make a video and promote yourself on You Tube or Broadcaster.com. Show your creative side and enhance exposure to your strong communication skills, your energy level and your creative juices.
4.) Research, research research! Did I mention research? Always keep your eyes open for that perfect career. Someday even Willy Wonka may need an assistant and when that happens you need to jump on that. When you choose to pursue an opportunity, use the tools you have to research the company, find out who the assessors may be, learn the culture and develop an approach that will grab their attention.
5.) Patience. Every good thing requires a level of patience. Don’t get discouraged! Don’t feel less valued! Don’t feel like the world is ending…unless your favorite American Idol just got voted off! Most importantly, try to stay consistent with the lifestyle you have grown accustomed to because things will rebound to a level of normalcy over time.
6.) The final advice I can give is the harder to achieve for many. Make time for yourself. If you have an opportunity, take a trip, build a boat, do volunteer work, start a hobby, work out or make art out of macaroni. This is a time of you. Don’t forget that.
Life doesn’t have a set of instructions or a clear conclusion but it does have a teacher to help guide you through times like this. That is the person you see every morning in the mirror. Whether we are directly affected by these difficult times or know someone, we all feel a level of empathy and the best thing we can do is seek inner happiness and make the best of this situation.