On Monday, February 22nd, 2010, I sat down with two new coaching clients who had recentlry lost their jobs. My role is to be helpful and supportive. I thought I was doing a great job until one remarked, "How can you think everything is going to be o.k.? Did you see the article in the Star Tribune this morning?" Sadly I had not, but he had. The article outlined the current financial thinking of local large law firms. The picture was not fantastic and the article gave little hope.
Law firms are feeling the times and things are not turning around as quickly as people had hoped. Many people I talked to in late 2009 and early 2010 treated the end of the 2009 calendar year like the closing of a chapter with a sunnier, brighter future written in the chapter to come. Unfortunately, early 2010 has not seen a big improvement in the financial times for Minnesota law firms and firms that held their breath to get through 2009 have started to rethink their forecast for the year. This has resulted in additional layoffs or terminations and hiring freezes.
So, why not be depressed and lose hope? First, because doing so won't get you any closer to your goal of employment. In fact, absorbing the somberness of the economic news will only hurt your job search. Keep your eyes on your goals and don't let your mind be cluttered with the noise of the media. You are not a global economy. You are one person with skills and experience who can fit even in a retracted economy. Second, if you have been working your plan for finding a job, keeping your skills sharp, and seeking any opportunity to expand your job success arsenal (training, networking, etc.), you are not starting from ground zero. So, stay on track and keep working your plan. Third, even the most pessimistic economists see things improving in 2010 so we just need to keep holding on and looking forward. Spring is on the way.