Threats of a government shutdown and the prevailing economic crisis has lessened the need for general interview and job search techniques and polarized the need for financial sustenance and alternative methods for surviving during this economic downturn. Reinvention is imminent and necessary if you are a part of the workforce and perpetually uncertain about the status of your bank account.
In August, the U.S. added 169,000 nationwide, maintaining an overall unemployment percentage at 7.3 percent. Part-time dropped by 334,000, bringing the number of part-time workers to 7.9 million. However, the change in part-time employment could be related to either the increase in full-time jobs or loss of employment altogether. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment rose in retail, trade and health care but declined in information.
Summarized by Ben Casselman of the Wallstreet Journal, the bad news is that it's bad news:
More than four years after the recession ended, finding a job remains extraordinarily difficult. ...The average unemployed worker has been out of work for more than eight and a half months—a figure that rose for the second month in a row. Little wonder, then, that the number of so-called “discouraged” workers—those who have stopped looking for jobs because they don’t believe any are available—is up from a year ago, and the number of people re-joining the labor force to look for jobs fell in August.
Entrepreneurs and Salable Skill Sets
Though the service and retail industries remain high in employment, the pay, on average, is minimum wage or slightly higher. In many ways, we are returning to more of a localized marketplace, selling our wares and skills individually. Despite the bleak outlook, it is in these times that the opportunity to utilize your artistic abilities, talents and interests becomes prevalent. From freelance jobs in editing and graphic design to contract positions in project management and website engineering, the trend has shifted from corporate employment to entrepreneurial pursuits.
Brushing up on skills at local community colleges or through online courses is one way to stay ahead of the curve. Training programs for entrepreneurs are also available through colleges and community organizations, such as local chambers of commerce, the Urban League and the NAACP.
While pursuing your dreams may seem risky at this time, it may actually prove crucial, providing added security and peace of mind when layoffs show up or hours are cut.