Archive for the ‘Job Hunting’ Category

Jobs: where they are now

May 31, 2013

Today’s job market is changing geographically and metaphorically, and current job seekers must keep their eyes on the literally shifting sands of opportunities. For the first time in a generation, gains in jobs are happening now within industries that might surprise you, and in locations that might have been declared “dead and done” in the last period of growth of our economy.

If there is one word to describe what’s happening in this country and where the jobs are, it’s change. Silicon Valley is once again booming with the success of companies like Instagram, Salesforce.com, Yelp, LinkedIn and Twitter joining Google, Yahoo, Cisco, Facebook and YouTube. Wired magazine, in its May 2013 edition, reports that Silicon Valley continues to produce the most spectacular companies of our era, this time no longer in danger of a bust. A plus side in finding employment there is the general salary range, which tends to average $90 to $100K per year, as opposed to $50K throughout the country.

The June 2011 issue of Wired Magazine dedicated a large section of its pages to delivering the employment -related facts and figures that emerged from 2006 to 2010. There are jobs out there, and some of them are growing swiftly, but they may not be in the places we used to find them. The good news is, if you’ve got your game on, these industries, according to Wired, grew at a pretty good clip.

Wired asked Linked In to analyze the 7 million US members who had switched jobs since 2006 and present the industries to which they had gone. The results? The “renewables and environment” industry grew enormously since 2006, a whopping 56.8%; and jobs involving the Internet grew 29.8%. Jobs in the wireless industry grew 21.4% from 2006 to 2010. Employment in the computer industry and network security grew 21.8%.

But Silicon Valley jobs are not the only growing ones. Jobs in online publishing grew 29.1%. The professional training industry grew 13.9%. The E-learning industry grew 18.7%, and graphic design grew by 7.8%.

If you’re in the business of computer games, information services or biotechnology, your field grew by 11.1%,  8%, and 12.8% respectively.

“Old-fashioned industries” are being transformed as well, with oil and energy up 7.3%. Jobs in that industry are driven by exploration in North Dakota and Louisiana, and are attracting thousands of unemployed Americans. Railroad manufacturing is up 9.4%, and medical device manufacturing up 12.5%. Time magazine reports that farming income was up 27% in 2011.

As a testament to the “old fashioned” trend, an April 24, 2013 Forbes online article by Jacqueline Smith  listed the “Ten Happiest Cities For Young Professionals” which surprisingly included Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Riverside, California; Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. These seasoned cities ranked alongside the more commonly cited San Diego and San Jose. Their resurrection is driving jobs.

The employment picture in the U.S. reflects major changes in the industries that are hiring, and where the opportunities lie. Smart job seekers are polishing their resumes accordingly, and hitting the road.

Di Chapman is Chief Communications Officer of Power Connections, Inc., and a speaker/writer. Her book How Smart People Sabotage Their Job Search was coauthored with Susan Howington, and is available on Amazon.com. She can be read at http://www.Examiner.com, CBS Local Atlanta Online, and http://www.thecurrentplus.com. Her LinkedIn profile is www.linkedin.com/in/DiChapman.

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Where the Jobs Are (part III)

January 30, 2012

Think Strategically! Think Big! Think … Omaha???

“Dreams are never destroyed – only rearranged.” – Paul Abram Constantine

Susan Howington of Power Connections articulated something to me a few weeks ago that constitutes a new trend in job search throughout the country. She said to me, “Diane, we have a new situation going on here. Job searchers over 45 are having a hard time finding work, as are job searchers in their 20s right out of college. So, what can we offer the two groups of professionals who are benched due to our economic debacle?”

I recalled that, as I was researching the articles for The Daily Job Hunt blog, my eye had been caught by some reports of “downtown” rebirth in some of our nation’s older, smaller, and admittedly, less “sexy” cities. This rebirth phenomenon is being driven by young people who are graduating colleges and finding that there is no place to go but home – to places like Omaha, Portland, and Orem. Their presence in their home cities is driving a renaissance of an artistic coffee culture, teeming with revitalization and energy. Surprise, surprise! Once again, what’s old is new. As Parts I and II of this “Where the Jobs Are” series revealed, trends are taking us “back to the future.”

This benefits not just the recent college grads – but Americans of all ages and educational levels. We’re all in this together, and need to forge new pathways wherever the opportunities are. A good job has always been the cornerstone for the American Dream.

So, let me tell you where there are jobs right now.

You know, as the John Cougar Mellencamp song goes, “I was born in a small town,” so there is a part of me that derives satisfaction from seeing some of our older, more established cities and towns in America spring back to life. Yes, I’ve worked in New York City, D.C., Dallas, Phoenix, and Orange County, but my roots are Midwestern near the Canadian border in North Dakota, which by the way, is teeming with oil exploration right now.

Brad Briggs, a staff writer for StreetAuthority, reported in a November 2011 Investing Answers that there’s a modern-day boom in my birth state, where it turns out shale oil can now be profitably extracted from the ground. Apparently, in the last four years, it isn’t just jobs in oil exploration and extraction that have popped up, but the need for thousands of workers to help meet the demands of the oil field workers who have moved there. Ward Koeser, the mayor of Williston, North Dakota, told Briggs that the town had between 2,000 and 3,000 job openings, and if you feel inclined to move there, you could probably land one of them in one day to one week’s time. Don’t take my word for it! You can read Brad’s article at The ONE Place in America Where Jobs are Plentiful; but don’t stop there -it isn’t the only place!

And, again, just a few days ago, Investing Answers featured a report by Nathan Slaughter of StreetAuthority who reported that when it comes to investing success, the wealthiest investors in the world tend to invest in natural resources. As North Dakota booms in its quest to produce oil, Slaughter reports that there is also a boom in shale oil drilling in the NW corner of Louisiana’s Desoto Parish, which has become the nation’s top producing natural gas field. At this point in history, where there is shale oil drilling, there is opportunity.

As my title promises, there are jobs happening as well in Omaha, which Kiplinger named in 2011 as the “number one best value city for its vibrancy, cost of living, and low unemployment rate.” Greater Omaha hosts over 30,000 businesses, and the city is one of few in 2012 who maintains a triple-A credit rating. Some of the resident businesses there are household names like Omaha Steaks, Mutual of Omaha, Gallup, PayPal, Aflac ,and TD Ameritrade. You’ll also find a footprint there for Google, Verizon and Yahoo!, among many other technical brands.

If there isn’t enough great statistical information to attract a job seeker to Omaha, there is the youthful, energetic vibe of the redeveloped downtown district. Since about 2002, when the younger set decided to meet there for coffee and jazz, the evolution of the downtown area has been a testament to the city’s solid economic health and growth while the rest of us have been licking our wounds.

Look, I’ve talked to a number of my readers who need jobs, but who cannot cut family and friendship ties to a place like California, and I completely understand. But, I also know that it’s easier to whine and moan about why you cannot do something, rather than take the proverbial well-planned leap. As terrifying as it sounds, moving to take a job can be one of the best things that will ever happen to you, particularly when the move is to a place where the buzz of productivity fuels optimism and well-being. I know, because it has happened to me.

I also know that young people who are hitting a wall in California, or Arizona, or Florida could be encouraged to go where the jobs are. Isn’t that what WE did in our day? Who among us didn’t hop in our “beater” and drive to a distant place, waving to mom and dad as we backed out of their driveway? As we did then – following healthy job leads to new locales – we might just need to do now.

Any discussion of hopes and dreams brings up the notion of a rewarding job with a promising future. It is the springboard to our desire for homes, marriages and children. The American Dream was built on a good job, first and foremost. It’s one of those times when the dream seems to have died. But perhaps it hasn’t – perhaps, as my dear friend Paul Abram Constantine says, it’s just been “rearranged” – or in this case, relocated.

Diane Y. Chapman (Di Chapman) is the Chief Communications Officer of Power Connections, and the founder of Words To Your Advantage Speaking and Writing Service. She is also a contributor to How Smart People Sabotage Their Job Search: Ten Mistakes Executives Make and How To Fix Them,” available on Amazon.