Posts Tagged ‘Job-hunting’

Where the Jobs Are! The Shifting Sands of Opportunities

September 13, 2011

If you don’t read anything else about the job market this year, you MUST read this. And I mean ALL of you, whether you are unemployed and seeking work, or gainfully employed and sitting back because you think your situation won’t change.

The job market sands are shifting metaphorically and geographically. You might be surprised at where the gains in jobs are happening right now – and I mean the industries where growth is actually happening. With all the loud, heated public vitriol about the employment picture in this country, constructive reports about growing industries are few and far between. But, I found one – and it’s a good-sized report that will hopefully give you a boost, or at least a “road map” to help you navigate the future.

It’s time to make the decision to keep your eyes on the shifting sands of opportunities. And by the word “sands,” I mean the metaphorical job market shifts; and literally, the geography of where jobs are headed inside the United States. Depending on your own personal circumstances, this information may surprise and delight you; or drop on you like a bomb. Nonetheless, it’s important for you to know.

If you’re currently employed, you probably exhibit the tendency to put your head in the – ahem! – sand – about shifting job market factors. Humans seem to have an aversion to smartly gathering up protective information about things when they don’t believe that something will happen to them. I know of many people, and perhaps you do as well, who, instead of dusting off their resumes because there are rumors of changes throughout their organizations, prefer to sit back and say, “I’ll wait to see what happens.” As a resume writer since 1990, I cannot tell you how many individuals I have worked with over the years who frantically called to come in for a resume composition at the very last possible moment of needing one.

If there is ONE word to describe what’s happening in this country and where the jobs are, it’s CHANGE. Yeah, I said it. Change. No doubt, if you’re like everyone else, this is the last thing you want. I encourage you, though, to look at the information I’ve compiled, and enthusiastically assess how it affects you, your career and your life. As difficult as change may be, it holds the potential to be the best thing that ever happens to you! Honest!

Where the jobs are – the top growing industries, and how their jobs are changing.

The June 2011 issue of Wired Magazine dedicated a large section of its pages to delivering the jobs-related facts and figures that have now emerged in the rubble of the financial catastrophe around us. 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 from 2006 to 2010. Amen to that! Here is a summary of the list, with some percentages attached to the growing industries:

I won’t beat around the bush on the good news. 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%; as well as jobs involving the Internet, which grew 29.8%. Jobs in the wireless industry grew 21.4% from 2006 to 2010 – no surprise there. Jobs in the computer industry and network security grew 21.8%.

Now for a few stats that might surprise you. Jobs in online publishing grew 29.1% since 2006. The professional training industry grew 13.9%. Railroad manufacture grew 9.4% and medical device manufacturing grew 12.5%. The E-learning industry grew 18.7% (we saw that coming), and graphic designers saw their field grow by 7.8%. Who knew?

If you’re in the business of computer games, oil and energy, information services or biotechnology, your field grew by 11.1%, 7.3%, 8%, and 12.8% respectively. But wait! Time magazine reports that Farming income – farming income – was up 27% last year and is still rising. Farming is expected to grow another 20% this year.

The most amazing thing, though, according to Wired, is how the jobs themselves have morphed since 2006. “Old-fashioned industries” are being transformed, with the lines between blue and white collar positions becoming blurred, and educational requirements evolving in ways that are more horizontal than vertical. The hopeful result in all of the shifting trends in job creation is that our country’s middle class will once again start to emerge strong and healthy. This is good news for all of us. Change is happening.

My next segment on The Daily Job Hunt is part two of this report on Where the Jobs Are! Although some of you will claim it’s the other shoe dropping, I think it’s fascinating information that could hold promise for millions of people. Perhaps for you it will put the wheels in motion to a new, promising life. Buckle up and get ready!

Diane Y. (Di) Chapman is the Founder and President of Words To Your Advantage Speaking and Writing Service, and the Chief Communications Officer of Power Connections Executive Outplacement and Leadership Coaching Service. Connect with Di at http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/DiChapman and follow her at http://www.twitter.com/InspirationalDi

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Finding Balance at the Speed of Life

October 27, 2010

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Ghandi

Yes, I know I’ve used that quote in my writing many times, but if you’re in transition, losing sleep over the future, negotiating for a new job, or hopeful that an offer is going to be your light at the end of the tunnel, Ghandi’s wisdom bears repeating. I’m reminded of traveling from Paris to Lyon, France, on the TGV high-speed “bullet” train years ago. High above the ground, the train clocked speeds of 125 miles per hour and more. The countryside literally flew by.

Doesn’t it seem like life right now for most of us is a speeding bullet train, with the added uncertainty of the stability of the tracks? We’re speeding faster and faster into an uncertain future, teetering on the rails of life, like a roller coaster dipping and climbing … and we’re holding on tight.

I know all too well of which I speak. I used to be Superwoman! Since summer’s end, though, I’ve been behind in everything – I’m like a hamster on a wheel, squeakily spinning it with as much velocity as I can muster, but to no avail. Yes, I’m moving faster, but the complexity of all of the issues and events of life during this recession have slowed me down mentally and emotionally. I’m “still kicking,” but with less clarity, more confusion, and more of a sense of overwhelm-ment than ever before. Superwoman has flown off the planet, and I’ve been left holding a five-pound bag containing ten pounds of overdue everything: blogging, twittering, phoning, reading, writing … you name it. Stop the world!!! I want to get off!

Can you relate?

Trust me, I have always been one focused professional, never making excuses about my shortcomings, always returning calls promptly, meeting deadlines, and going the extra mile for my commitments. But, I’ll admit that right now, I’m wondering when I’ll get my balancing act back in swing. If you’re wondering the same thing about yourself, you are not alone. The uncertainty of what our economic future might be collectively, and even more unsettling, what it might be for each of us individually and our families, is enough to knock even the toughest players off their game.

Are you losing sleep over the loss of a job – whether it’s your own, or a loved one’s? Are you uncertain of what changes landing a new job will bring? I just went through that with my husband – eight months of executive unemployment.

My husband and I are thrilled about his new job, and I’ve never seen him happier. However, wait for it – wait for it – we are now in a “commuter marriage.” His new job is three time zones and about 2000 miles away! BUT, and it’s a BIG but (go ahead, laugh, it’s a fun pun!) – we are so thankful that during this time of unparalleled recession for us and our peers, we are blessed with work.

Are you watching the clock on your finances, tossing and turning as the plans you made for retirement have unraveled? I get it. Retirement? What retirement? The AARP Association reported in its most recent bulletin that 51% of American households won’t be able to maintain their standard of living once they retire. In fact, we must change the notion of seniors as “non-contributors” in our society, and allow them to be productive way beyond what we have traditionally considered “retirement age.” It’s an economic necessity to keep us from plunging the largest demographic in human history into poverty, all at once. Thank goodness, “50” is the new “30.” We Americans are going to need to extend our working years into our 70s.

For now, I’d like to suggest you look at some productive ways to keep going to meet the road ahead of you, wherever it leads. I want your “take-away” today to be a renewed energy and resolve, courage to keep going, an “aha!” moment, or just plain inspiration for staying the course. I’d like you to take some action right away:

  • Look at yourself as part of the solution to our tough times, even if you’re in transition right now, looking for a job yourself. Doesn’t that give you a perspective of potential, instead of fear or lack?
  • Get out and circulate in the community, and consider taking a volunteer position or a “day” job in a busy place that will keep you meeting new people and feeling like you’re contributing to life.
  • Be proactive about the upcoming mid-term election and get out and VOTE! The biggest issue of this 2010 election is JOBS, hands down. Be a part of the buzz. No matter what your political party or inclination, pull that lever in the polling booth. It’s powerful! And while you’re at it, why not volunteer to help build a great turnout?
  • Count your blessings and start each day anew, with expectation of great potential in everyone you meet and everything you do. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Look for a “break” and the good in everything you see!

Finally, lighten up on yourself. Take a breath! My message here is “If I can do this … you can do this, too.” But it takes courage, acceptance, patience, and resolve, and the willingness to see that the struggles many of us are experiencing this year are the gateway to truly understanding what it means to be human, and to live a life of purpose, passion, and transformation. It can be a pathway to self-improvement and a new happiness in the simple things in life.

You can do this! Honest!

Di Chapman is the Founder and President of Words To Your Advantage Speaking and Writing Service; and the Chief Communications Officer for Power Connections Inc. executive outplacement, coaching and career management service. Her Linked In profile is at www.linkedin.com/in/DiChapman. You can also follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/InspirationalDi.

What’s In The Power of a Handshake?

January 31, 2010

When it comes to job hunting, the power of a handshake is greater than the pen and the sword and the resume’.

Trust me on this. Human beings evolve very slowly. They do. What this means is that even though technology gives us more bells, whistles, graphics, and moving pictures and ringtones than one could possibly use in a lifetime, that’s not what makes the job-hunting world go ‘round. Executive positions are still landed through person-to-person connection. All things being equal, human beings will choose cohorts, colleagues, coworkers, leaders and subordinates using the same genetically-wired pocesses used by cave people. It has little to do with technology, and a lot to do with our gut responses to unknown persons: “Who are you, stranger, and why should I like you? You are different than I.”

This suspicious response stems from protective mechanisms within us that were shaped eons ago. It’s part of our “cellular wiring” that has not yet evolved out of our biology. Essentially, when you are job hunting, you are dealing with the original form of the dreaded syndrome of “cold calling.” You have to put yourself on the line audibly and visually in person, and make that handshake connection with someone you do not know. The cave men and women didn’t like it either, but in order for them to change and grow and survive and evolve in the world, they had to take a chance and appear at a stranger’s cave door.

We are still wired to respond to new people and situations like our cave people ancestors. Now, does that mean that technology is useless in our job hunting? Not at all! It just means that your use of technology will not, in MOST circumstances, be what gets you a job. It will contribute, yes, but chances are you will STILL HAVE TO MEET YOUR POTENTIAL BOSS IN PERSON, and that meeting will have a HUGE impact on whether or not you are hired.

Because we are “only human,” the nuances that influence a job candidate’s selection for a position are still based upon whether or not we are convinced that he/she thinks like us, works like us, values what we value, and believes what we believe. In “Outliers: The Story of Success,” Malcolm Gladwell tells us about an “ethnic theory of plane crashes” that illustrates dramatically what the effects are of our cultural conditioning on workplace situations. The chapter in his book makes for amazing reading, and I can’t help but recommend that you read Outliers if you haven’t already. But, when you read it, think about your own career, and how much “culture” has affected your successes and failures. “He (David Greenberg, Director of Flight Operations for Korean Air, 2000) knew that cultural legacies matter – that they persist, long after their original usefulness has passed.”

Although Gladwell says that Greenberg was smart when he didn’t “assume that cultural legacies are an indelible part of who we are,” I am going to pose the assertion that in many cases they ARE, particularly when it comes to the job hunt.

The exception that will quite possibly change this rule will be the generations of young people yet to come. They have been born into technology, with no fear of constant change in how they do things. This, in my opinion, will completely alter the future, and it’s anybody’s guess what “the job hunt” will look like in, say, 2020.

In the meantime, though, if your idea of a comprehensive job hunting plan is sitting behind your computer and sending out resumes with no cold call telephone contact, or pavement pounding, or shaking hands with referrals, or putting on your best suit and shoes and meeting others face-to-face, I’d like you to rethink your plan. We’re still all cave men and women at heart.

Coming up: “You truly never do get a second chance to make a great first impression.”

Di Chapman, CEO Words to Your Advantage Speaking and Writing Service