Pondering about the economy

Fortunately or unfortunately, I’m old enough to have been through several up and down rides of the US economy.

No matter the terminology used to describe losing work, it is still hard to get through and harder to get through when no paycheck is forthcoming. No doubt we’ve all read articles, heard stories and have ourselves or family members giving first hand accounts of how tough the job market really is … It can be emotionally and physically draining.

What evades discussion is the fact that even if a person did know their employer was in financial straits and jumped ship, there is no guarantee that the next company would be a safer bet. Or, if a staff member sticks it out until the company shuts down, then what? Rarely is there a bonus involved with that option.

I guess what I am trying to share is that — there is no set of directions for job seekers in this economy. There is no “Correct answer” . Job seekers try to steer away from the not on the up and up- type placement firms, but still need cashflow. If they take time off to interview for a full-time slot, then it can jeopardize the hourly/weekly rate that may be guaranteed for that week. Switching temporary firms to keep cashflow can be perceived incorrectly by recruiters.
If long term options come along, there is a pressure to “settle” for any job that comes along because Lord knows.. there may not be another opportunity out there. Of course, there are career coaches and talented recruiters out there to help steer folks but I suspect they are overwhelmed at this juncture.

I must admit to flailing like a fish out of water on the deck of the boat when my last company moved away. The economy wasn’t even this bad yet… but I was not focused on what I wanted and where I wanted to be– and it cost me. There is a silver lining though… all of my IAAP contacts, networking and speaking allowed me to continue to find work, both short and long term temporary assignments. It also allowed me to focus on what is next for my career…and set a plan in place to get there.

It is a frightening time for many workers in our country. I am grateful for my career choice as an administrative professional, now more than ever. Perhaps when the economy returns a bit, there will be less apathy and cynicism in the workplace and more gratitude and patience.

One can hope, right?

Author: KMK Foley

Storyteller. Wicked sense of humor. Tenacious learner, Coffee Lover, especially Dunkin' Donuts.