You’d think that after the craziest, goofiest, most disruptive, petty midterm elections in history, we could finally expire and settle back into our careers, job searches or whatever. what normal humans occupy in normal times. . Maybe even a bit of well-deserved self-constructed banality. Right?
No chance. As of this writing, a week into the midterm, final results aren’t close, which means recounts, challenges and audits likely are. And a runoff. It’s more than a little ridiculous when you can watch a ball game and know the speed of a pitch before it appears in the catcher’s glove. Alas.
Next: mind-boggling crypto crisis, alarming stock market volatility, ongoing war in Ukraine, disruption of global food supply, energy wars, inflation, more viruses on the way, UK disintegrating under our eyes, Elon Musk being… well… Elon Musk and Facebook announcing the layoffs of 11,000 workers – more than the population of the nation of Tuvalu. (Don’t laugh; they have an Olympic team. Tuvalu, not Facebook.)
And if Twitter’s 3,700 layoffs and Facebook’s 11,000 aren’t enough for you, Layoffs.fyi, a service that provides daily updates on tech companies, reports that 779 tech companies have laid off 120,155 workers this year so far. to November 12.
As I have said many times, things like this would be enough to throw our economy off the precipice and into the abyss of the 52nd recession in our history – I hinted at the possibility just two weeks ago – but that’s not where we’re headed, that’s appearing. I’ve served clients through three recessions, worked through eight, and lived through twelve. I’ve seen enough to know that it took far less than the above causes to push us into a recession. Are we then faced with another?
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As the dust settles in the medium term, as job creation and job openings remain high, as the rate of inflation slows, as we see the infrastructure bill create millions of jobs – we continue to see that the job market is what has been and will continue to be our lifeline. So while everyone is talking about a recession – basically talking about themselves – I’m willing to bet against it. But this does not guarantee smooth navigation. Change is change, whether positive or negative, and that causes uncertainty.
And in times of uncertainty, the only thing we can be sure of is ourselves. If I’ve discovered any unchanging truths in my 25+ years as a freelance career coach, this is one. What does that mean ? As Henry David Thoreau said, “We must live within ourselves, always withdrawn and ready to begin.”
No wonder; he was the prodigy of Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose essay, Self Reliance, marked the start of the second American Revolution. The first, as we know, declared our independence; the second declared our originality. It is no exaggeration to connect the philosophies of Emerson and Thoreau to our modern economy and our labor market. Emerson, in other books and lectures, has boldly and repeatedly stated: “We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will say what we think. And we did.
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I have referred to it more than once in the past, but there is a difference now. For example, during and after the Great Recession of 2008-09, and immediately after the 2020 disaster of 22 million job losses, the words of Emerson and Thoreau were difficult to turn into action, even if it there was no excuse not to try. Now, however, you have every chance to take stock of your career and job readiness and solidify your strengths – career plans, job search strategies, resumes, profiles, networking and development. continuing professional.
Maximize your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses. The number of open jobs alone at or near 11 million – nearly double the number of unemployed – should tell you all you need to know. If you are a qualified candidate, two jobs await you; if not, it should be easy to see what you need to do. In addition to the strength of the labor market, it has a quality that it no longer had since the 90s: clarity. In 2008 and 2020 it was a mess, a pile of rubble. Today it is open to anyone who embraces what Emerson and Thoreau said.
Or embrace what I say: in times of uncertainty, the only thing we can be certain of is ourselves. All folded up.
Come to think of it, it’s not that uncertain, is it?
Since 1997, Eli Amdur has been providing one-on-one career and executive coaching, as well as business leadership consulting. For 15 years, he taught graduate leadership courses at FDU. He has written regularly for this publication and others since 2003. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-357-5844.
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