There are a lot of big questions waiting to be answered over the next few months, based on whoever wins this unprecedented election between Biden and Trump. One of the questions is, what will happen to/with the economy?
This question translates to, “what will happen to me? My income, my spending power, my ability to finance the lifestyle I want.” What will happen to the unemployment rate, which for at least a couple of years has been really low? How will COVID-restrictions impact economic growth and jobs and an economic recovery?
Who will work, who will not work?
I am reminded of a trip I took to Minneapolis. I think it was the trip where I have 14 keynotes in 3 days. It was exhausting for my voice but exhilarating for my mind. Minneapolis remains one of my favorite places to speak because of the amazing, forward-thinking culture of career management the volunteer leaders across the city have created (yes, I’m talking about you, Lonny Gulden!).
Anyway, I met a friend for breakfast at some pancake house and noticed the headline on the newspaper in the lobby. It bragged about how amazingly low the city or state’s unemployment rate was. Something to be so proud about, I imagined there was a lot of back slapping and congratulating in the state’s government offices.
I was struck with the contrasting feelings of those I was about to meet with. Everyone in the room I was soon to enter, and address, didn’t have three point something unemployment. They had one hundred percent unemployment. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.
Being unemployed is suffocating. It is one of the most scary things you can go through, and it can last months, even years. It is horrifying.
While there was congratulating at the state offices there were people who were terrified at the meetings I was about to attend.
100% unemployment struck me in 2006, during an amazing economy. Regardless of how I was “awesome,” as people who reviewed my resume said, and regardless of how everyone was hiring and no one could find talent, I was some kind of anomaly. I was so horrible I couldn’t get a job even though there were plenty of jobs to be had.
100% unemployment can touch anyone at any time.
It is the cancer of our career. You never know how or when or why. It could be because you went to an awesome company but your boss is toxic. It could be because you made a big-enough mistake at work and there were no options to keep you on. It could be because winds shift and there just isn’t much demand for what you offer.
Unfortunately, it could be because you are old, or any of the other reasons people discriminate.
You can prepare for this. Unemployment is a brutal mental game, and I’m not sure you can be completely ready for what you are going to face during unemployment. But you can certainly prepare with tactics, and techniques.
I’ve been blogging about these tactics and techniques since 2006. I’ve created over 35 courses on Pluralsight to help you prepare. Many of them are clearly for job seekers. Some of them might not seem to be for job search, but they help you with soft skills like listening and communicating and having empathy and presenting yourself well and nurturing relationships and following up and… oh wait, that is all good stuff for job search.
The tactics and techniques are not a secret. That you’ll likely go through a job search that you didn’t want to be in before you retire is not a secret.
Get serious about YOUR career management. This is your responsibility, and your opportunity.
We’d like to help, however we can. But it’s up to you to put the work in, before, during, and after this unwanted job search.
Go. Do. Improve.