Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fighting unemployment requires the conviction to get help from others

As the publicist for the company that has created one of the better job customer resource management software programs, a quote in an article from yesterday's Wall Street Journal got me thinking on why a lot of people my age are fighting unemployment.

"It's not part of people's nature to take advantage unless there is someone pushing them," the Wall Street Journal quoted John Kruecher of Human Resources Development, a Michigan job placement firm about why so many people are quitting their job search in a state with 15.2 unemployment. "There is just so much inertia built in. It's easier to sit home rather than go out and pull things together for themselves. They need mentoring, and [the mentors] can't be bureaucrats."

To this, I say "amen."

The world has changed.

It's hard for some people to remain unemployed after losing high paying jobs, but the reality is that people have to retool themselves. Today, things are much better after completing that degree in marketing almost five years ago at UTSA. While in college, I had mentors. Today, I have even more people who help me. And when others need me to mentor them, I am more than glad to help them.

As my friend, Brian Massey wrote in the tome "The Market For Me -- Surviving Job Loss and Building Your Lifetime Career Network," most workers are "job seekers." They'll take anything to put food on the table.

Now, Americans need to rethink this strategy, he argues. They need to position themselves as skill holders. Massey argues these are people with skill sets that have value in the market place. They understand their value statement in even toughest of times.

Still, to be effective, skill holders need a job champion. In my view, that's the person who helps a person get the inside track to those unpublished jobs. And, if a job is published on a search site, they can help the skill holder get the attention of those hiring for a position.

For those of you facing unemployment, here's hoping that you can change your attitude towards your skill set. When needed, there are job retraining opportunity available as well as the mentors to help you understand the best path to success in a new career.

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