In the US, unemployment has also been falling. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in December 2013 unemployment rates were lower at regional and state levels. “Forty-two states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, six states had increases, and two states had no change. The national jobless rate declined to 6.7 percent from November and was 1.2 percentage points lower than in December 2012.
Whilst the experts cannot agree that the US economy is improving, small advances are apparent. President Obama’s recent state of the union address expressed it too, when the president spoke about job growth and a housing rebound.
However, the issue now is that the old world paradigm of jobs for life, security with or loyalty to your employer is now defunct. In today’s marketplace, employers are struggling to cope with the rapid pace of change affecting all aspects of their business. Keeping flexibility over employee contracts and being forced to restructure regularly means that there is a downward pressure on wages and a huge turnover in personnel throughout the organization. Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook writes that as of 2010, the average American worker has had 11 jobs from the ages of 18-46.
He called for more industry-wide innovation and said, “It’s a race between computers and people – and people need to win.”
What does this mean to you, the job seeker? It means that you now have to regard your future employment as your own responsibility rather than as a series of jobs determined by which employer hires you. It means being proactive towards your own progression up the career ladder and creating your own personal brand. For many workers, this means taking advantage of redundancy packages to set up their own businesses. They are now doing what they love, often for the first time in their lives.
Setting up your own business or creating a new career can be a long and complex undertaking. John Williams who wrote ‘Screw Work, Let’s Play’ (2010) argues that the digital revolution has turned us from workers into ‘players’ and encourages you to join the revolution. As the late, great Steve Jobs said:
“…the only way to do great work is to do what you love. And if you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle”.
If you are ready to do what you love to do and won’t settle, contact me for support on your journey at Ghazala@careerchangeat40.com.