The Job-Hunter's Survival Guide

By Bolles, Richard N. | Diversity Employers, September 2009 | Go to article overview
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The Job-Hunter's Survival Guide

Bolles, Richard N., Diversity Employers

CHAPTER ONE: There Are Always Jobs Out There

If there were a town that had only five jobs available in the entire town, and each job was filled and each person employed in those five was very happy with what they were doing, it might be safe to say, to some poor guy or gal out of work in that town, There are no jobs out there.

But if it were a town with 100 people who had jobs, that might not be so safe to say. Eventually, someone's gonna get sick, or move, or die. And then a vacancy will be created, that needs to be filled. With 100 jobs, there might be several such vacancies.

And if it were a town or city with 1,000 people who had jobs, or 10,000 or 100,000, there would be still more vacancies. For the principle is: the larger the workforce, the more certain it is that there are jobs out there-vacancies being constantly created due to human factors: people getting fed up, people getting promoted, people moving away, people falling sick for a long time, people retiring, people dying without warning, and so on. And in addition to vacancies, there are always inevitably new jobs being constantly created by invention and creativity, not to mention computer or technology advances.

The larger the number of people who have jobs, the more certain there are and will be job vacancies out there, waiting to be filled.

So, exactly how large is the number of people who have jobs in the U.S.? It is of course not 140, nor 1,400, nor 14,000, not even 14,000,000, but 140,000,000. That's one hundred and forty million. So, with promotion, moving, sickness, retirement or death, it follows that there are jobs out there falling vacant, and waiting to be filled. Always. That's just human nature.

How many jobs fall vacant? Some experts say it amounts, each month, to 1 percent of those who have jobs. Which in this case, would figure out to 1,400,000 vacancies per month currently.

Other experts, citing historical records for the period 1994--2004, say it in fact amounted to an average of 1,250,000 per month, year in and year out, for that period. That was the figure Ben Bernanke suggested, in an address he gave at Duke University back in 2004, before he was made Chairman of the Fed.

Well, I just saw in the news the April 2009 unemployment figures. They said that 13,200,000 people were unemployed but were officially looking for work, and 2,100,000 were unemployed but had given up looking, and then there were 9,000,000 part-time workers who want full-time jobs but can't find them. So, your figure of 1,250,000 monthly vacancies, doesn't come anywhere near matching the number of people who want to find work. It still sounds like an awful situation, wouldn't you say?

Absolutely. But this gap doesn't just exist during brutal times. There are always more people looking for jobs than can find them. That's why there are always at least 8,000,000 people who fail to find work in the U.S. even in the best of times. Job-hunting is all about competition. When any of us is out of work, in good times or bad, we always have to compete with others for any job that interests us.

It's just that in brutal economic times the competition grows a lot, lot more fierce; and people who have elementary job-hunting skills that were adequate enough to get them through easy times, now find those skills insufficient for the time at hand.

Still, even in this worst of economic times people are finding jobs, every day in the year. A recession or Depression wakes everybody up to the fact that they need greater job-hunting skills.

What do you mean by greater job-hunting skills.

Well, there are four pillars, I think:

1. Assume that finding work is your job. Don't wait for someone else to come and save you-the government, or anyone else. If you are someone with faith, the rule is simple: pray as though everything depended on God, and then work as though everything depended on You.

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