Monday, June 29, 2009

Job Market.

The sheer panic that people are experiencing when it comes to the job market is unnerving. Being employed aside even I'm feeling pressure because of the volume of attention this crisis is getting. While it keeps me thankful to have a job to get up for 5 days a week, I still find myself experiencing some anxiety.

On top of that I've been faced with some recent career choices. In a job market that people swear has made it next to impossible for people my age to find a job or even keep one - here I'm blessed enough to have options.

At 23, how do you know what you want out of the rest of your life? For those of us with majors that qualify us for any number of positions (less specilized than say, an electrical engineer) we are faced with choices on a fairly regular basis. Some think that the career you chose determines the one that will follow it. Others live under the assumption that you can change your path at any time.

While I would be inclined to agree with the later party, the crash of the job market that began a few years back and continues to keep the available careers plummeting - this opinion has somewhat changed. Now more than even it is important to make educated, well thought out career plans. For those of us in our early 20-somethings this is even more important!

As the United States builds an elite new breed of career obsessed youngsters, the pressure is on US to keep up or give up.

Here's how I am chosing to deal with this. First, my advice is to be bold. I never, ever encourage blind faith when it comes to your professional life. Question everything and everyone along the way. BUT even in times such as these it is important to be willing to be bold in your career path, having confidence in yourself that you are capable of what you take on.

Second, have a backup plan. While I encourage boldness in career choices I also offer you this bit of advice. Know what you are up against. It is taking people far longer to find jobs these days and so, you must know how to handle that should it come your way. I'm a firm believer in Suze Orman's 'Emergency Fund' plan. Don't live paycheck to paycheck in an economy that is currently seeing 6 months of unemployment between careers!

Support. Find a good support system no matter what your career. It pays to have people who care about your well-being. Always. Mer & Kate for example, have been great for me in this way. They've been my sounding board as I try to figure out my own next step - and really my next 10 steps. We dialog about grad school, career paths, finances. At 23, those are hard things to find in lady friends. So if and when you find those people, hang on tight!

Sorry to the utter lack of entries I have contributed as of late. But I hope this blog continues to be a haven of good 20-something info.


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