Friday, November 8, 2013

The Only Unemployment Rate That Matters

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases
national unemployment data once a month.
On the first Friday of the month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Labor, releases its latest unemployment data. The nation’s unemployment rate now stands at 7.3%.

So what does the unemployment rate mean to you? NOTHING. The only unemployment rate that matters is YOURS. When you get hired, your unemployment rate will be 0%. Zero. Zilch.

A high national unemployment causes many job seekers to throw up their hands and wonder if it’s worth putting the time and effort into a job hunt that won’t bring results. They hear story after story of unemployed people applying for hundreds of jobs and getting no response. Why put yourself through it, they ask? Perhaps it’s better—or at least easier—to coast on unemployment insurance for as long as it lasts, to do the minimum required amount of job searching, and to wait for the economy to improve.
That sort of thinking will trap you into long-term unemployment. The longer you are without a job, the less likely it is that employers will find you of interest, according to studies. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) is 4 million. These individuals accounted for 36 percent of the unemployed. Don’t become one of them! Your skills will atrophy, your network will fade, and your ambition to work will dwindle.
So what are you supposed to do when so many people are competing for jobs? DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. That’s right. Don’t worry about it. Here’s what to do instead:

1.     Focus on your unique skills and talents.

2.     Research and find employers who need your skills and talents.

3.     Connect with these employers.

4.     Convince these employers that you are the person they need to solve their problems, to better serve customers, to meet all their deadlines, to bring speed and accuracy to their processes, to organize their business, or whatever it is you do best.

In other words, don’t apply endlessly for jobs, even though as a shy or introverted person that’s in your comfort zone. Target employers based on how you can fill their needs and meet their demands. If you do this, you will most likely apply for fewer jobs but get more interviews and ultimately a job offer.

So stop worrying about the unemployment rate. Become a smarter job seeker. Start identifying your skills (use and learn how to actively job search (check out Get going!

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