Saturday, March 7, 2009

Preparing for a Job Apocalypse

Is the economy really as bad as the media would have you believe? For some, it is worse. More than 4 million jobs have disappeared since the recession began in December 2007. And with the rate of job losses accelerating, people are beginning to ask where recession ends and depression begins. This world economic downturn is already in its 15th month, making it longer than all but two downturns since World War II. And, as if that is not enough, the Dow seems to be in free fall, and one in eight American homeowners is in foreclosure or behind on payments. It’s not out of the question why some are wondering if we are headed for a worldwide job apocalypse.

The world is not going to have a job apocalypse, although it is possible that more services will be exchanged in the form of trade than at any time in recent history. The reality is that there are way too many people who need too many products and services for a true job apocalypse to set in.

But to achieve some peace of mind, imagine for a moment that you lost your job tomorrow and you weren’t able to find a similar position for one year. Leading economists are suggesting a recovery could be a year away.

What would you do to survive? If you are wise, and among a single-digit percent of Americans, you have a safety net. Financial planners have been preaching just such a plan for years. If you are fortunate, you will receive unemployment compensation that covers at least your basic expenses. But if you are like most people, you will be faced with the immediate need to re-evaluate your skills, talents and the things you can do to come up with a set of real service options you can offer those in need of services -- those with the funds to hire your help.

The value of considering a job apocalypse is not to induce massive fear and chaos. Worry never solved a single world problem. But expecting a break-down in the status quo and preparing for a job loss before it happens, can help you sleep better whether you lose your job or not. People who have a plan B or even a plan C don’t have to fret about the future, because regardless of what the future holds, they have a plan. Do you have a plan?

The best way to go about creating a plan is to engage a methodical approach to listing and then considering your options. First list all of your skills, talents, hobbies, and the things you or others have noticed you’re good at. For each skill or activity you have listed, write down three or four jobs in which you’d use that skill -- in other words, three or four ways you could use your skills to make money or create a job for yourself. Once you have a list of 20 or 30 jobs you could actually perform using your skills, hobbies, talents and experience, determine which ones might be best suited to your life right now.

Ultimately, whether you find yourself jobless or not, you are not without options. You are not with possibilities. And you are not without hope. And no matter what happens within the domestic or world economy, when you have options, possibilities and hope, you can easily develop a plan.

If you could benefit from a step-by-step approach that walked you through what can otherwise be a frightening process of discovering how to create your own job security, Creating Job Security, The 2009 All-In-One Workbook is available at for $30 including tax and shipping. It’s a really inexpensive investment in your future job security. If you already know what you want to do but just need the resources to help you get there, Creating Job Security Resource Guide is available for $8.95 at