Thursday, April 23, 2009

Are Jobless Claims Peaking?

Jobless claims have historically peaked six to 10 weeks before recessions end, according to a report by Goldman Sachs. "But the latest report shows job losses remain high. The four-week average of claims, which smoothes out volatility, dropped slightly to 646,750, about 12,000 below the peak in early April. Goldman Sachs economists have said a decline of 30,000 to 40,000 in the four-week average is needed to signal a peak."

For survival, many people take whatever job they can get. It's a good strategy to pay the rent. But for true job security, it's important to find the ideal job for you right now -- a traditional job or entrepreneurial position that considers your needs for income, opportunity, creativity, feasibility, flexibility, stability and longevity.

Imagine if there was a scoring model that could help you create the ideal job for you this month. There is. It's called the Green Light Scoring Model and it's available through The Graduate Group. For only $30, including tax and shipping, you can truly discover the ideal job for you right now. (Career experts, contact me about a free PDF to make your own copies on site for your customers. Buy 25 copies in one order to The Graduate Group and receive a PDF to make an unlimited number of additional copies.)

SPECIAL NOTICE: Are you a Kaplan University student? Join me May 4 for a one-hour presentation on hot job resources. I'll be answering your questions live.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Bright Spot in a Dark Economy

The weather in my home town this week was an awful lot like the news about the economy. First it was sunny and lovely. Two days later we had hail that looked like snow as it covered the ground. The next day, we had snow -- big white flakes the size of quarters -- for several hours. A day later it was cool but not cold, followed by today which offered up full sun and 75 degrees. I took a chance and moved my topsy-turvy back outside from over my kitchen sink. But I covered the tomato plants tonight, because no one seems to have any idea what's going on with our silly weather that's all over the map.

It's a snapshot of what we've all experienced with the economy for the past year. The stock market was down, way down in early March. Now it's back up but job loss is still a concern and housing starts are down. People are saving more, spending less, and no one can figure out why gas prices are climbing at the pump when the barrel rate is at a record low.

An unlikely star emerged this week to offer up an unexpected bright spot in a dark economy. Her name is Susan Boyle and her audition on Britain's Got Talent is the biggest thing on YouTube. Indeed she has the voice of an angel, but I don't think that's why she's a worldwide hit. I think she's a hit because we all feel like she looks -- ordinary and imperfect. And yet inside of her is something so unbelievably beautiful that it pushes her to the front of the line.

This economy and the state of the job market have brought out the Susan Boyle in each of us. And for those in desperate need of inspiration (and jobs!), her voice may have offered up just enough encouragement to help keep going. (Not to mention the fact that the words of “I Dreamed a Dream” describe exactly how a lot of people are feeling.) Is it possible that while we stood up and cheered for her, on some level we were also cheering for ourselves?

How long will this economic winter last? Will it snow again just when we think spring should be well under way? Maybe it will. But like a candle in the dark, even those most uncertain of what tomorrow holds next can for one brief moment, stop and listen to the music, and feel somewhat assured that despite the odds, there is hope, there is light, there is music -- and if Susan Boyle can captivate the world, we too can find a talent or two to share.

For job resources you can depend on, Creating Job Security Resource Guide is available for $8.95 at To discover the absolute ideal career for you right now, Creating Job Security, The 2009 All-In-One Workbook is available at Follow us on Twitter @ Job_Security.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Cacophony of Job News

I’m in the business of helping people create their own job security -- whether by finding a position that’s right for them or seeing a need and finding an entrepreneurial way to fill it. As part of my passion, I read a lot of job and economic news. I study trends and analyze economic data. I work with people one-on-one and sometimes in groups.

But even I am finding myself overwhelmed by the loud banging cacophony (noise!) that is being sometimes carelessly thrown around from a lot of voices -- some of them with very little to say. If I’m overwhelmed imagine what the poor man or woman who just wants to support their family is feeling.

And the messages are mixed. Tonight on CNN alone, there were two jobs-related stories right beside each other. One was about how President Obama feels upbeat about a glimmer of hope beginning to shine into the economy and job market. (Easy to say when you have your job guaranteed for four more years, and a roof over your head.) The other was about overcrowed job fairs across the US, and the many people who are turned away. I wonder how much hope the 10,000 people who showed up for a Job Fair in New Hampshire felt -- especially those who had to be turned away.

In a down market, many people are so desperate to find a job, they sometimes open themselves up to a position that isn’t necessarily a good fit for them. Take healthcare for example. The news about healthcare as an industry is consistent. The number of jobs in healthcare is growing. But not everyone makes a good nurse. Not everyone makes a good caregiver. It is a special job that requires targeted skills and a personality dedicated to compassion for patients who aren’t always at their best.

One of my clients is a regional hospital. I love working in healthcare. It’s rewarding even for those of us with non-clinical positions. I have the incredible opportunity to meet patients and share their stories of struggle and ultimately success -- of overcoming disease, surgeries, and other ailments that somehow compromised their ability to function without the help of a skilled physician and his/her staff. But my job wouldn’t be for everyone. Sometimes, what patients -- even those with a success story -- need most is to have someone just sit and listen. They want to walk away and feel heard. They want to know that someone from the hospital that helped them sees them as a person first and a patient second.

What’s most important for you, and for every job seeker out there, is not to listen to the news or to the trends economists are telling you. What’s most important is to undergo a thorough assessment of how you can best use your skills and talents to make a living -- and to make a life.

You are an individual, with special skills, talents and gifts that are completely unique to you. If you’re ready to explore those skills, talents and gifts, the Green Light Scoring Model located in the easy-to-use guide Creating Job Security, The 2009 All-In-One Workbook, can help you. Learn more today at