Sunday, April 3, 2011
A lot of people are predicting what the economy will do next. Will it improve? Will the nuclear threats in Japan impact the recovery? Will high paying jobs come back? (The US economy created more than 216,000 jobs in March alone -- but are they jobs that merely pay the bills or afford families a moderate sense of security?) Of course there are threats -- energy prices being chief among them -- and an uncertain housing market not far behind. But a key indicator I tend to look at is the stock market. Is it fun to watch again? Does your quarterly statement register in the gains column? As someone who was fortunate to work in senior management at a thrift (similar to a bank but with the primary revenue source coming from loans) and then a financial software company back in the mid- to late-1990s, I remember very well when the stock market was fun to watch. Bull market lead to jobs, jobs lead to freedom, and freedom leads to bigger possibilities. Recovering from The Great Recession will be a lot like recovering from a major accident. The progress will be there, and it will mostly be in the right direction. There will be fatigue and set-backs minute-by-minute, but the progress will be evident as the weeks and months go by. If you've dropped out of the job market because you just couldn't find anything that met your needs, now is the time to jump back in. As more jobs are created there will also be movement among those workers who have wanted to explore new horizons for some time but who have "stayed put" out of fear. If you're a little rusty, give yourself an edge with resources you can trust. That may be from industry-specific websites like those found in the Creating Job Security Resource Guide, 2nd Edition -- or it may be by hiring a jobs site like FlexJobs.com that can ensure individual jobs leads are current and provide what they claim. Whatever you do, the message is a positive one. The sun is peeking out again and with it you'll find many new opportunities on the horizon. You might even decide it's time to start watching the stock market. It's a brand new day!