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Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,


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Does America have an unemployment crisis? If so, then how would you solve the unemployment crisis?

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    Aug 17 2012: Yes, America does have an unemployment crisis. I do believe that there have been structural shifts to the economy to create more work for fewer people. However, people find jobs every day. There are plenty of jobs out there to be had. The problem is that people are in a scarcity mindset and are looking for jobs in all the wrong ways.

    There is a really good article in the NYTimes today about people who are long term unemployed in California. First, my heart goes out to these people. It must be emotionally difficult to be unemployed for such long periods of time.

    When people who are often unemployed long term tell their stories, they often say that they are sending out hundreds (sometimes thousands) of applications. I always think, "well that's the problem".

    They're often using 20th century methods to search for a 21st century job. The simple reality is that the vast majority of people find jobs through their networks. If you're applying for jobs in the newspaper, on Craigslist, or on Monster.com, you may as well buy a lotto ticket. You have about the same chance of hitting the Powerball as you do of landing a job.

    "What Color Is Your Parachute" by Richard Bolles does an excellent job of breaking down the 21st century job search process. Mr. Bolles basically says the same thing - you find jobs through your network and looking on the internet or in newspapers is a waste of time. By time a job is posted on the internet, there are hundreds if not thousands of people applying for the open job. You don't have a chance.

    The best time to build a network is when you really don't need anything. While you're working, you should be on Linked In, connecting with people on the regular in your profession, and keeping your ears to the ground. When you are laid off, put out the call to your network and get moving.

    Whatever you do, don't waste time applying for work on the internet. It feels proactive, but it is really a passive job search approach. Get out there and network!

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