Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Put Being Before Doing in Job Search

A version of this article was originally published by Technorati on 30 March 2010.

According to Yahoo! hotjobs, nine occupations are still hiring, even in this recessionary period: Truck Mechanic, Physical Therapist, Special Ed. Teachers, Environmental Engineers, Healthcare, Nursing, Finance and Banking, Veterinary Techs, and Wind Energy Techs.

Investipedia.com's Bobbi Dempsey, the article's author, took her data from a wide variety of sources--including a couple of job search engines (Monster.com and Simply Hired), a nursing college, and an interview with Jeff Cohen, author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Recession-Proof Careers--to give people valuable leads in the search for their next job.

Now, juxtapose this bright, helpful information with a recent very gloomy forecast (also posted on Yahoo!, by the way) from Lakshman Achuthan of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI). Of the current employment picture, Achuthan says, "Forty percent of the unemployed are long-term unemployed. They've been unemployed for six months or longer."

These jobs, Achuthan says, are either "associated with the bubble that burst" or are in manufacturing. "So, those people are displaced. The recovery is happening. It’s very real, but the economy doesn’t want their skills for one reason or another."

According to Achuthan, they are permanently unemployable. He predicts a resultant elevated rate of unemployment for the foreseeable future. "[Unemployment] was down around four or five percent," he says. "Forget that! Forget it!"

Does this conclusion follow? According to Achuthan, manufacturing jobs have seen a steady decline over the years. And yet we somehow managed that 4 or 5% unemployment rate back during the 1990s.

More likely, these workers previously employed in manufacturing learn how to repair trucks and windmills and life goes on as before.

Compared to Achuthan's gloom, the hotjobs approach in the present economic climate sounds very nice: simply figure out what employment sectors pay well and are hiring, go get the training, look for a job, get hired and live happily ever after. But most would agree that it doesn't really work that way.

Sure, there are some people (perhaps many) who don't care what they do for a living. They find fulfillment elsewhere, like in their families or their church choirs. For them this path will work just fine.

But many others sense that they are made to do a particular thing in life. Usually (but not always), this requires working for less pay than that individual could otherwise earn. It often also requires bucking the trends in terms of job availability.

How do people get to be artists and professional golfers and horse trainers--all the things that people want to be that don't fit into the standard approach outlined above? By being those things.

For these people, their career is not a choice. Rather, what they do has arisen out of who they are. As opposed to who they think they are or who they decide they are going to be.

Whether you work in manufacturing or teaching children or running a business, if what you do is a byproduct of who you are, you don't waste any time thinking about it. In so many aspects of life (what we eat is a good example), the secret to success and fulfillment is in limiting the role our minds and our egos exert over what happens.

When we restrain our minds, our actions arise from a much deeper, more connected place, and life works out even though the statistics may be against us.

This is one aspect of what spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, in his book A New Earth, calls "awakened doing," whereby "you can align your life with the creative power of the universe."

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