Tag Archive | "employment"

Adapting to New Realities

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Great Wall of China

Most of us raised in the post-World War II “fattened calf” years, and most of our children, could not have envisioned the current economic wasteland sweeping America from sea to shining sea.  Into this desert has strolled new opportunities; albeit, half a world and more away.


Overseas, labor and production costs are cheaper than their U.S. counterparts.   Cost savings have made emigrants out of U.S. manufacturers, creating jobs in Asian markets and particularly in China.  Meanwhile, construction projects and oil-harvesting endeavors are drawing job seekers to the Middle East. 


Technology is also emerging as a player in offshore economies.  Solid evidence of this is the explosion of MXit, an instant messaging technology developed in South Africa that runs on GPRS/3G mobile phones and on PCs and allows users to send and receive one-on-one text and multimedia messages to and from other users, as well as in general chat rooms. A boon to social networking, the new technology boasts 14 million users globally and in developing countries, most notably, on the continent of Africa.  That number evidences the ever-growing need for products and services that drive and support Information Technology.  And, according to the voices aired on MXit, many are practitioners of Islam.


What skills should those in the U.S. who are seeking jobs in these growing markets possess?


In addition to the obvious ones linked to the aforementioned industries, language is a factor.  While the ability to speak the native tongue is not, in every case, an absolute requirement, it is certainly an advantage.   Chinese and Arabic are the languages of choice.  Offering these two languages, American-based linguistic courses have grown by almost 127% in the period between 2002 and 2007.  Statistics issued by South Korea indicate that the number of people demanding to learn Chinese has doubled in the last few years.  If you are among those desiring to master new languages, you need not sit within the confines of a traditional classroom.  You can take courses online or purchase instructional training from companies such as Rosetta Stone.


In addition to the ability to speak and understand the tongues of these lands, job seekers require an open, positive attitude to adjust to new realities in strange new lands. 

Summertime and Your Job Search

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Summertime and the living is easy; that is, unless you happen to be unemployed and searching for a job.  In that case, you are tortured and your level of anxiety grows daily.

In job hunting and recruiting circles, it has long been axiomatic that the periods between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day and between Memorial Day and Labor Day represent the least probable times of the year to secure employment.  And, if one considers the circumstantial evidence, that supposition rings true.  Since achieving employment today involves multiple interviews with decision-makers at various levels of the potential employing organization, opportunities to arrange these interviews in a timely fashion are limited by vacations, holidays, days off, and hiring manager preoccupation with non-business matters.

Yet, these times of the year do present more than just a glimmer of hope to the serious job seeker, because less motivated job candidates will often refrain from pursuing employment opportunities for the very reasons enumerated above.  This means that for those who either from desperation or design actively seek employment during these periods, there will be significantly less competition than during the traditionally more abundant job hunting seasons of the year.

To maximize opportunities during the summertime, as well as at all times of the year, job hunters require a plan to penetrate all areas of the proverbial job market, including both published and unpublished opportunities, and superior marketing materials in the form of resumes, cover letters, and follow-up letters.  With a viable plan to market themselves effectively and job hunting materials of impeccable quality, serious job seekers can utilize the summer season to their advantage in gaining job market exposure and securing employment while many potential candidates sit on the sidelines.

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