I was fascinated the other week how a single change in day could spark such a spike in stock market activity - namely going from December 2008 to January 2009. When the markets re-opened from the New Year hiatus, a flurry of trading ensued as if the New Year meant the economic woes of 2008 had been magically erased. Aahhhhhh, not so quick my profit seeking capitalist!
The difference in December 2008 and then moments later, January 2009, is merely a lapsing of minutes. No drastic changes occurred other than the ability to change calendars and date your emails/checks differently. And while I overly simplify this event for discussion purposes, I want investors and job seekers alike to realize that the economic and employment pitfalls of yester-year will follow us, at least initially, into the New Year.
One of the most telling reports will be the unemployment statistics, due out later this morning. I am little unsure of what the report will entail, but if it reflects anything close to the Charlotte market (where BofA, Wachovia, and Freightliner have all announced significant layoffs), then we are destined for additional unemployment woes.
So my advice to you, Jane and John Doe job seeker - take this opportunity to make a positive change. If you unexpectedly fall victim to the HR axe man, don't feel sorry for yourself - because most likely it wasn't your fault. Companies are putting some great individuals in the unemployment lines. Use this career transition as a time to re-focus your efforts on an area you will really enjoy. This may mean going back to school to get the advanced degree you have been talking about for the last few years. Or maybe joining the ranks of our local, state, or federal government. (The FBI announced they will be hiring 3,000+ people nationally)
At the end of the day, you have a skill set that is valuable and of great benefit to an employer. Maybe your current employer didn't recognize your value and skill, but there are companies out there hiring and staffing up. So look at this momentary lapse in employment as a brief vacation. A time to recharge your battery and get ready for the next round in your career. We can make 2009 a good year!