After the recession of the last few years, American workers are grasping at any sign of good news on the job front. Mixed numbers from various sources create high hopes, disappointments, and confusion when it comes to unemployment and job growth. However, those who are aware of the pockets of opportunity resulting from changes in the work landscape can find some great opportunities in today’s job market.
Talent Gaps in Multiple Industries
While Americans struggle to find work and many people are laid off and unemployed for months and even years, some employers are complaining of a lack of workers. The disconnect occurs because of the talent gap. For multiple industries, the job openings require certain skills that too many workers lack. Jobs in the computing, IT, and engineering industries are especially vulnerable to this talent gap. Employers in these fields are increasingly finding the search for qualified workers difficult and fruitless. For anyone unemployed with the means to be able to go back to school could find a wealth of opportunities upon completion of a certificate or degree that meets the needs of these employers.
Demand for High Performers
Workers who perform well on the job, better than most others, are in high demand in this type of economy. Employers are suffering just as are the job seekers. With such a tight marketplace, companies are looking for and trying to hold onto their best and highest-performing workers. It is one of the many ways in which employers are able to stay competitive. Job seekers who can demonstrate past performance will have an edge in finding and in keeping work.
It may not seem as if this type of economy is the right one in which to form a start-up. However, they actually thrive in this type of market when done thoughtfully and well. Several startup success stories have emerged following the Great Recession including companies like Square, Uber, Zaarly, TaskRabbit, and Pinterest. With a good plan, including cautious financials and low start-up costs, entrepreneurs have a great opportunity to create businesses that fill niches in the market. New businesses need to find the needs in the economy and fill those gaps and when they do, the rewards are abundant. There are several resources for learning about entrepreneurship such as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s resource center with articles on how to start a business and Mixergy, a site that provides hundreds of in depth video interviews of successful entrepreneurs.
Freelance and contract work has never been more prevalent than it is in today’s job market. Companies are using freelancers to save money and workers who have exhausted the job search are working on contract to make ends meet. For the entrepreneurial and self-motivated worker, going freelance can be very profitable. More than 30 percent of the work force involves some type of contract, temporary, or freelance self-employment. Job seekers can find this type of work in software, writing, editing, graphic design, and numerous other fields. The possibilities are virtually limitless.
Finding Work During Holidays
There are certain times of year when many people give up on the
job search. The holidays at the end of the year is the quintessential down time
for job seeking because many assume that hiring is on hold or slowing down as
the festivities distract employers. Creative and motivated searchers can use
this time to get in the door. There is less competition, hiring managers are
often feeling receptive around the holidays, and the upswing in socializing
offers ample opportunities for networking.
Fuller, Brian. “Silicon Valley Nation: Talent Gap.” EE Times. 2012. UBM Tech. 14 Nov. 2012.
Revell, Janice. “The Rise of Freelance
Nation.” CNN Money. 2009. Cable News Network. 14 Nov. 2012.
Adams, Susan. “Use the Holiday Season to Find a Job.” Forbes. 2012. Forbes. 14 Nov. 2012.
Mary Ellen Ellis is a writer for
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