Young female entrepreneur enjoying business and job success against city and sunset background. Successful businesswoman smiling outdoors

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Are Employment Statistics Irrelevant to You?

by THEA kelley | September 25, 2013

Employment Statistics Are Irrelevant - to YouAs a career coach I’m sometimes asked by job seekers whether I think the job market here in the San Francisco Bay Area is getting better.

My answer is: How does it matter to you?

My favorite quote on this subject comes from Jerrold Mundis, an author of good self-help books for people with financial difficulties. Mundis wrote:

“Economies are personal.”

“Everyone — you, I, and everyone else — has his or her own personal economy, which is separate and apart from the national economy. In fact, so far as bringing more money into your life goes, the larger economy is mostly irrelevant.”

Have you ever had the experience of being unemployed in booming times, or doing fine financially during a recession? I’ve known many people who’ve had this experience.

Yes, a poor economy makes it harder. You may (or may not!) experience a longer job search or a less ideal result. Of course you should be informed about how the economy is affecting specific sectors or companies you’re targeting. And it’s an important public issue to all of us as citizens.

But watching the statistics for signs of improvement is like watching the sky on a cloudy day, waiting for the sun to come out. It doesn’t make you feel any warmer, does it? Better to get moving.

Here are some useful questions to ask:

  • If my dream job opened up tomorrow, how ready am I to grab the opportunity?
  • If called for an unexpected phone screening, am I ready to nail it?
  • How’s my online presence?
  • Do my LinkedIn profile and my resume present me at my very best and sell my skills?
  • Do I have a list of companies I’d like to work for, and am I researching those and networking my way in?
  • When is the last time I asked someone for an informational interview, and what did I learn from it?

(This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated for the 2020s.)

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