In a previous post I talked about the need to be–and stay–aware of job search trends and other related trends. At the same time, it’s clear that the “experts” in a variety of fields don’t always have all the answers and they can’t predict with a high degree of certainty what the job market or the national/world economy will hold during the coming months, let alone years. If you look back in history a ways, you can find examples of very wrong predictions or pronouncements about the likely state of the economy and the job market. Of course, that’s using 20-20 hindsight as your benchmark.
Recently I read a very interesting article in The Economist. Titled “Expect the Unexpected,” it gives a great example of how we can get off track in the short-term by not being able to see all the signs clearly. Author R.A. (in London) says, “Lots of people are currently trying very hard to figure out what’s going to happen within the global economy over the next 1, 2, 5, and 10 years. It seems like the sort of thing one ought to be able to manage if one tries hard enough. It is, however, an impossible task (though some folks do have a talent for sketching out broad trends)….”
The author had been researching their archives back to 1931 and came up with some astonishing items, including the following: “…we noted in the issue of January 10th that, ‘It is not apparent yet whether the lowest point has already been reached, but it seems more likely that the decline will come to an end during 1931 at the latest.’ At the time, it seemed quite possible, perhaps even likely, that the Nazis had reached the apex of their power.” No one then had the ability to foresee what a dramatic difference just a few more years would make (by 1939 if not before).
In the midst of the economic turmoil we’re currently seeing worldwide and the uncertainty about its impact or probable impact on issues closer to home–including the US job market, unemployment figures, home foreclosures and more–you might find it daunting to even try to plan ahead. Join the club! I think we’re all pretty much there at this point. However, if we give in to the fear and uncertainty, the result is emotional paralysis. We can’t think of possibly helpful actions to take to maintain wise career management and conduct an effective job search. That’s just one major reason I insist on staying positive in my outlook and encourage my resume writing and career coaching clients to do the same, as much as they can. If you can take even small steps forward, do it. Baby steps are better than no steps at all!