Recession Changed Job Market Permanently, Says Career Coach Hallie Crawford, Despite Improving Numbers

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Crawford Warns Job Seekers to Expect “Alice in Wonderland” Landscape

“The recession provided an opportunity for companies to restructure not only their payrolls but also their hiring practices,” says Certified Career Coach Hallie Crawford.

The March 9 figures released by the Department of Labor (DoL), which indicated a flat (8.3%) rather than falling unemployment rate from the previous month, should be a reminder to job seekers that the fight is far from over, says Certified Career Coach Hallie Crawford. For many months, the nation has been cheering the dropping jobless rate, but Crawford says there will likely be bumps along the way.

She also predicts it will be a long time before U.S. companies return to hiring as usual—if they ever do.
“The recession provided an opportunity for companies to restructure not only their payrolls but also their hiring practices,” says Crawford. “Job seekers will find the landscape very different than before.” Crawford likens the past few years to the experience of Alice in Wonderland, where “Alice chased a normal-looking rabbit down a hole, but when she popped out her new world was completely unfamiliar and surreal.”

The same thing is true for job seekers who assume they can soon return to status quo, Crawford notes. “These stats affect the attitude of seekers and their search,” she says. “You can use them to be more optimistic about your search and boost your attitude, but that doesn’t mean you can sit on the couch and wait for an offer. Anyone who is unemployed or underemployed still needs to be as aggressive as possible.”

Crawford offers the following tips for both unemployed and employed workers in the new economy:
1.    Consider how you are using the facts you are hearing. Channel them into a motivator, not a disincentive.
2.    With more jobs available, now is the time to boost not only your search efforts but also the quality of the interviews you give and the image you present.
3.    If you are currently employed, be extra diligent now to position yourself as a valuable team member—and one who deserves a raise or advancement.

“Anyone who thinks the job market will become less demanding is fooling themselves,” says Crawford. “Employers have learned they can survive and even thrive with fewer workers. They won’t be in a hurry to add positions.” Furthermore, she adds, “Once companies shake the ‘hold until further notice’ mentality and start hiring, they may be looking for ‘new blood.’ That can mean filling plum positions with new hires and skipping over or even dismissing seasoned but less-than-motivated employees. Nothing is off the table at this point.”

About Create Your Career Path
Since 2002 Create Your Career Path and their team of certified career coaches have helped job searchers nationwide identify their ideal career path, navigate their career transition and achieve their career goals. New college grads through mid-career professionals have used our career coaches to find their dream job. Create Your Career Path was founded by certified career coach, speaker and author Hallie Crawford. Crawford has served on the Board of the Georgia Coach Association, and is regularly featured as a career expert on CNN, Fox Business News, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo HotJobs and Entrepreneur Magazine.

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Jennifer Koon
Michael Mackenzie Communications
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