3.0   Awareness: you need to know who's hiring!

Everyday, things are happening in the economy and the world around you, things that might impact your career plans and your job aspirations.

Events across the street, across the country or across the world might impact your employment situation or the demand for your skills. Social change, economic disruptions, technological developments, political instability can all cause shifts that impact demand for labor.

Your best insurance policy against unemployment is to keep yourself well informed. Knowing when to make a move is essential to your success ... not just today, or tomorrow, but for the rest of your career life. If you are a serious job seeker, your job is to know what industries are growing and what organizations are likely to be hiring.

And once you get a job you will want to be aware of things that can disrupt your employment before it becomes a crisis. When things change, the first ones to move are the lucky ones. It is like being on the Titanic when a company or industry is going down. If you are not one of the first ones off and into a lifeboat, you are going to be sucked down with everyone else. This isn't brain surgery.

Every day in the news, there are reports about social, political, economic, and technological changes that will impact the labor market and alter the range of occupational choices. Often times, things will change in what seems like a heart beat. Other trends are slow moving and long lasting.

The 1989 break of the Soviet Union caused huge layoffs in the defense industry as American defense contractors downsized and merged.  The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers reported  200,000 engineers lost their jobs during the fallout. 

The outsourcing of jobs over the last 30 years caused a significant decline in manufacturing jobs here in the US. The run up in health care costs over the past twenty years is also a long term trend.  Manufacturing until recently chased the low wage labor markets - shifting jobs to countries where the cost of manufacturing has been way cheaper. 

Fast forward to continuing global supply chain disruptions, first from the pandemic and now from the war in Ukraine. With the supply chains broken, domestic manufacturers cannot rely on foreign suppliers for parts and components to be delivered on time. Just one obvious example is the shortage of semiconductor chips that has paralyzed the auto, appliance and computer industries.

The need to reduce dependence on unreliable supply chains has brought on a “reshoring surge.” In 2022 multiple companies announced they are expanding operations in the US to counter the problem. They are spending billions of dollars to build major operations in the US.  Below are just a few examples.

The 2007 collapse of the mortgage lending industry happened almost over night, and it created layoffs in areas as diverse as financial services and housing construction. The resulting shock to the stock market, the impact on interest rates and the tightening of credit sent ripples throughout the entire economy. In 2008, it became clear that it wasn't just a ripple, it was a recession. By early 2009, it became clear that the economy had gone into crisis mode.  The resulting recession lasted for years.

The Butterfly Effect - the idea that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings will ripple- a seemingly insignificant event in another part of the world that causes dramatic change everywhere - like Covid. That is what you are looking for as you maintain awareness.