Tag Archives: tasks

Fear Not the Unemployment Rate

According to Sify News today, the unemployment rate in the nation is currently at 9.7%, the highist in 26 years. That’s with the job cuts being at it’s lowest this year, with 216,000 labor jobs cut in August.

What do these numbers mean? First of all, the unemployment rate is higher because it’s including those who did not find jobs from the months before. It is also high because blue collar jobs such as construction (with 65,000 job cuts) and manufacturing (with 63,000 job cuts) are being cut at a faster rate then white collar jobs, with the exception of the financial institutions (with 28,000 job cuts).

However, this report should not scare anyone. For one, the Department of Labor is working to bring in more jobs and make the job cuts even lower next month according to Secretary Hilda Solis. Remember that the stimulus package is slowly starting to fund many infrastructure projects which will help the construction sector. I do believe the government needs to mandate the overseas job sourcing for cheap labor. However, that idea will have to wait for another blog.

What can you do when you hear something like this? What ever you do, DO NOT PANIC! You would be surprised how many jobs are available out there, especially in many metro areas such as San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Houston and Miami. At least in San Francisco where I live, companies are going out of their way to not have any layoffs, but pay cuts so that their employees maintain their jobs. You will have to work harder then just posting your resume on an online job board. You’ll have to expand on your network, utilize the social media and even make a few cold calls. Organize your time as to what your tasks are in order to get back into the work force. Something as simple as looking up templates to perfect your resume can do you a lot of good in the near future.

Functional Resume Template

Chronological Resume Template

If you are self employeed as I am, you will have it tougher getting those contracts when businesses are on a strict budget. If you are willing to take on part-time job or even a second job along side your freelance work, I recommend you do so. I also recommend to all my job seekers to take refresher courses in their fields at their local community colleges. If you used to work in the construction or manufacturing sectors, I recommend going back for higher education in another feild or even a certification in a similar sector. It is never to late to pick up new skills that could even help you improve the skills you already have. The Department of Education is encouraging it if anything, they are helping fund it! I had much of my BSBA student loans bought out by the DoE at an extremely low interest rate!

In short, there is much hope in getting back into the workforce by doing your research, organizing your job search tasks, as well as going back to school. Until next time, fear not the unemployment rate reported, stay positive as you continue to work towards your goal.

Happy Labor Day!

Goal Planning

The first step before starting almost anything is knowing what your goals are. Don’t just say for example, “I want to be an architect”, but you need to ask yourself a few questions:
“What kind of architect do I want to be?”
“What skills do I have that qualify me as architect?”
“Which university has the best architecture program?”
“Do they offer job placement, internship or temp jobs programs to expand on my skills?”
“Where can I go to find an internship or temporary job?”
“What do I need to do to find an internship or temporary job?”

It gets a bit expanded and sometimes it can get a bit complex.

I want you to take out a sheet of blank paper and create your goal plan*. On top, put what your ultimate goal. For the sake of example, let’s say your ultimate goal is “Become an Architect.” Under that, write “5 Year Goal” and write what your goal is in the next 5 years. It could be that you want to graduate with a specified architectural degree by the year 2014. Under that, write “1 Year Goal” and write what your goal is in this next year. Do the same for your one month goal and your one week goal. These two help you see where you are at now, what you need to complete throughout the year towards your ultimate goal.

Your one month goal could be to have at least 5 applications with required essays, statements and letters of recommendations ready to be turned in at your desired universities. Your one week goal then can be listed as follows:
– Research and speak with different university admissions advisers and/or program directors.
– Have a personal statement drafted out to be applied to my master university application

For that week’s daily tasks, you’ll be listing tasks that you need to do that take you closer to your one week goal, one month goal, one year goal, five year goal. For example, your task for today is to draft your goal plan on becoming an architect. Tomorrow, your tasks are to research all university architectural programs in your city and to look up 2 articles on the industry.

Now that you get the idea, I suggest two things:
1. On a sheet with your ultimate goal where you will see it at least once a day. When you have a constant reminder of what you want to accomplish it makes it difficult to drift away from the tasks at hand towards that accomplishment. It also helps keep you motivated and positive, which in turn helps attract that good vibe and energy while you are working on those listed tasks.
2. List at least your monthly goals, weekly goals and daily tasks where it is convenient. For example, if you carry around a planner or use your phone’s calendar. This way, you have it with you all the time, can easily make any necessary changes as well as save lots and lots of trees.

What does Hala do?

I put all my weekly goals and daily tasks in my phone’s calendar while noting my monthly, yearly and five year goal plan in a private journal. That way, I constantly see the journal and have a reminder going off almost every few hours in my pocket of what I’m working towards.

From time to time, I’ll change the background on my phone to a picture from my graduation in 2005 so that I’m motivated towards my upcoming ultimate goal of completing my MBA. These types of things help me keep a smile on my face when I’m frustrated with any homework assignments or a project like I am now.

Feel free to share your goals here as well as any questions you may have about goal planning.

Until next time, remember again that looking for a job is a full time job in itself… so get busy!