A number of economic indicators signal a slow recovery from our Great Recession. Even in the jobless sector, there are encouraging signs, with private employers posting openings.
The long-term unemployed, however, still face daunting challenges. Many employers are refusing to hire anyone who has been laid off for a year or longer. It’s discrimination pure and simple, with false reasoning at the root of the perspective.
What to do? Eileen Zimmerman has written a very helpful article for the New York Times’ Career Coach section, published February 11, 2012. In it she draws on the wisdom of various employment specialists. I’ve summarized what I feel are the most relevant for our southwestern Pittsburgh area:
- Keep in front of your network partners by sharing articles, your perspective regarding your industry, or offering leads that could help them grow their businesses or sales.
- Keep current with your own industry by reading its magazines and periodicals. If you can’t afford subscriptions, visit your local library.
- Maintain your professional certifications and memberships in professional associations. Volunteer for communication roles in these organizations to keep abreast of what is happening in your field.
- Start your own consulting firm and see if you can land some small jobs. This will not only provide income, it will impress potential employers that you’ve been proactive in advancing your career during the current economic downturn.
What are you doing to enhance your credibility and your career image during a long period of unemployment?