This fall has been fascinating, challenging, and occasionally exhausting. Living in New York, I've had a front row view of domino-effect of changes on Wall Street which has been supplemented through work with individual job seekers and a consulting gig at a university with a strong Boa_Constrictorcampus recruiting program.

On occasion, I've been at a loss for words. Many of the "safe industries" that I have traditionally recommended to students and young professionals--healthcare, government, biomedical, IT--have also taken some very public hits. (When Dow Chemical announced major layoffs, it really made me nervous--especially since chemical engineers had the highest starting salary of any 2008 graduates due to the "need" for their skills.) 

I've spent a lot of time talking to individual job seekers, and I've noticed a similar response to the economy, "I'm going to stop looking now, because I don't see how I can possibly find a job in this market." I've heard this response from current college students, young professionals, and the recently laid-off. I call this response, the "boa constrictor" because it reminds me of Shel Silverstein's poem about being swallowed by a giant snake:

I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor,
And I don't like it--one bit.
Well, what do you know?
It's nibblin' my toe.
Oh, gee,
It's up to my knee.
Oh my,
It's up to my thigh.
Oh, fiddle,
It's up to my middle.
Oh, heck,
It's up to my neck.
Oh, dread,
It's upmmmmmmmmmmffffffffff . . .

It's easy to personalize the economy: i.e. " layoffs and hiring freezes at <<insert company name>> mean I'll never land a new job. I'm going to get clobbered in this market. I have no chance."

DON'T LET YOURSELF THINK LIKE THIS. It is the equivalent of letting yourself get swallowed by a boa constrictor.

In reality, employers are still hiring. Perhaps not in the same volume or with the sexiest salaries ever--but there are still opportunities. And pursuing new opportunities is much better than staying home and putting yourself out of the game altogether.

In that vein here are two great posts providing tips on "where the jobs are" :

Reasons to Give Thanks: There is No Shortage of Jobs for Young People (Penelope Trunk)

Bright Spots in the Bad Economy: Five Places to Look for Jobs Right Now (Lindsey Pollak)

And one article on how not to stand in your own way.

Ten Ways You Stop Yourself from Getting the Right Job (Sital Ruperalia on Career Hub)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what's working--and what hasn't worked.

To Your Success,