Lisa Newell: News keeps getting worse on job front

  • Updated: January 30, 2009 - 12:01 PM

The news just keeps getting worse on the job front. With Target announcing large layoffs yesterday, and Best Buy resorting to involuntary ones, prospects for a quick turnaround dim. Driving this morning, I listened to economist Robert Reich giving his gloomy estimate on when this recession will bottom out. Reich said the actual unemployment rate is probably closer to 12% if discouraged, underemployed and part time workers are counted. He thought that the rate might top out at 15-16% before year end. Reich stated that it will be 12-15 months before real improvement begins.

Wow, the reality can grind on anyone. It's harder to stay upbeat and focused when the layoff notice deluge continues unabated.

My neighbor works for Target corporate; hope she still has a job. It seemed like half the people I used to ride the 553 downtown with are no longer employed. Last week, my former employer Ameriprise let go of 300 people. Upwards of 150 of them I know personally or have worked for. Entire groups are gone. Many of us had spouses working there as well.

What I am up against is that there are MANY well qualified, experienced folks competing against each other for a dwindling number of open positions. Employers can cherry pick among candidates. How do you stand out in a very crowded field? What does 20 years of professional experience mean today? Some employers flat out tell you that you're overqualified for what is available. Does seasoning and years of experience work against you in an over-crowded arena?

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