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  • 9 Action Items to Navigate the Coming Decade of 10% Unemployment

    Are you ready to navigate the coming decade of 10% unemployment?

    The jobless rate is at its highest level since 1983 at 10%, this is known as the U3 unemployment rate. An even more comprehensive measure of unemployment, known as the U6, which includes all marginally attached workers, puts the unemployment rate at 17.2%. That leaves about 1 in every 5 Americans without a job.4016448932_9b8a068c87

    The politicians will tell you there will be a healthier job market when the economy rebounds and that unemployment will trend down to more normalized levels. The reality is that nobody, including politicians and economists really knows what the job market will look like in the years ahead.

    It is a fool’s game to try and predict what the job market will look like in the next 10 years — there are too many moving factors and variables in our global economy. Those that will have you believe that “full employment”, widely accepted to be at 5% unemployment, is achievable within the next four years may be overly optimistic.

    The sobering reality, is that we may be heading towards a lost decade for jobs.


    The jobless rate usually sees a sizeable drop during the economic recovery – and bigger recessionary spikes in unemployment are typically followed by larger declines during the first year of improving unemployment. So it would be no surprise if, a year after the unemployment rate begins to drop, it falls to the nine percent range.

    The real problem is that the rate of decline in joblessness slows during the rest of the economic expansion. The annual postwar pace of decline in unemployment during these periods has been reasonably uniform, the median being 0.5% a year.

    If that pattern persists, the U.S. economy needs to keep expanding without interruption until 2020 for unemployment to fall to its pre-recession low. Even to get back to 5%, often considered to be “full employment,” it would take a business cycle upswing lasting about as long as the record-setting 1991-2001 expansion. Should the next recession arrive earlier, as we suspect, it will take much longer. The implications constitute nothing short of a wake-up call for policy makers who promise to get job growth back on track.

    The data and rational thought is pointing to a very tough road ahead for jobs.

    74855552_dffd04ab5fI find it sad that so many good people are without jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. I have heard many stories about the hardships that many people and families are going through. I truly hope that the unemployment situation becomes better and those that are struggling find their way.

    But, hope is not enough — you need to do more then ever before in this job market to find a job or keep your job. This is the reality of our new world good bad or indifferent.

    Action items to take on

    Here are 9 action items that you can take to defend yourself from the lost jobs decade and go on the attack with your personal brand:

    1.) Create your personal website (www.yourname.com)

    Having your own website is a great way to feature and differentiate yourself from other job candidates. Your experience and credentials are the meat of your site and should highlight why you are the best candidate in your field or niche. Your website should be your personal virtual billboard that screams “you need to hire me!”

    2.) Join Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter and get involved

    Linkedin should be the first social network you should be on to help create your social network safety net. The more quality connections you have the better off you will be. It is essential to network in this job market and Linkedin is one of the fastest and most efficient platforms to help you network. Also, establish your profiles on Facebook and Twitter — they are great ways to network, build relationships and be exposed to opportunities.

    Here is a post I wrote on how to use Linkedin to get the job you want.

    3.) Create a blog about a passion

    Blogs are a great way to demonstrate thought leadership in your niche, field, or profession. Through documenting your ideas for others to read you will gain mindshare and credibility — this is of course if your creating valuable content. Think of ways to fix common business problems at work, do something better, be more innovative, shorten a process, or shed new light on something. People will notice.

    4.) Be an avid reader and subscribe to blogs in your niche

    148675601_167204bbf7Through reading the latest and most up to date information you will create a wealth of knowledge over time. Through constantly seeking out knowledge from thought leaders in your niche you can become one yourself. Ideas come from ideas so start reading and subscribing to the great blogs on the web.

    5.) Regularly comment on industry leading blogs or any blog you are interested in

    When you consistently comment on a blog you will begin to form a relationship with the blog’s author. This is a great way to build your social network and create some opportunities for yourself. If there is a job at a company you would like to work at try commenting regularly on their blog — someone will notice.

    6.) Execute on the job — be a leader

    If you are fortunate enough to be employed and would like to advance at the company you need to differentiate yourself. Make sure you are excelling at everything you do and pay attention to the details. Take courses that will help you learn the skills you need to succeed on the job and keep learning. Managers notice the top performers on their team — be a top performer or learn how.

    7.) Promote your personal brand

    Through promoting your personal brand properly you will accelerate your career path and create more opportunities for yourself. Use all the social networking tools at your disposal to spread your personal brand and give your brand some legs. Add links to your website and blog in your email signature. You will be amazed at how quickly your personal brand will be noticed by those in positions of power and your colleagues at work.

    8.) Monitor your personal brand

    Setup Google Alerts for your name and terms you are interested in. This is the easiest way to monitor the conversations that are happening about you on the web. If something is said about you on the web (good and bad) you want to be able to respond to either elaborate the discussion or defend your personal brand.

    Another great tip is to set up Google Alerts for topics you are interested in — this is a great way to stay up to date and learn a ton. Read enough and you will be very knowledgeable sooner then you think. Knowledge is power.2610250443_faf271fb7a

    9.) Have a written plan with steps to reach your goals

    Human beings have the highest emotional capacity of any species on earth, however so many people seem to live an uninspired life and feel stuck where they are. This is truly unfortunate. Well, the good news is that no matter where you find yourself in life, all it takes is one choice to move you in a new direction. A series of purposeful choices can start creating leverage in your life and bring you to places you once thought impossible.

    From the beginning of time, every human accomplishment started as an idea in somebody’s mind. This idea then became real as choices were made with the realization of the idea as the end goal. When we’re growing and working towards the attainment of any worthwhile, self-defined goal it brings forth a sense of happiness and accomplishment few other things can. Remember, it all starts with an idea and the first decision that moves you towards its realization. Stop waiting for things to happen and start deciding!

    Write down your goals and take action.

    Please retweet this post and share with your social networks.

    Your Ideas

    What would you add to these 9 action items? Did I miss anything? If you have any other tips or action items please share your comments. Let’s talk about it some more.


    Chad Levitt is the author of the New Sales Economy blog, which focuses on how Sales 2.0 & Social Media can help you connect, create more opportunities and increase your business. Chad is also the featured Sales 2.0 blogger at SalesGravy.com, the number one web portal for sales pros, the professional athletes of the business world. Make sure to connect with him on Twitter @chadalevitt.


    Chad Levitt is the author of the New Sales Economy blog, which focuses on how Sales 2.0 & Social Media can help you connect, create more opportunities and increase your business. Chad is also the featured Sales 2.0 blogger at SalesGravy.com, the number one web portal for sales pros, the professional athletes of the business world. During the day, Chad is an inside sales associate with EMC Corp., the global leader in information infrastructure technology & solutions, in their award winning sales development program. Chad attended the University of Central Florida for his undergraduate degree and Nova Southeastern University for his MBA with a concentration in finance.

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    18 comments on “9 Action Items to Navigate the Coming Decade of 10% Unemployment
    1. avatar
      DebExo says:

      Chad I love this post! It puts the control, responsibility, and success in the individual’s hands. The only suggestion I would make is to move up #6 ‘Execute on the job – be a leader’ to #1. Assuming employment, there is no stronger and credible brand than the one the individual has on the inside of his/her company. And executing on the job is no longer enough…all the other suggestions are paramount!

      • avatar
        Chad Levitt says:

        @Deb: Executing on the job is paramount for those who are blessed enough to have a job. Leaders always seem to find ways to differentiate themselves and gain the mindshare of those they need to advance on the job. It may not come quickly or easily but hardwork and promoting your personal brand can help you create more opportunities at work.

    2. avatar

      Chad, this is exceptional advice. Anyone that does this will stand out because most of their peers will not make this much effort. Getting people to see this advice, understand it, execute and follow-up is a challenge. Good work.

      • avatar
        Chad Levitt says:

        @Bret: You are right — getting people to see value in personal branding is the easy part — getting them to take action in the midst of uncertainty is a much tougher beast to tame. I would encourage anyone who is hesitant to begin building there personal brand to read some of the success stories from around the web and to continue reading this blog.

    3. avatar

      I agree with Mr. Bret above. One of first things I advise people to do is get their PERSONAL name registered and secured. Personal Branding is all about raising your EXPERT status and what’s more important than your name.

      Thanks for another great piece, Mr. C. I appreciate you taking the time to share.

      Keep the faith and keep being YOU!

      TrueBeliever & HopeDealer

      • avatar
        Chad Levitt says:

        @Bret: Good points here — do you have any advice for readers on how to raise their expert status? Please share.

      • avatar
        Kathy says:

        I have seen several success stories where an individual has been recognized, hired, refered etc through a volunteer project. Of course there are many other benefits-networking, interacting with others, social outlet, etc.

    4. avatar

      Great article… Taking massive action and understanding that we are “all in sales”… Controlling your emotions/mind is a choice… I am choosing to not participate in this recession! Best, Brian=

      • avatar
        Chad Levitt says:

        @Brian: We are all definitely in sales — everybody is selling or promoting something. This should not been seen in a negative light, but rather in that we are all pursuing different goals that are achieved through our personal characteristics/traits that help to build our personal brand.

    5. avatar
      Bert Jansen says:

      good advice Dan,

      I want to add the importance of being focused not only on the internet but on personal development to. There is no such thing as a personal brand without being a personality. Have a look at the Covey principles before you enter the net.
      Training the seven habits will prevent you from getting unemployed.
      kind regards,

      Bert Jansen

      • avatar
        Chad Levitt says:

        @Bert: Thanks for guiding readers to read the Covey principles — they are foundational words that can help anyone improve their life. Do you have any other books that you would recommend readers to check out?

        I like Napolean Hill, Think & Grow Rich.

    6. avatar
      Pete Murphy says:

      Unemployment, both in the U.S. and the world as a whole, marches ever higher because the field of economics doesn’t account for the relationship between population density and per capita consumption.

      Following the beating the field of economics took over the seeming failure of Malthus’ theory, economists adamantly refuse to ever again consider the effects of population growth. If they did, they might come to understand that once an optimum population density is breached, further over-crowding begins to erode per capita consumption and, consequently, per capita employment.

      And these effects of an excessive population density are actually imported when a nation like the U.S. attempts to trade freely with other nations much more densely populated – nations like China, Japan, Germany, Korea and a host of others. The result is an automatic trade deficit and loss of jobs – tantamount to economic suicide.

      Using 2006 data, an in-depth analysis reveals that, of our top twenty per capita trade deficits in manufactured goods (the trade deficit divided by the population of the country in question), eighteen are with nations much more densely populated than our own. Even more revealing, if the nations of the world are divided equally around the median population density, the U.S. had a trade surplus in manufactured goods of $17 billion with the half of nations below the median population density. With the half above the median, we had a $480 billion deficit!

      If you‘re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, then I invite you to visit either of my web sites at OpenWindowPublishingCo.com or PeteMurphy.wordpress.com where you can read the preface, join in the blog discussion and, of course, buy the book if you like. (It’s also available at Amazon.com.)

      Pete Murphy
      Author, “Five Short Blasts”

    7. avatar

      Chad – as usual, great advice, particularly given that so many of the jobs lost in industries such as finance & journalism as lost forever. There are entire career paths that have been wiped out, so many of us are going to have to rebuild from scratch. As someone who has been doing all 9 of the steps you have wisely mentioned as I rebirth my career in a brand new direction, I can say that they really do work. Going forward I think there will be many exciting opportunities for those willing to give it their all and really hustle (or CRUSH IT as Gary V would say :). Wishing you & yours a wonderful holiday season. Keep the great posts coming!

      • avatar
        Chad Levitt says:

        @Manisha: As always great comment — you make a very interesting point in that some careers have been completely eliminated or greatly reduced. While this is tough you are clearly showing that personal branding can open up new doors to new careers. I’m looking forward to reading Gary’s book — it is on my Amazon wish list.

    8. avatar
      Dustin says:

      This is a very interesting article. I understand this is how we create a personal brand that speaks to the career we want but isn’t there a fear that if this is way that everyone develops there brand that eventually the internet will be nothing but a bloated mass of zombie websites never updated unless the person is a freelance branding expert or unemployed and must recharge their online profile?

      I appreciate you taking the time to write this for those people who are learning about the new techniques to help understand the internet’s role in landing a job but honestly. At what point do these people start to land jobs?

      I don’t ask these questions from simply a disagreement stand point but for a devil’s advocate. There are people out there struggling everyday and it take more than a few bullet points to convince them. Especially when you look at this and it doesn’t make dollars, but we tell them it makes sense.

      Thank you for posting and I will check back to see if you address any of these questions.

      Dustin Norman

      • avatar
        Chad Levitt says:

        @Dustin: This is why Google and other search engines exist — they identify the relevant web pages and do all the searching and indexing for us. I would not be too worried about “zombie websites”, there are much more important things to worry about.

        I do not know the answer to your second question — as I pointed out in the post there are simply too many moving variables to accurately predict when “full employment” will be reached. What I know is that everyday people are successfully leveraging their personal brand to gain competitive employment or create an opportunity that would not have existed otherwise. Check out the link I posted in the article about using Linkedin to get the job you want — this active job searching strategy worked for me when I wanted to get a job at EMC.

        Any thoughts?

      • avatar
        Dustin says:

        Hi Chad,

        Thank you for replying so quickly.

        I understand that Google & Search engines exist for that type of work but my understanding was the Bing was created as an alternative to how google does it’s searching because it would simply overload us with choices.

        I personally believe the social networking sites will eat up the internet and eventually simply turn into our home screens and the browser will become the search engine like Chrome so that google as the traditional sense will cease to exist. But with that, how often do you go online without logging into a profile anymore?

        I simply wonder when all the profiles, websites & blogs will stop being all over and be replaced by one portal. At that point you’ll have all the old media spots that were created before this “one-stop” shop as dead sites that were exported but never deleted. At that point the internet will be a good chunk of dead weight. It already has many zombie sites.

        I’m just worried that in the future the internet will be like a park after a trash can was knocked over. Strewn trash floating across the grass with people simply sitting at their picnic table and not bending down or walking across the field to clean up the mess that they simply accept as background mess.

        That’s my concern with every person creating a blog, online resume & any other form of online profile.


      • avatar
        Chad Levitt says:

        @Dustin: Very interesting thoughts — but you can worry about this stuff or take the necessary steps to create your personal brand that can create some opportunities for you. I’ve always found it much more practical to focus on the action items that can create success instead of worrying about potential scenarios that may or may not happen.

        There is no reason I can think of to not create your personal brand — we are all a brand.

    2 Pings/Trackbacks for "9 Action Items to Navigate the Coming Decade of 10% Unemployment"
    1. […] in my.own hands rather than someone else’s hands.  So don’t take my advice.  Rather, take the advice of this columnist at the Personal Branding Blog who offers nine strategies for outflanking our economy and the interests of big business, including […]

    2. […] employers giving the holiday gift of unemployment are becoming all too common. Another organization let an employee with more than 15 years of experience in that role go less […]

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