Don’t be a “Discouraged Worker”

Every quarter the US Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles the employment figures.  One of those calculations is for what they actually call “discouraged workers.”  These are individuals who wanted and were available for work during the last 12 months.  But they are no longer counted as unemployed because they have not searched for work in the last 4 weeks.  According to the Bureau’s calculations, in December of 2010, there were 1.3 million “discouraged workers.”

Here we are in February.  The official figures are pretty much the same.  “Discouraged workers” are not a true indication of the economy or of the workplace possibilities.  Rather, they are examples of using methods of looking for work that don’t work.

What to do if you’re a “discouraged worker.”

  • Change your job search strategy – something’s not working
  • Be very clear about your strongest areas of competence
  • Identify 30-40 target companies – do a 3-step contact process
  • Use the 3-ft rule – tell everyone you meet what you’re looking for
  • Explore all the new work models – employee, independent contractor, freelance, entrepreneur

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