Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Few Words about Transition

I think we can all agree we’re in the middle of transitional times. We don’t know what the Bay Area employment situation is going to look like a year from now, but it’s a good bet it will look different from what it is now.

The big question is where will you fit? For many, things may not change at all. They will have the same job, with the same organization, and will remain on the same career path. However, for those of us whose organization or company didn’t survive the downturn, or whose career/industry specialty fell out of favor with the marketplace, transition may be in order. For these folks, searching for a new job is merely part of the equation; they may have to make an overall career or industry shift as well.

If this scenario describes you, my first bit of advice is don’t panic. One can have a two pronged game plan that presents short and long term goals. If you find yourself unemployed and your career path or industry is struggling, stop and take a step back. Look at the big picture what’s happening in your local economy. Even in these tough times, people are still getting hired. Conduct research on who is getting hired, what skills are still in need, and what types of companies and organizations are hiring. A good place to start your research is at the bureau of labor statistics website: Also, one can exam multiple on line job boards, and make note job opportunity trends in your preferred locales. I’ve also found that reading local business publications will give you the latest trends on what types of organizations might be fairing better then others in your marketplace:

Once, you’ve made your observations about what jobs are currently viable in your marketplace, then make a general assessment about your own skill sets, and connect them to what’s in demand and available. Remember, the job you seek on the short run, doesn’t have to represent your long term career plans. Give yourself permission to take a short term step back in responsibility, or pay. You won’t be alone. Sometimes, it’s just about getting a job.

Once you’ve found a place to work during these difficult times, you can then start researching and planning your long term career adjustment. As this point, enlisting the help of a career coach may not be a bad idea. For ideas about career transition, visit:

--Steve Hernandez,