Thursday, February 19, 2009

2009 Job Hunt: Checking In

So the big news for now is...there are very few jobs and I still don't have one. I've been trying to review the written materials I got from the career transition outfit that was part of my severance package when I was laid off last year. I don't have access to their services or their website because I can't afford it but the written materials have proven to be very useful.

My first task was to survey my immediate professional environment so I spent a couple of days on reading about the "Wall Street Crisis" and their list of layoffs. Last week was a particularly nasty week of bloodletting with over 1,000 jobs lost on Thursday. I learned that most folks in the legal industry see this crisis lasting for the rest of this year and through most of next year. That means more jobs will be cut, positions consolidated, and employers will be looking for creative ways to cut even more costs.

It's depressing stuff to be sure, but I have to say knowledge is power. People keeping shaking their heads and saying "What do you do?" The answer is I go out there and keep looking. It's going to take a long time to find a job what with the market being flooded with paralegals, but the jobs are out there. Getting crystal clear about my skills and experience so I can discuss and write about them well, boning up on my interview skills, and coming up with a targeted list of places to pursue a position are all very worthwhile ways to spend my time.

Things could be much worse for me. Consider the following: I could have a serious illness which would give a whole new meaning to the term "health care benefits." I could have a mortgage, and worse, a sub-prime mortgage I'm trying to dig my way out of. I could have a kid or kids and be a single parent. I could be employed at a place where everyone is waiting to see if layoffs will occur. I could be in a relationship with a guy who doesn't love me and will never love me. I could have a back injury, the flu, an addiction, no friends, and no way to watch the first season of "Lost."

So even though I have no job right now I count myself lucky. And if I can't get a job I have a backup plan. Many people don't have the kind of support I have. I'm a blessed person.

In addition to job hunting related activities, I'm going to try to make the very best of this time. I have been showered with even more time to do things I've been wanting to do. Now is the time to make real progress with my personal life. It is the silver lining in the middle of all these storm clouds.

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