Work Wise

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of January 2012 the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3%. As of January 2012, Baltimore’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average estimated at 6.8%. Maryland’s unemployment rate improved to 6.7%. So, nu? Does this mean more employers are hiring in Baltimore?

Here’s the good news! According to Steve Geppi, publisher from Baltimore Magazine, three important trends are “quietly playing out in Baltimore.” First, there appears to be a positive trend in hiring in Baltimore due to its proximity to Washington, DC and in defense-related work. Secondly, the national unemployment rate is down to an acceptable 5% rate. Third, Forbes Magazine states that Baltimore is the second strongest job market for tech workers in the IT industry. Baltimore has always had a strong market in health care and medical research and will continue to do so. In addition, there are some emerging companies in Baltimore. To name just a few: Millennia Media is a leading independent mobile advertising data platform powering the app economy. Moodlerooms is a company that makes enterprise e-learning solutions more affordable. Key Tech is a high tech design and applied research prototyping company. BTS creates advanced mobile communications devices for the US government and the private sector.

Should you get my hopes up? The old sayings “remain positive” or “when one door closes another one opens” are very difficult statements to hear, especially if you’re the one who’s laid off, seeing other employees in your company get the “pink slip” or dealing with the threat of a lay-off. These anxiety provoking situations automatically create a gloom and doom perspective and can really affect how one sees him/herself making the job search even more difficult. But, there are ways to create a more positive attitude about job instability and future job search. First of all, claim the feelings that being laid-off and having to look for a new job is unfair, unjust and downright a pain in the “tuchus.” What makes it hard are the feelings of losses such as professional identity, self-esteem, self-confidence, daily routine, purposeful activity, work-based social network and a sense of security.

What can you do to ease the transition? It’s natural to withdraw out of embarrassment and shame. Turn to people you trust for support. Isolating will only make you feel worse. Join or start a job club. Other job seekers can be invaluable sources of encouragement, support and job leads. Stay connected through networking. Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a job. You never know who you will meet who can help you find a job. The vast majority of job openings are never advertised, they’re by word of mouth. Volunteering is a great way to gain new skills, stay connected and incorporate a daily routine into your schedule. Make sure your resume is updated and loaded with industry key-words and accomplishments. Finally, take care of yourself both emotionally and physically.

As the great philosopher, Milton Berle once said about searching for a job: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door,” because when you open the door, you never know what’s on the other side.