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Jobseekers' Perspective

How our Recent Recession was a Blessing to Jobseekers

Recession Space

Recession Space (Photo credit: Damian Gadal)

The Great Recession of 2008, as it seems to now be known, took a heavy toll on workers as millions were laid off or otherwise found themselves jobless—some for the first time in decades. Following the old adage, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” I’d like to point out that coming out of this difficult time, we can all benefit by looking back and seeing a few things.
First, in the realm of jobs the recession can more appropriately be called a course correction in terms of skills. Workers with outmoded skill sets were being laid off and found themselves lost in a world of new technology. At the same time, employers were struggling to find qualified individuals with the new skills sets they needed. In many cases, they would hire qualified college grads from other countries and move them to the US to fill the need.
Where is the blessing in that? First, high-demand skills were slowly but surely being introduced into our higher educational system, and most dislocated workers had access to funding for retraining. But the biggest lesson the recent recession taught the jobseeker was not to be lazy in their job search. There was a time, now long lost, when all a jobseeker had to do was show up on an employer’s front door and employers would be eager to see them. And just as the recession illustrated the needed skills course correction, it also showed the need to change and upgrade job search strategies—marketing yourself, making a lasting impression, using social media to demonstrate your value to employers.
Slowly the employment statistics improve. We’re not back to where we were pre-Recession, and nobody really knows when—or if—that will happen. But as the job market increasingly swings back in the jobseeker’s favor, the jobseeker would do well to remember the lessons they learned during the Great Recession, especially to be ever diligent in finding and retaining the right job.


About kimberlyjmyers

I am a workforce development professional in Washington State. I have ten years experience working with dislocated workers, vocationally impaired, and people with disabilities on many levels and backgrounds from offenders to non-English speaking refugees from around the world. The One thing the clients I have worked with all had in common: there was some barrier to employment, and I work diligently every day to identify, address and remove those barriers.


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