A Few Random Things

A few months back the US Department of Labor challenged the public to create IT programs and/or websites that could help job seekers better understand the job market, plan their education or training path, make new career choices, move to a new job market/city, negotiate salary, and the like. There were a number of submissions and of those, eight winners were selected.  All eight are interesting and have something to offer, most notably information to help you to be a more informed job seeker. Of particular note, one of those winners was a website created by the TWC’s Labor Market & Career Information department called “Reality Check.” Reality Check was designed primarily for students (but it can really help anyone) understand the connection between lifestyle aspirations and the importance of some level of education beyond high school.  It allows students to make lifestyle choices, create a budget, and then view the jobs that can support those lifestyle choices. View all eight winners here.

Next is an interesting info-graph by the US Census Bureau comparing different aspects of the US population from 1940 to 2010. You can view the full info-graph here but I’ve included a few facts below that caught my attention.

  • 1 in 6 people counted in the 1940 census were also counted in the 2010 census. That’s about 51M people.
  • 3 of 5 most populated states in 1940 were also the most populated in 2010.
  • Manufacturing accounted for 23% of all jobs in 1940.  In 2010, it’s only about 10%.
  • Maybe most reflective of the modern world, in 1940 about 34% of the total US population was employed.  Today it’s about 45%.

And finally, one of the hardest things about being a job seeker is maintaining a positive mental attitude. Things never go as fast or as well as you hope; application efforts generally result in more frustration simply because you get no feedback at all; and the current jobs outlook seems to continue to hover around ‘yeah, it’s getting better but’. Unfortunately there’s no silver bullet, but in trying to keep this blog in sight of a half-full glass, I offer this cool video about finding a job. It’s short and simple but sharp, and if you’re one struggling with a job search, maybe it gives you a quick lift.

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