Remember when the unemployment rate was over 9%? Seems like a long time ago but it was not. Back then (2008, 2009, 2010) there were very few jobs but everyone was looking for work. After about 5 or 6 years, the economy started to slowly recover and those looking for work were finding jobs. Some of those jobs were part-time but after being unemployed for so long, a part-time job was everything. Then came the rise of the “Gig Economy”, thanks to companies like Task Rabbit, Uber, Lyft, and many others, people were taking on part-time jobs with no benefits, decent pay, but it gave them freedom to work other jobs so they could put together multiple streams of income.
Fast forward to today and the unemployment rate is about 4%. The economy is adding hundreds of thousands of jobs each month, in fact, at the time this article was written, America has the longest consecutive streak of job gains at 100 months than EVER. Oddly enough, although the unemployment rate is low, there are still lots of people who are underemployed and looking for work. Now, many of those who accepted part-time work to make ends meet are looking to capitalize on that loyalty and determination by going for bigger and better jobs. Another interesting twist is that those with good jobs now also want better jobs. And of course, there are those who are unemployed, laid-off or furloughed.
In 2019 and in 2009, there are/were roughly 20,000,000 people looking work at any given moment - that number includes passive and active candidates. Passive candidates are job seekers who have full-time employment, they make a good living, and they are not on job boards all day long - yet they are open to new opportunities. Passive job seekers use recruiters, search firms, apps, and headhunters to find jobs for them and send them notifications or emails. For more active job seekers they are looking on the job boards, LinkedIn, using apps, going to networking events, and sending emails - they use a more proactive approach - the sense of urgency is higher.
So when you think about it, no matter the year or the unemployment rate - the job market is stacked against you. There is a ton of competition out there and you have to be resilient, relentless, and determined to be successful. Personally, I love it when someone says, “to get a job, all you have to do is…” (that sarcasm - I really don’t like that) the reason I don’t like that is because if you are lucky enough to get a job, it needs to be a good job - it has to pay well - it has to have opportunities for advancement - it has to have flexibility - it has to have perks - has to offer equal and fair compensation - it has to have reasonably prices healthcare benefits…basically it has to be damn near perfect.
You have to look extremely hard and be very selective because as you well know, finding perfection is difficult; the deck is stack against you.
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