Friday, March 19, 2010

Retraining is no instant answer


Justin Lahart, WSJ, Mar 17, 2010, says even going out and getting new skills is not necessarily a ticket to a new job.

One woman got laid off, took an office technology course, and has still been hitting the bricks since July.

Retraining should pay off eventually—if only to zip up your brain—but when no one is hiring, the skills aren’t the deciding factor.

In Feb, there were 54 workers for every opening. Time was, 90% of career-trainees found work—now it’s 40%.

One gal even switched from semiconductors to health care, figuring that sector would be okay. She looked a long time. One health care co said they used to get 2,500 apps a month, Now it’s 5,000.

Yes, it’s a numbers game, but as always I come back to: ALL YOU NEED IS ONE. That is the number. One job--for you.

So stay close to home, even look for HELP WANTED signs. Don’t depend on Craigs or CareerBuilder or whatever. Newspapers still have wants ads—ever check those? At least while we still have newspapers.

And if you want to take some courses, do it. It will give you structure in your day, you’ll meet new people, you’ll use parts of your brain you weren’t using, and you will learn something.

Eventually, it will pay off.

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