Friday, September 4, 2009

There is No Job Market

People ask me, “How’s the job market?” When I tell them there is no one job market, they look confused. After all, people are always talking about “The Job Market” in the media.

But there are MANY job markets, not just one. There’s a market for school principals, for nurses, for executive secretaries, for museum curators etc. etc. etc. Some of the markets are global – like the one for university professors or NBA players. Some are local, like the market for dog walkers. And there is everything in between.

The right question is, “What’s the job market like for my skills now in my geographic location?” For example, what’s the market for customer service reps in Atlanta? Or, what’s the market for commercial lenders in Houston? The answer is never a one-size-fits-all answer.

It’s your job to know the market for your skills in your geographic area. Many industries tend to cluster geographically. If you are a movie producer, your career will center on New York and Los Angeles, for example.

So how do you find out what the job market is for your skills in your area? One easy way is to belong to a local professional association. They know the area, may actually list jobs, and sometimes offer out-of-work professionals free or reduced membership.

Identify your skills first, and then do some research on which employers need those skills in the geographic area you’ve chosen. You may find that you would be more marketable in a new area or with additional skills. (More on these concepts in a later post.)

1 comment:

  1. Well said! Taking charge of your career required more than sitting in front of a computer. Think of yourself as a business--what's your strategy in a very competitive market?