Master Career Counselor

Carla Hunter, President of Career Span, Inc. is a Master Career Counselor (MCC) by the National Career Development Association and a Certified Career Coach by the National Board for Certified Counselors. She is an expert in writing resumes, effective job search strategies and interviewing success. Most recently, with over 20 years of navigating the complexity of today's world of work, she published "Finding Your Place in the World of Work", a career interest inventory (2014) and CareerView, an iPad app. As a private practice career counselor and a workforce development consultant, this blog is Carla's trove of ideas, trends, forecasts, and career tips for finding meaningful work.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Job contraction and the big balloon effect

The overall unemployment rate in the United States is sitting at around 9.6 percent.

This statistic is almost double the unemployment rate for years. What is really going on? Economists are trying to gain a grasp on all the complexity of the market, when really it is quite simple:

Technology just blew up a HUGE balloon, tied the knot and now is sqeezing the workforce.

Let me explain.

The huge balloon of technology

Technology has ended the industrial age as we know it. We are now in a knowledge economy where information is instant and available to the masses. This access to knowledge is like someone has taken an empty balloon, filled it with air and gave a new dimension to what has previously been lifeless.

The explosion of the computer, technological resources and the Internet has flourished for the most part. The dot-com bust caused the big balloon to be tied with a knot.

Now, the balloon is being tightly squeezed in one particular section. Imagine taking a balloon, blowing it up, tying a knot and then squeezing it. Would the inside air leave the balloon? Of course not. It would be moving in another direction. This is how I see the American economy at work. We are being squeezed but not popped as reported so negatively by the media.


Well, when you sqeeze one section and it contracts, another section of the balloon is forced to expand. It is the nature of pressure.

Our "recession" is a contraction in the market. The key to our dismay is that NO ONE is pointing to the expansion and movement in another part of this balloon. When one part contracts, another expands. This isn't rocket science!!!!!

So what has contracted in the market? The jobs that are no longer viable because technology has made them faster, easier and cheap. What is expanding? The businesses that make it faster, easier and cheaper for the employer using technology as the catalyst for change. It is a simple equation that has had devastating results because we have been largely unprepared for the intensity of the squeeze.

In the end, if our nation recognized and prepared for the contraction, this unemployment rate would have been minimized. Economists can only predict. However, it would be a beneficial resource to have a career counselor as an advisor to the President. That expert would have focused on when the market's balloon was being naturally squeezed and to not react so negatively to a brilliant shift in our economy. The balloon hasn't popped!

It has just been squeezed. My next post will focus on our major resource to take us to the height of this new economy with a mastery yet to be defined.

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