If one were to go by the above graph, and the fact the US unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level in more than 2 and half years, as employers stepped up hiring ...it would mean good news right?
More than ever, it is time for all of us to read in between the lines as things aren't as they appear to be -on first impressions! As a person who strongly believes that we are 'truly global professionals' being affected by events that are very much out of our immediate control, we can do a lot by keep ourselves abreast about the larger trends!!
Here is a perspective -even as Citibank announced lay of 4500 people..less than 24 hours back. While it is still less than 2% of their total employee base, it is interesting to note the company was taking about improving efficiencies!!
Lessons for us to take away?
Technology, globalisation, innovations...are all impacting the nature of jobs that are presently being offered.
Companies are increasingly cherry picking their talent.
- What is the ROI we as employees-are providing to our employers?
- Does my job increase the revenue for the business?
- If my job is part of the 'overhead expenses' of the company, what am I doing to be 'counted'?
- Am I picking up new skills personally-at a rate faster than the rate at which 'the world is seeming to change'?
-How close am I to my level of 'incompetence'?
- Is my contribution indispensable?
Hard questions -but better be asked..than ignored.
Here is another graph that would be relevant for us to remember. Yes, news jobs are being announced. Are the old jobs coming back? And more importantly, at a rate that we want?
All of the recessions are compared from their start date, with each line looking at the collapse in unemployment and subsequent recovery.
In almost all recoveries, the jobs situation has been v-shaped, with jobs coming back quickly once the recession ended.
That started to change with the 2001 recession: It took a long time for all the jobs to return.
And now we're in the worst jobs slump ever, with the recovery not looking very v-shaped at all.
Are we in the right jobs?