Let's face it, most of the nation's most prestigious economists were gobsmacked by the nation's employment downturn--they simply didn't see it coming. So what makes the suits any smarter or more reliable than Terry and Linda Jamison, the world famous "Psychic Twins," who predicted the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 1999, and who have been telling me for the past two years that I'd better fasten my seat belt, because we're in for a bumpy economic ride. Did I listen? Well, no. Even though these ladies are my close friends, I'm still a bit skeptical of psychics. The result of my skepticism? I lost 25% of the value of my portfolio, and waved goodbye to some of my best freelance clients. Most of that could have been avoided if I'd followed their advice. If only I would have listened back then. I'm listening now. This is what they're predicting:
When are we going to get a break?
There will be a slow but consistent recovery, with the number of jobs making a marked increase by the end of 2010 and into 2011.
So what should job seekers do in the meantime?
It might be a good time to start your own business, to create a job for yourself, but only if you do your prep and research! We have people coming to us all the time saying, "I'm thinking about starting a business I saw on Oprah, and I want to know how it's going to do." It doesn't take a psychic to figure out that they're going to fail if they haven't prepared a financial plan, a business model, done marketing research, etc. Remember that not everyone has an entrepreneurial archetype.
Any more advice for the budding entrepreneur to succeed in this environment?
Yes -- two things: First, pick a partner who has a different skill set than you do, so you can complement each other. People tend to want to work with someone who is exactly like them, and this isn't a good idea. You need someone working with you who can do all the things you can't, and vice versa. Second, seek out an angel investor. They're out there, but they're being very careful with their money right now, so you have to be very prepared. If you can catch their interest, you know you're onto something.
Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of getting a job faster?
Yes! Cultivate an attitude of generosity, and start giving! This might sound strange at a time when you feel you have very little to give, but you can always give of your time, your wisdom, your encouragement and your compliments. You can mentor. It's karmic law that you get back what you put out there. If you want people (such as potential employers) to be generous with you and appreciate your virtues, you must be generous and appreciative of others.
Will we ever get back to where we were before this mess started?
No, but that's a good thing. The last ten years were all about denial and deception. We were in a downward spiral that finally hit bottom, and now we have to change that by returning to old fashioned values like integrity, kindness and honesty. We can see that at a corporate level, and we can see that in our own homes. An example of this is the people who sit in front of their computers all day, and live to post snarky comments about everything and everyone. They're putting out mean, abrasive energy, and will get the same back. Now if they were making positive, helpful, inspiring comments, they'd be getting the same in return. We need to be kinder to each other, even though we're very frustrated right now.
The good news is that on New Years Eve, Terry and Linda were once again on Coast to Coast radio, where they had predicted the 2001 World Trade Center attacks on the eve of the last new decade. For this new decade however, they see no major terrorist attacks in our immediate future. But they don't predict smooth sailing, either. According to them, it all depends on the kind of energy we put out.