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Career Coaching by Former Fortune 500 Recruiters

What Are The Market Prospects For 2010?

I often get market-related questions:  what are employment prospects; what are the hot industries; who is hiring.  Keep in mind that employment statistics for your career planning are not worth following.  Fears of 10% unemployment are misplaced.  The statistic you care about is either 0% or 100%; are you employed or not.  The next question to ask is, “Are you in the job you want or not?”  So regarding market prospects for 2010, the short answer is, “Why should you care?”

Focus on your individual career.  Yes, all things being equal, I would pursue growing over shrinking industries.  But all things aren’t equal.  It is more important to know your values, skills and interests and align them with the correct industry, function and company, rather than picking employers and force-fitting yourself into them.

Let the market react to you.  The market is invaluable in that it does provide guidance on what your skills are worth and how you are perceived.  If you are aiming for certain jobs or titles or salary levels and not getting a first meeting, you need to find out if you are off-base with what you are targeting or simply not positioning yourself properly for what you want.  Rather than reading market news and trying to incorporate that into your planning, act on your best plans, collect market feedback specific to your activities and adjust accordingly.

Go for the ideal, not the available.  The reality is that a career is always a coupling of what you bring to the table and what the market will bear.  So I don’t dismiss the importance of what is available in the market.  But markets expand and new markets emerge, so when you look at what’s available now, you are not seeing the full possibilities.  When you aim instead for your ideas and look for a way to bring that to market, you include market expansion and creation in your potential outcomes.  Going for the ideal gives you more opportunity.

Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career expert, writer, speaker and co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com), a career coaching firm comprised of former Fortune 500 recruiters.  Caroline is a co-author (along with Donald Trump, Jack Canfield and others) of the upcoming “How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times” due out March 2010; Bascom Hill Books.  Formerly in corporate HR and retained search, Caroline most recently headed University Relations for Time Inc and has also recruited for Accenture, Citibank, Disney ABC, and others.  Caroline is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Professional Development at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, a life coach (www.thinkasinc.com) and a columnist for CNBC.com, Conde Nast’s Portfolio.com, Vault.com, Wetfeet.com and TheGlassHammer.com.

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