Yippee! We've Hit Rock Bottom

With so many workers unemployed, rock bottom seems a strange thing to celebrate.

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said today that the economy seems to be bottoming. Evidently, there are several  "tentative signs" of hope. No question, this is good news after months of bad.

But I am reminded of the New Yorker cartoon that shows a little boy just home from his T-ball game, carrying a huge trophy and announcing, “We Lost!!”

Nearly 9 percent of us are out of work. Every one of us can imagine how we would feel if we lost our own job. There is a sense of loss--grief even--akin to losing a family member or a divorce, experts say. At best, the out-of-work person is frustrated, maybe even angry. At worst, he or she is demoralized, with self-confidence and self-worth permanently affected.

No one yet understands the longterm impact of a workforce that approaches their future work lives in such a negative manner. Company loyalty, trust in management, security--all at risk. And that’s just the short list.

Mr. Immelt of GE might have been right when he said that we are facing a huge “reset” in the American economy, from how consumers behave, to how companies create new jobs and manage different stakeholders, including employees. Things are going to be different, he seemed to be saying.

I wonder.

Some things don’t change. Zigging while others are zagging is a sure-fire way to create new product and service success, as well as a degree of notability. If you want to create a successful career for yourself, find those areas that appear to be out of favor, poorly served, and under-appreciated.

G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, and his blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com or at JobDig.com.

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careers

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