Two Girls For Every Boy/Six Seekers For Every Job

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A similar post to the one below was made on November 2, 2009, but in light of today’s headline in the USA Today (6.4 Job Seekers For Every Job), I’ll repeat it below (in a shortened fashion). It was a popular post.

Two Girls For Every Boy!

In 1963, the song Surf City was recorded by a young band named The Beach Boys. It was the number one song on Billboard Magazine’s Top 100 back then. Some ‘Over-50 Types’ definately remember the song on AM radio.

What a fun concept to think about especially for young men — a place where the girls may have worn an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, AND there were TWO girls for every one boy! The song has been played for decades at wedding dances and theme parties etc.

Fast forward 45 years or so. Instead of ‘Two Girls for Every Boy,‘ now we have “Six Seekers For Every Job.”
A recent editorial by Paul Krugman of The New York Times included the statistic that we are now seeing six job seekers pursuing every one available job. (This was repeated in the news on January 13, 2010). That isn’t near as much fun as Two Girls for Every Boy. This level of competition for work looks like it is going to be with us awhile.

If you are stuck in a job you don’t like, or you are out of work, that thought might be depressing. But don’t let it bring you down! Three out of five 50-something laid off people I know have recently found jobs! Collectively, they were competing against hundreds of other job seekers. But, they managed to land something despite the long odds. But if you aren’t so lucky, what do you do?

If your line of work is clogged with too many competitors for too few jobs, you may need to reinvent yourself. The short version of how to do that is this:

» Take what you know better than anyone else, repackage it, remould it, add a new, big dash of passion to it, get someone smarter than you to review your efforts, and give it a whirl.

» Maybe you can become a consultant to your former industry, or to a niche you have followed for a long time?

Maybe you can boldly approach your former employer with a new ”value-add” proposition or TwitterVator Speech?

Maybe the time is finally getting close where you can turn your hobby into a small business?

Let’s hear from readers who have done this: Share your success stories and plug yourself here. Show the world how you reinvented yourself! Perhaps this blog can inspire you about how to catch that perfect career wave. Maybe comments by this blog’s readers will lead to Two Jobs for Every Boy (and Girl)!

Surf’s Up!

America’s Job Coach
Author of “Laid Off & Loving It for 2010”

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Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
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“SHE-Shoring” During This “HE-cession”

“HE-cession” means that during this recession, the unemployment rate for men is 10.7 %, but the unemployment rate for women is “just” 8.1%. This term was coined, I believe, by David Zincenko of Mens’s Health in a USA Today op ed piece. Let me know if I am wrong.

So, are employers “SHE-shoring?” America’s Job Coach invented this term while reading about the He-cession. We’ve heard for years how women are paid less than men for similar work. Some studies say up to 30% less! I am not a statistics guru, but I think we can all agree that in too many cases, women earn less than their male peers for similar work.

Now add to the mix that fact that this recession has been slightly “less cruel” to women. Fewer women than men have lost their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statics (8.1% verses 10.7%). My question: Why?

SHE-shoring is “Offshoring Gone Female.” Offshoring, in case you have been under a rock for a dozen years, is where a company ships chunks of its work off US shores to countries like India, China, Mexico, Ireland, and a host of other places. Employers “offshore” tasks to locations to try to save labor costs. And firms often layoff US staff after completing the offshoring.

Computer work, customer support work, manufacturing etc. are often functions which see work offshored but all professions are being touched by this trend. Even some USA fast food restaurants will use an offshored person to take your order over the drive through window. That person then sends your order over the Internet to the locals who cook and wrap your triple cheeseburger.

So can I blame that China-based fellow for the lack of honey mustard in my chicken nuggets bag? I suppose it was the local guy who stiffed me on the dip though. But hey, they are communicating across the globe so it is no wonder my sauce is missing sometimes! As Thomas L. Friedman has aptly pointed out, The World Is Flat.

So, most major companies have embraced some level of Off-Shoring to save labor costs. Do they therefore, have a grand design or plan to lay off women less often than men? If a Fortune 1000 company sends work overseas to save money, doesn’t it make sense that they also would lay off their most expensive people first? Does this explain the He-cession? If a gender pay gap exists inside a company, does ACME layoff Harry or Harriet? Is Joe sent packing before Joan?

Who knows what goes on in executive minds when they are deciding what staffers to cut. Now however, statistics imply that men are harder targets for the layoff axe than are their wives, sisters, moms and daughters.

Who cares? You should. This blog exists to help people get on their feet during a career transition. Part of that is knowing the look of your playing field. If you are a male looking for work or a better job, be aware of SHE-Shoring. If you are a female looking for work or a better job, be aware of SHE-shoring. It is critical to know your competition when job hunting.

I heard a story about a guy who was prepared to answer the salary negotiation question with, “I’ll take $100 a year less than my closest competitor for this job.” The tale is likely anecdotal, but you get the idea about being aware of your compeition…He-cession, SHE-shoring, and all.

Kindly share your SHE-Shoring or He-cession story or comments with this job coaching community!

America’s Job Coach
Author, “Laid Off & Loving It for 2010”