An associate in the office yesterday mentioned that this was the Month That Won't End. Boy was she right! For many of us who's work calendars are tied to corporate 5-4-4 calendars, you know what I mean. For us, the year end was effectively last Friday, the 26th. This means that during one of the busiest family times of the year, we were all scrambling around to wrap up our month end and year end reports, and laying out the new table cloth as we set the table for 2009. Not the best week for the increased focus necessary to hit all our deadlines and make sure all i's are dotted and t's are crossed. But, as we do, we did it.
And somehow, we all managed to enjoy the holidays with friends and/or family. Success! And a weekend to relax and soak in the spirit of the season. Then, for those of who returned to work yesterday, we found the month wasn't ACTUALLY over yet! There was talk of New Year's Eve celebrations, more PTO, which managers were on duty, and when, whether or not the office will be open all day.... Hadn't we crossed the threshold? Were n0t the holidays behind us?
Not yet. Though, we do just have this one more stretch of New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and the unproductive Friday between the holiday and the weekend. Then back to business as usual... right? Isn't that the hope? Or is that just a fool's goal? Up here in the northeast snow blizzards and ice storms are coming, RI is leading the country with the highest unemployment rate, the ski mountains in ME, NH, and VT are all projecting smaller workforces and already offering discounted packages to attract recreational tourists. Huge employers, from developers of circuitboards to paper mills, are closing down operations for weeks or even a month, non-profit public television and radio stations are laying off AND giving pay cuts to the survivors.
I sure hope this isn't "business as usual", at least not for long anyway. As a thirty something, I have to admit my mild shock at the widespread effects of the recession. I hadn't thought about the hotels which are selling fewer conference packages, the job fairs that are having fewer real employment opportunities forcing the organizers to cancel them, the hospitals that are freezing hiring as fewer people have health insurance which means fewer are going in for healthcare, the independent delivery drivers that subcontract for cabinet manufacturers that have nothing to deliver as fewer people remodel their kitchens. It's been quite eye opening for me to see how fragile the system is.
And yet, we all maintain hope and faith. Hope that we truly are smart enough, as a country, to find a way out of this recession, and faith that we'll be able to keep the heads of our citizens above water until we do.
I was at a bookstore yesterday, and found a book of WWII posters. It was amazing how much responsibility the government was putting on the people back then- how willing we were to ask our citizens to change their behavior to save our way of life. Walk instead of drive, carpool to save gas, use less resources as the military needed them, turn in your recyclable metals... amazing.
I hope our government is ready, and mature enough, to reach out and provide this type of direction to the American people once more. And if they do, I have faith that we will answer the call.
Keep your spirits up, keep one eye open for those who need your help, and keep one hand free to lend to those who need it.
We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at jasonblais.com. I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason