“When I lost my job, I felt as if someone had thrown a bucket of cold water over me. My self-esteem suffered terribly.”—Tony, Germany.
“I felt as though a heavy stone had been placed upon my head. As a single parent, I worried about how I would feed my two children and pay my bills.”—Mary, India.
“I was very discouraged when I lost my job, and I was anxious about whether I would be able to find another one.”—Jaime, Mexico.
WORLDWIDE, millions are enduring the same plight as Tony, Mary, and Jaime. About the turn of this century, it was estimated that 10 percent of the workforce in Europe and Central Asia—some 23 million people—were looking for work. In some less-developed lands, more than a quarter of the labor force is without paid employment. In the United States, “nearly 2.6 million jobs have disappeared over all during the last 28 months,” declared The New York Times in July 2003.
In many lands the search for employment presents serious obstacles. For example, each year a tidal wave of high-school and college graduates floods the job market. In addition, having a degree or specialized training is no guarantee that one will find work in a chosen profession. Thus, it is now quite common for people to change jobs several times during their working life. Some even have to change careers entirely.
If you find yourself unemployed, what can you do to improve your chances of finding work? And once you find a job, what can you do to keep it?