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Whether you are looking for a job or not in this tough economy, at every turn you are barraged by negative news. It comes at you on TV and in print, on the street and in conversations with friends, on your BlackBerry and at your computer screen, in your inbox and even on your mind. Talk about the mother of all ruts. Negativity reigns.

Even when you try to avoid negative news, it finds you. It pervades such unexpected places as The New York Times fashion, travel, and sports sections. So, how can you maintain an upbeat tone when you are being drowned out by downbeat rhythm section?

As I have suggested in a previous post, "talk and worry don't do it: doing it does it," becoming consumed by a down economy will in turn produce a negative, even hopeless outlook on your part. Ignoring the economy, however, will leave you unprepared to tackle the challenges at hand. So, how best to proceed? Look inside yourself.

While the job market is daunting, and even keeping your sanity in a stable job can be a challenge, we all need to pause and realize that there is a position for each of us. We live in a world that is continually changing - I believe for the better. Nevertheless, change requires that you and I adapt and learn to use our skills in new and creative ways.

A recent video on YouTube predicts that the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 will be jobs that did not exist in 2004 (Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and Jeff Bronman). This means that individuals must learn to find their niche, thus improving the American workforce and America as a whole. Our country is filled with capable individuals able to do the work we need done and innovate where others haven't even dreamed. The challenge for many is in recognizing how to apply their skills differently as the economy remolds the workplace.

Some who are unable to find a ready-made niche are carving out their own. A recent New York Times article identified people who "turn to their inner entrepreneur to try to make their own work." With few jobs available at major companies, people are starting up their own companies. It's important to keep in mind that few of the big names in business were born big. Nearly all started out small, and then grew. Who knows which of this new batch of startups will be tomorrow's GE, Microsoft, or Google? It could be yours.

In the end, the not-so-secret secret is never to give up hope, never to settle, to be persevering and persistent. While our economy may be in flux, it still requires individual effort to power it. Analyze your skill set and work to discover how those abilities are applicable and beneficial to the future field you wish to be in. Original ideas always have a place. The challenge today is to discover how best to contribute, belong, and be there.


Julie Sue Auslander, M.Ed, WPO, WBE
President / Chief Cultural Officer
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