By Joan Graci – President and Founder
As the largest population segment, how is it that we middle-class Americans have lost all ability to support ourselves in a way that provides for a brighter future? We have no trouble finding excuses for our economic woes. With external forces that seem to just keep piling up such as high unemployment rates, a lack of decent job opportunities, and the government’s backfiring strategies to heal gaping financial inequalities, how can we possibly believe the rapidly shrinking middle class could be a result of our own outdated career beliefs?
Rather than sitting back and watching the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, it’s time to ask ourselves, what can we as middle-class citizens do to stay afloat in today’s economy and improve on the latest unemployment rate of 7.3 percent?
For our own career sake, it’s time to stop believing in the job fairy because the truth is, while 80 percent of people believe jobs are hard to find, 90 percent of employers claim they cannot find good talent to fill positions. We believe that as long as we blindly abide by an obsolete job-search approach, we can maintain a long and stable career path. But what the wealthy 1 percent recognizes that the rest of us have failed to understand is that their futures really are in their own hands. Instead of blaming the invisible hand of the economy or waiting for a sign from God to provide career direction, they adapt their approach to fit the demands of employers and make occupational choices based on the best return on investment. The truth is in the numbers. With corporate CEOs receiving an average pay raise of 40 percent while average Americans are making less than they did in 1999, there is clearly a serious disconnect between the middle class and the rest of America.
Our global economy requires our workforce to keep up with the changing times. In order to change our futures, we must change our ways, take matters into our own hands, and adopt an empowered career outlook.