The state we’re in.

Are things that bad?

Are all things looking down?

There is so much negative press out there that is constantly reminding us how bad things are. We are living in some tough economic days no doubt. Unemployment on the rise, foreclosures, bankruptcies – there seems no end in sight to this downward spiral.

Someone from a LinkedIn group that I’m on was sharing with me today how his job at the Boston Globe is in jeopardy. The New York Times, its owner, has told the Globe to cut paychecks or they’ll close the doors. To top it off he said that he’s already been without a pay raise for five years. The newspaper industry has greatly declined because more and more people get their news from the Internet.

I remember back in the late 80’s when “desktop publishing” and the Mac were introduced. It was the wave of the future. The new way of doing things for those of us particularly in the graphic arts. I found it a very difficult and trying time. I had to relearn my trade, learn a new way of doing business. No more mechanicals, t-square, triangles, rubber cement or rubylithe. (See an exhaustive list of the old tools of the trade here if you’re interested.) Many photo retouchers and typesetters that I once depended on just went out of business. Those that survived were willing and wise enough to learn the new methods. The business was changing quickly and you either got on board or you sunk.

So here we are in another tumultuous time. Maybe you’ve lost your job or are facing a possible layoff or your business is suffering. I think this is a time to reinvent ourselves, so to speak. If something isn’t working find out what does. Work smarter. Create a new niche.  Find out where the new jobs are and learn whatever new methods are needed to succeed again. Sounds like I’ve got a great handle on all this but I struggle and worry if I’m doing things right but I want to keep moving forward.

The bad news is the national unemployment rate has risen to 8.5%. The good news is that means that 91.5% are still employed!

From what I see people are still buying things, still eating out, still reading books. Most are being more careful with spending but we’re still spending.

So my advice (and I’m trying hard to take it myself!) is to stop worrying about what you can’t control and work on what you can. Rethink. Reinvent. Renew. Write that book.* Learn new skills. Apply for that dream job. Find your niche and build a business around it. Get out and do.

I hope you’ve been encouraged.

If you’re interested here are a couple of resources that have helped me.

*Yes, please write that book. I know a guy who does covers that would love the work!



Filed under the economy

4 responses to “The state we’re in.

  1. Patty Wiley

    I enjoyed reading this, even if it is 8 months old. Being a “seasoned” graphic designer myself, I can totally relate to this. You took the words right out of my mouth. I am presently reinventing myself to be a web site designer. Good job with your website, blog, samples, etc. Best wishes for your continued success.

  2. Hi Patty… thanks so much for your comments. Ironically, I lost my full time job of 30 years this past September! So here I am again, at another juncture in my career. I’m hoping for the best and at times it seems I’m trying to go in a hundred different directions… looking for that niche that will stick.

    Thanks again and the very best to you.


  3. Patty Wiley

    Hi Dave,
    I’m sorry to hear about your job, especially after 30 years. I have been looking for permanent work for quite a while now, so I want to give you a little (unsolicited) advice so you don’t waste precious time. If you haven’t already, read the book “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0” by Jay Conrad Levinson and David E. Perry. Finding a job today is completely different than the traditional way of years past.

    Also, find a job search club/networking group in your area. They are a wealth of information and will open numerous doors for you. Unfortunately, I didn’t get connected to one until the last few months and it has been invaluable. The good news is you already have a leg up because you’ve branded yourself.

    Good luck and let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I will be launching my website soon and will send you the link. Take care.


  4. Thanks for your thoughts, Patty. My focus is on the freelance designer route and not in seeking re-employment. LinkedIn has been a great source for networking and information for me as well as some local sources that I’ve found. I look forward to seeing your website. Thanks again. -Dave

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