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The US Labor Department today reported lower than expected job creation numbers (even prior revised numbers were down), even with the unemployment rate staying the same from last month.  Stock market cared; bond market cared; Fed cared. However, as a job searcher, you shouldn’t.

Headlines Are Dangerous

We all get drawn into headlines for about every topic we care and don’t care about.  Media throws everything at us, and it is up to us to filter what really matters.  It is somewhat natural (or learned) to react to bad economic news and generalize its implications to our professional career. Psychologists call it “generalization” or “overgeneralization”.  See an interesting article by Eduard Ezeanu called “Overgeneralization: What It Is, Why It’s Dangerous and How to Avoid It”.  Attitude and skills are all that we have; focus on both.

The Market for You is Unique

The marketplace for your job prospects is as unique as you are.  No two people share the same professional experience, age, sex, geography, resume, ability to network or interview. The only question is “can you convince an employer that you are the best candidate for the job”? The argument that the job will be affected because of weak economic data released today is absurd.  Bad economic data released for months on end, however, could have an effect.  So, the long-term could matter; the short term doesn’t, and certainly not today’s numbers.

Focus on the 4 Pillars to Career Success

Forget the headlines and focus on:

  1. Defining exactly what you want to do, and what the market will allow you to do
  2. Creating the best resume and LinkedIn profile possible
  3. Networking like crazy; repeat; repeat; repeat
  4. Practicing interview skills and know the target company cold

Focus on what really matters, and turn off the news!