Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Job Situation

What's the job market like in your area/industry/among people you know? I thought it was fairly stable though businesses were still tightening their belts ( and that does affect me A LOT - the amount of work I get, whether clients pay on time, even the demographic of my client base).

Then I spoke to childhood friend of mine this morning and she's getting retrenched. AGAIN! I think this is her fourth retrenchment in two years or something ridiculous like that. And I don't see how she manages to cope, being on a merry-go-round like that. I was retrenched twice in my whole career, and both instances rate in the top 5 worst incidences in my career.

I suppose that's why I like working for myself. Yes, the workflow can be very unstable, and getting the cash flow to match the workflow can also be rough. And yes, I have lost big income generators at some stage and had to scramble to replace them. Still, during hard times, I feel comforted by the fact that, I can still wake up everyday and go to work. Even if working involves looking for new clients and I don't see the results of that effort immediately.

But I digressed a bit. What I wanted to know was your thoughts on the current job market. Are people you know holding extra hard onto jobs, even if they hate them, because a job in hand is better than nothing? Are your friends getting retrenched?

P.S. Happenings in my world today involve:

1. Oral hearings on the Protection From Harassment Bill by the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development. Many thanks to those of you who expressed your opinions/even blogged about it. Laura (at Harassed Mom), your input was included in the written submission, so parliament did get to hear what you think.

2. Landed 2 international clients this week. Not sure how much volume of work I'll get from them. Maybe once-off. Maybe regular. But in the lead up to Christmas spending and a new assistant in place: the more the merrier, I say. Weird that it would happen in one week though:-).

3. Doing a lot of waiting. Waiting for graphic designer to send back proofs of client newsletter. Waiting for responses on proposals I sent out. Waiting for clients to approve material I sent to them ( or at least express an opinion). Waiting for clients to pay. Waiting for my mother to phone me back.....


Damaria Senne said...

P.S. Spoke to another friend /former colleague this afternoon. We hadn't spoken in 3 months or so and last we spoke, she was in a job. Now she tells me she was subsequently retrenched and she's now working for another company. I'm just glad she was able to line up something quickly. But what is going on?

tiah said...

Overall, I'd say times were pretty tough in this area. Just the sheer number of shops standing empty is telling.

po said...

Well, I'm in the UK so it's all a bit different. I'm in a weird situation, my type of job is not really affected by things like recessions. We get jobs if our group leaders get funding from the government or private funders. My boss is famous with good pulling power and so my job is pretty secure. That said, scientists only get two year contracts, so nothing is ever secure for longer than that.
I know the UK is in a terrible recession, but from my experience, even in the recession there are more jobs available than in SA. This place is on a whole other level of job availability. It's really hard to compare.

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