This blog post has been provided by one of Cascade’s “go-to” recommended companies, Pathways/OI Partners. Ron Ennis, President of Pathways, is a Cascade Board Member and provided the following article to give perspective of what a job search is like at the present time in Oregon and SW Washington.
We support Cascade Employers’ members with outplacement services and I want to give you a short update on the Oregon job market. In spite of the apparent improvement in our economy, job search for our clients remains far more complex, emotionally exhausting, and time consuming than at any time in the 25 years since I began practicing outplacement in Oregon and SW Washington. Historically the length of a job search has correlated closely to one month of job search for every $10K of salary. However, since 2009, it has been worse, especially for managers and executives.
The most obvious reasons for our clients’ difficulties are: fewer jobs, reluctance to hire, and high rates of un-employment so each open job is more competitive than ever. The more subtle reasons are that job seekers are having a harder time staying motivated each day, lack understanding of how to distinguish themselves from others, lack a focused job search plan and the discipline to follow it, and finally lack an understanding of the importance of networking and the key role social media can play in opening doors.
Despite all of these challenges, Pathway’s clients are getting jobs. I have always found that outplacement requires services uniquely matched to each individual. It is especially true now. For example, we have supported clients through foreclosures on their homes, depression, loss of self-esteem, emotional exhaustion, divorces, significant illness, and the loss of employment by additional family members. This additional emotional support is what enables our clients to stay on track and find new employment. The core of our services is still to help each individual find what she/he does best and loves doing the most, to teach them to communicate well, and to arm them with the knowledge, courage and willpower to plan and continuously implement their focused job search.
Perhaps because of these factors, I find outplacement counseling more rewarding than at any time in my career. It is inspiring to see people take control over their lives and to realize that we play a role in their success. Although our guidance is crucial, ultimately it is their hard work and unique values that achieves results.
Ron Ennis, Ph.D., CMF