"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
   — Old Saying as quoted by Peter Bregman

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Labor Day: It’s for Those Looking for Work, Too, You Know.

It’s Labor Day weekend so one’s thoughts turn naturally to the state of labor in the country, and, in particular, since this is an MPN blog post, to the state of employment in the marketing and associated industries. Is the job market up? Or down? Or in between? Hard to say, except that it sure ain’t booming, especially if you’ve been in the business long enough to be deemed either “over qualified” or “over priced”. Then again, for some MPNers, there has been some success this summer. Some have landed very sweet full-time positions, others contract jobs with the strong potential for extensions. As for the media, here’s a quick wrap-up: 1) The latest ADP National Employment Report (Aug 31, 2011) says that employment increased by 91,000 with 88,000 of those jobs created by companies with under 500 employees. [Ital added] Not too impressive, especially as the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ own numbers were even flatter. As for the self-employed, the recession has treated them dismally according to Bloomberg (Sept 1, 2011): “More than 1 million self-employed Americans are no longer in business almost four years after the last recession began, as the economy constrains entrepreneurial activity and small-business job creation.” That data certainly is consistent with our experience at MPN where we’ve seen more independents — copywriters, designers, consultants, etc. — coming in out of the cold, as it were. But it’s not all bad out there. And that’s the rub. You’ve got to find your niche, be strong in that niche, and then get out and spread the word. By mouth, by email, by blog, by LinkedIn, by Twitter, but, most importantly, by as many face-to-face meetings as you can garner. So for those who have been doing the kind of hard labor it takes to find a new job this summer, we wish you an especially sunny and bright Labor Day holiday!

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