Archives for economy

What You Need To Do To Prepare for a Down Economy

​​Most professionals in my generation and above have already survived a few down economies. In fact, my struggle in a down economy and the lessons I learned that eventually got me back on my feet are what compelled me to eventually shift from recruiter to coach.

There are still a lot of unknowns about our current global situation. So, it’s in this time of uncertainty that I’d like to shed some light on how to thrive through it all. Below are my recommended tips for navigating this new territory.

Evaluate: Do you need to pivot?

You’ll likely notice that some sectors will be heavily hit, but others may be prospering and growing. So, should you redesign your career path around this?

I advise everyone to have a purpose-driven, passion-fueled long-term plan. It is the best way to optimize your overall career trajectory in terms of growth, fulfillment, and income. It’s also the best example you can provide to your kids.

I also recommend fully dedicating yourself to your plan. Learn and apply the best practices of proactive transitioning (taught by me at Epic Careering and Cabrini University) for at least 3 months before devising and following a backup plan.

At this time, there will be fewer and fewer people able to afford even three months in transition. You may need to adapt after two months of a dedicated transition, especially if what you learn from people in the field (not from job boards) is that hiring has stopped, or will slow down for a season. In the short-term, you may be able to easily translate your strengths, qualities, and past achievements into value for a stable industry.

I recommend choosing a strong sector that offers you an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution, such as:

  • Biotech/Pharma/Labs and the companies that support them
  • Hospitals/Healthcare are most certainly in need of clinicians, telehealth professionals, and janitorial staff
  • Health/Wellness
  • Scientists of all kinds
  • US manufacturing
  • Supply Chain/Logistics
  • Farming/Agriculture/Consumer Goods
  • Food/Grocery Delivery
  • Online Entertainment/Video Game Industry
  • Online Education/Coaching/Remote Learning
  • App Development/Remote Tech such as developers and online support
  • E-Commerce

Then there are the industries that will be hurt in the short-term, but will rebound:

  • Hospitality/Travel
  • Service-based industries that require in-person support
  • Retail – Many will not feel confident buying luxury items, high-tech consumer items, name brand clothing, jewelry, and other non-essentials while there is the uncertainty of how long life will be disrupted.
  • Housing
    • While this isn’t a market correction that will impact housing directly, the housing market has been prime for correction for awhile with pricing majorly inflated, inventory low, and demand high. The Federal Reserve, as you probably know, dropped interest rates to nearly 0%, which would normally spur growth in this area. Foreclosures are stalled in the meantime, which is not going to add to the inventory driving prices down. New construction is stalled during critical months, which will put home completion behind. All signs point to the housing market picking up mostly where it left off once things return to normal.

Finally, we have the industries that will be majorly disrupted and in need of overhaul before rebounding can even be predicted:

  • Higher Education
  • Health Insurance

If you are less than 80% certain that your current or planned career direction provides you with your best chance at financial security, schedule a consultation with a job market expert at Epic Careering.

Fine-Tune Your Brand

Keeping your résumé updated is, of course, a basic recommendation from any career coach or résumé writer. It’s the equivalent of taking your car for regular oil changes and inspections. If you want a high-performance résumé, a strong brand is still your best tool in positioning yourself competitively in a competitive market. Working with a branding expert, such as Epic Careering, will help you identify and articulate the unique value you offer above and beyond your, or any other candidate’s, qualifications. When copy, such as your résumé, LinkedIn profile, cover letters, and networking messaging, is crafted to build a subconscious sense of urgency and establish you as a hot, in-demand candidate, you can still garner competing offers, even as the volume of opportunities shrink.


If you’ve neglected networking, it’s catch up time! The good news is that as humans, we naturally crave connection (even introverts crave connection). Some people are still settling into a new rhythm and may not be able to commit to a time to talk when you reach out to them. They may be challenged by having the ability to structure their workday since previously, structure was provided by their leadership. In this case, practice patient persistence and empathize with the disruption we are all dealing with. As usual, don’t take lack of response personally.

“Some will, some won’t, so what?! Next!”

Many others are craving connection now more than ever. Many people are focused on the future and still have to continue with their company’s hiring. “Work with the willing,” as Cy Wakeman says. It may take you a higher volume of outreach than before, but you can still multiply your momentum by having productive conversations that convert into multiple introductions and opportunities, especially with a compelling, powerful call-to-action within your message.

Focus on Wellness of Mind, Body, and Spirit

Even during “normal” circumstances, nothing impacts your results in life more than how well you are feeling. Do whatever you can to adjust your lifestyle and schedule to incorporate alternative methods of achieving a calm mind, strong heart, clear lungs, and a positive outlook.

Even though we need connection, some of us are already emotionally fragile and need more uplifting versus more gloom and doom. Be careful not to impose your anxiety (which is justified, just not helpful) onto others. So, if you are feeling anxious before a scheduled call or outreach e-mail, take some time to exercise to get endorphins flowing or meditate to achieve a calm state of mind.

Incorporate time in your schedule to be alone and engage in activities that raise your vibration while limiting activities that induce stress. Be aware of any inclination to pick up your phone or device to check for constant updates. Recognize if looking for updates becomes a compulsion that isn’t serving your state of mind. You can find a helpful mini-hypnosis session on overcoming social media addiction, as well as some other helpful videos on this Facebook page.

Islands In the Stream

Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment Islands In the Stream · Dolly Parton · Kenny Rogers Greatest Hits ℗ 1983 Sony Music Entertainment Released on…

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (, is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

Get ready! Economy’s going up!

from Flickr: FutUndBeidi

from Flickr: FutUndBeidi

Last time I posted this data, it was to shed some light on the improvements, because the media often chooses to sensationalize negative economic indicators, or simply put their focus there, and minimize positive indicators, claiming that there’s something else at work.


Some people believe that these numbers are completely manufactured and give them no credence. Economists responded that the GDP, stock conditions, etc. indicate a less than favorable economic recovery and doomsdayers are still waiting for that fiscal cliff.


For those, however, that believe, like I do, that hope is a better condition for positive change and momentum, these numbers will be quite the inspiration.


Yes, the summer is a time to enjoy – AND get ready! September is the second biggest hiring month of the year. Have the infrastructure of your transition in place by Labor Day and take full advantage of the boost in hiring!


News summary, from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (7/14)

The national unemployment rate lowered by .2% over the month to 6.1% with 9.5 million unemployed. The number of persons experiencing long spells of unemployment (over a year) lowered by 284,000 people to 2.1 million. 3.1 million individuals had been unemployed for 6 months or more in June, a decrease of 293,000 over the month, and a decrease of 1.2M over the past 12 months. That means about 29% of those who became unemployed 6 months ago are still unemployed today. They are, however, competing with 900,000 fewer job seekers than they were in December when the unemployment rate was 6.7% and 10.4 million were unemployed. Long-term unemployment has been steadily declining since 2011 when 6.4M were experiencing spells of over 6 months.

The average number of weeks that job seekers are staying unemployed has decreased over the month to 33.5, which is 2 weeks shorter than 3 months ago, while the median also decreased to 13.1 weeks, a huge decrease of almost 3 weeks in 2 months!

Such a difference between the mean and the average may reflect that for most industries and geographies, job seekers may be able to transition within 4 months. However, a greater majority are either not be able to effectively execute a transition campaign, or may be in adversely impacted geographies or shrinking markets, creating challenges to transitioning that lead to extremely long spells of unemployment.

91M are not currently in the labor force, for a variety of reasons. This is 965K fewer than last month. This number had been steadily increasing by about 1M year over year since 1947, with a few exceptions (1978, 1985, 1989.)  2003 had a marked increase  of nearly 2M people, and then again in 2008 and every year since.

7M of these individuals not in the labor force do currently want a job and have reported searching during the past 4 weeks. We’re about where we were in 1994. It had steadily decreased until 2000, and has been increasing since then. May and June have been traditionally the highest months. Since 2011, this number had been above 7.1M during June. This is the first year that June’s numbers have been below 7M.

Another 2M are “marginally attached,” meaning they want a job and have searched for work during the prior 12 months, and were available to take a job during the reference week, but had not looked for work in the past 4 weeks.

1.4M did not actively look for work in the prior 4 weeks for such reasons as school or family responsibilities, ill health, and transportation problems, as well as a number for whom reason for nonparticipation was not determined (not counted as unemployed for the purpose of this report).

676K are discouraged workers who did not actively look for work in the prior 4 weeks for reasons such as thinks no work available, could not find work, lacks schooling or training, employer thinks too young or old, and other types of discrimination. This number has not been this low since March 2009. It hit a high of 1.3M in December of 2010.


A special note about the world economy:

Job creation worldwide has not been significant enough to impact the worldwide unemployment numbers, which have stood at 200M unemployed for several years.  Many other developed countries are not enjoying the recovery that we are:

Greece – 28.1%

Spain – 27.2%

South Africa – 25.2%

Portugal – 16.3%

Ireland – 13.4%

Italy – 12.6%

Under-developed and developing countries are making much larger strides in their domestic economic development, and the focus appears to be on continuing to promote growth and economic opportunity in these countries.


Call us 610-888-6939 or e-mail us at and find out how we can get you ready to ride the impending hiring wave to higher professional ground.


Extra, extra! HUGE unemployment benchmark reached

News_Attraction by Johnragai-Moment_Catcher

News_Attraction by Johnragai-Moment_Catcher

Under 10 million unemployed!

The mainstream media will NOT let you celebrate about it, however. They would much rather you remain pessimistic, suspicious and discouraged.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:  (this article looks positive, but read on)

Is it all good? No. I know that the people who are especially impacted by the economy and still unemployed will not be celebrating these numbers, because the numbers don’t mean anything personal to them. However, when the numbers are bad, they are internalized even more. It means something – challenge, hardship, obstacles, pressure, and even hopelessness. There is, at the very least, hope in these numbers. Hope is much better place from which to conduct a job search. This is why I continue to put these numbers in a more positive perspective. I am but one small voice, however. It continues to enrage me when the bigger, louder voices attempt to inspire fear and negativity, and for what? Clicks? Likes? Impeachment? I consider this to be sensationalization – irresponsible and extremely damaging to the job seeking community morale.

A glimpse at the numbers:

The national unemployment rate lowered significantly over the month to 6.3% with 9.8 million unemployed. The number of persons experiencing long spells of unemployment (over a year) decreased by 283,000 people to 2.3 million. 3.5 million individuals had been unemployed for 6 months or more in April, a decrease of 287,000 over the month, and a decrease of 908,000 over the past 12 months. That means about 32% of those who became unemployed 6 months ago are still unemployed today. They are, however, competing with 1.3M fewer job seekers than they were in October when the unemployment rate was 7.2% and 11.1 million were unemployed.


The average number of weeks that job seekers are staying unemployed has increased over the month to 35.1, which is a week and a half shorter than last year, while the median also decreased to 15 weeks. Such a difference may reflect that for most industries and geographies, job seekers may be able to transition within 5 to 6 months. However, about 23% of job seekers may not be able to effectively execute a transition campaign or may be in adversely impacted geographies or shrinking markets, creating challenges to transitioning that lead to extremely long spells of unemployment.

Oops, they did it again! Are the job numbers that bad?

We are actually BACK up to June 2005 employment levels and 162K jobs is a GREAT increase in jobs over the


summer months, but a biased “journalist” would have you believe that the economy is getting better about as fast as my daughter’s diaper rash. (You can see from her expression that it’s not getting better at all.)

This really burns me up.

It’s why I chose NOT to pursue a career in journalism, which was my initial career choice when I went to college. However, I learned how moguls use their influence, power, and chain of command to spin news and numbers into byte-sized nuggets intended to sway an audience to adopt their paradigms.

I know that’s hypocritical, considering I blog to convince people to choose my way of careering, but that’s completely justifiable because Epic Careering is clearly the best careering.

But seriously, there seems to be no justifiable reason for a professional journalist to leverage their visibility to needlessly prevent people from getting excited about good news, even if it is not as good as it could or should be. The true data is not as this particular journalist portrays it. That’s  just irresponsible.

First of all, if you look at the historic data available on the site, you will see that there are not many great jumps in jobs added during the “better” years, or from 2003 to 2008. September is traditionally the 2nd busiest hiring month and summer is traditionally slower. I know in a recovering economy, we would all hope for a bigger surge, but there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues. You may even see an even LOWER addition of jobs over August, and it still doesn’t mean anything, because if this September is anything like almost every other September, those numbers will jump back.

The journalist ALSO attributes the lower unemployment rates to people leaving the workforce again. We’ve seen the AP do this before INACCURATELY!  This made me so upset last September, I started blogging, so perhaps I should thank them?

Call them what you want – Doomsdayers, party crashers, downers – they echo the same detrimental sentiments that slow down progress – “the news is okay, but don’t celebrate yet, because it’s not as great as it would be if ‘we’ were in charge. Since we’re not, we’re just going to find something to complain about. Come and join our pity party, because we love being right and we don’t know how to be happy if ‘we’ aren’t in charge.”

My questions – who “promised” that the unemployment rate would be much lower than 7.4% by now and who projected that the net added jobs should have been higher than 162K for July?

I think it has already been established that no one, well, at least Obama, did not make any promises about what the unemployment rate would be.  I couldn’t find any projections on jobs added for July 2013, and I contacted the BLS myself to find out.

As for how much of a decrease in unemployment is actually attributed to discouraged workers leaving the workforce, here are the ACTUAL numbers:

On a table published August 2, 2013 on, it states that from July 2013 to July 2013, 136,000 people have left the workforce due to discouragement (“people who did not actively look for work in the prior 4 weeks for reasons such as thinks that there is no work available, could not find work, lacks schooling or training, employer thinks too young or old, and other types of discrimination”).

So in one year, 136,000 people abandoned the workforce due to discouragement. In that year, 906,000 people left the workforce in total, but many of the reasons stated have more to do with personal situations and “marginal attachment,” meaning they weren’t looking all that hard.  So that means only 15% of the total unemployed people left because they were discouraged.

How many of them saw the media report on slanted data and just thought, “I give up! The economy isn’t getting better fast enough to create enough jobs, and so I won’t be able to find one.” Do you see how this type of reporting is making the problem worse?

Additionally, as you can see from this chart, employment, hours and earning have stabilized.

I mean, I see people getting jobs all the time, some of them in spite of impressive challenges, like long-term unemployment. From my vantage point I can see that very few unemployed professionals have the skills and tools necessary to optimize and accelerate their transitions, and that is much more the reason for long-term unemployment than the economy. And it’s also why we are here.  How foolish we would be to be here if everyone was really just giving up.

DON’T GIVE UP and don’t buy the negative hype. You may be experiencing some discouraging results in your job transition, but don’t make it mean that Epic Careering success isn’t possible for you, because IT IS!  If you can come up with the “why,” we can help you with the “how.” And here’s a vlog for you, discouraged job seekers to help you diagnose why your career might be in it’s own all-too-slow recovery.


Slay your demons and be the hero!

Why some people never get ahead

Businessman crossing the finish line by Meridican of Flickr

Businessman crossing the finish line by Meridican of Flickr

I found an excerpt this week that I wanted to share because I so often run into hesitancy among job seekers to portray their value at the level that is necessary to inspire their network to make powerful introductions and entice employers to make optimal job offers.

While I certainly relate to the inclination to be meek and humble (a Catholic school lesson I took way too literally when I was bullied and teased), the cost is often too high. Not only does the job seeker suffer, but so do employers who really need what they have to offer. People who offer tremendous value deserve really great jobs. The whole economy suffers when people who perform their job well fail to connect with companies, and when companies are challenged in identifying great talent mostly because they only see who is in their direct line of vision.

The book is called Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. I have posted before about his Millionaire Mindset Intensive, which I recommend (go to and enter the Ambassador 2.0 code MMI39526 to get a FREE ticket!). Most people there had already read this book, but I am doing so now. What T. Harv Eker aims to do with his book and the MMI is to help you diagnose the thinking patterns that keep you from realizing your financial potential and direct you in rewriting your patterns to support your success, thereby resetting your financial “thermostat.”

The excerpt below may help those job seekers and careerists who experience discomfort around self-promotion understand the source, which may consequently unlock them from the limits that these emotions put on their career growth and salaries.

“Resenting promotion is one of the greatest obstacles to success. People who have issues with selling and promotion are usually broke.

‘It’s obvious. How can you create a large income in your own business or as a representative of one if you aren’t willing to let people know that you, your product or your service exists? Even as an employee, if you aren’t willing to promote your virtues, someone who is will quickly bypass you on the corporate ladder.

‘People have a problem with promotion or sales for several reasons. Chances are you might recognize one or more of the following.

‘First, you may have had a bad experience in the past with people promoting to you inappropriately. Maybe you perceived they were doing the ‘hard’ sell on you. Maybe they were bothering you at an inopportune time. Maybe they wouldn’t take no for an answer. In any case, it’s important to recognize that this experience is in the past and that holding on to it may not be serving you today.

‘Second, you may have had a disempowering experience when you tried to sell something to someone and that person totally rejected you. In this instance, your distaste for promotion is merely a projection of your own fear of failure and rejection. Again, realize the past does not necessarily equal the future.

‘Third, your issue might come from past parental programming. Many of us were told that it’s impolite to ‘toot your own horn.’ Well, that’s great if you make a living a Miss Manners. But in the real world, when it comes to business and money, if you don’t toot your horn, I guarantee nobody will.  Rich people are willing to extol their virtues and value to anyone who will listen and hopefully do business with them as well.

‘Finally, some people feel that promotion is beneath them. I call this the high-and-mighty syndrome, otherwise knows as the ‘Aren’t I so special?’ attitude. The feeling in this case is that if people want what you have, they should somehow find and come to you. People who have this belief are either broke or soon will be, that’s for sure. They can hope that everyone’s going to scour the land searching for them, but the truth is that the marketplace is crowded with products and services, and even though theirs may be the best, no one will ever know that because they’re too snooty to tell anyone.

‘You’re probably familiar with the saying “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” Well, that’s only true if you add five words: ‘if they know about it.’

‘Rich people are almost always excellent promoters. They can and are willing to promote their products, their services, and their ideas with passion and enthusiasm. What’s more, they’re skilled at packaging their value in a way that’s extremely attractive. If you think there’s something wrong with that, then let’s ban makeup for women, and while we’re at it, we might as well get rid of suits for men. All that is nothing more than ‘packaging.’

‘Rich people are usually leaders, and all great leaders are great promoters. To be a leader, you must inherently have followers and supporters, which means that you have to be adept at selling, inspiring and motivating people to buy into your vision.”