Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Report on the Current Status of the Auto Industry

Saw this new report on the current state of the Automotive Industry. Demand has continued to drop this year, but then it dropped at an even faster rate this last quarter. The Big 3 continue to burn through cash reserves as a result, and soon will be below their minimum cash balance allowed. Here are the scenarios spelled out in this report:

Scenarios with Commitment to Federal Assistance by January 2009
1. Federal bridge loan and a GM-Chrysler merger
2. Federal bridge loan and radical restructuring outside of bankruptcy
3. Federal bridge loan and radical restructuring outside of bankruptcy for GM and Ford; Chrysler assets purchased by competitors.

Scenarios without Commitment to Federal Assistance by January 2009
4. Chrysler files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; GM & Ford restructure outside bankruptcy
5. Both GM & Chrysler file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
6. All Detroit 3 file Chapter 11, along with major suppliers

The report also indicates that one or more of the foreign auto makers will probably go away as well. So there's no other knight in shining armor to save Chrysler at this point. It's either GM or bankruptcy. And option #6 is downright scary. Can you imagine how many suppliers would follow the Big 3 off the cliff into bankruptcy? Check out this report, the specific conclusions at the end are dead on.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Beaumont Job Cuts are the Latest

As numerous industry sectors continue to struggle (autos, banking, airlines, insurance, steel, retail stores...), I thought healthcare would be somewhat insulated by all of this. But now the credit crunch is taking a toll on the ability of healthcare systems to raise investment money. So less capital investment means not only fewer new jobs, but now we are starting to see healthcare job cuts. I guess funeral homes are the only ones left with consistent business.

Friday, November 21, 2008

4 Ways to Get Unstuck in Your Job Search

Article Title: 4 Ways to Get Unstuck in Your Job Search
Author Byline: Kevin Donlin
Author Website: http://www.collegerecruiter.com/guaranteed-resumes.php

If you've been looking for a job for any length of time, you've probably run into roadblocks.

Weeks go by with no job interviews. Employers don't call. And you start to feel … stuck.

Where can you turn for new ideas to get "unstuck" in your job search?

I suggest you try "funnel vision."

As explained to me years ago by marketing master Jay Abraham, funnel vision is the opposite of tunnel vision. It's a way of looking beyond your current situation for new ideas, then adapting them to create breakthroughs.

Funnel vision is how Velcro was invented -- those tiny hooks that hold clothing together were adapted from cockleburr seeds in nature.

Funnel vision is how drive-up windows came to fast-food restaurants -- before McDonald's installed their first one in 1975, drive-up service had
been used at banks since 1928.

To illustrate funnel vision for your job search, I'm going to adapt four ideas from a terrific article on blogging at Typepad.com, called "10 Ways to Find New Blog Topics" (www.typepad.com/tips/blog-topics-tips.html).

See? We're already adapting -- from blogging to job hunting.

Here we go ...

1. Read the comments on career blogs for new ideas

Some of the smartest job search ideas come from ... smart job seekers.

Where can you find them? Oftentimes these people share their success stories by posting helpful comments on blogs that deal with career and job-search topics.

So, to generate new ideas for your job search, check out the comments posted on high-traffic blogs. Many of the most popular are found at this link - http://career.alltop.com.

2. Review your greatest hits

I'll break this idea down into two parts.

First, look back over your career. How did you find out about every job you've had since you left school? Examples: You networked with a professor
in 1988, networked with a neighbor in 1992, answered a want ad in 1994, called a recruiter in 2001, etc.

Now ask yourself: How could I repeat that or do something similar to it?

You may not find as many jobs listed in the Sunday paper today compared to 1994, for example, but what about the online edition of the newspaper? Or what about looking through an industry newsletter or magazine that serves a
narrow niche? Trade publications can be a terrific source of job leads -- call your local library and ask for help finding them.

Second, what did you do and say to get hired for previous jobs? What's the best cover letter you ever sent? What's the best line in your last resume?
The best answer you ever gave in a job interview?

Now ask yourself: How could I repeat those successes in my current job search?

3. Do something different

To get different ideas, you have to start with different thoughts.

Example: How would you get a "job" on American Idol? Send a resume? No, you'd audition. And before your audition, you'd practice like mad.

So, ask yourself this: Where and how could I "audition" for a job? Whom would I have to contact to get an audition? And what skills would I have to practice beforehand?

Approaching your job search as if it were an audition for "American Idol" is just one way to do something different.

How would you get hired for a job as a bus driver? A tennis coach? A senator? A mountain guide in Tibet?

You may be just one different tactic away from your next job. What is it?

4. Invite a guest author to write for you

Ask three or five of the most-successful people you know to send you their resumes and cover letters. What parts can you adapt and use in your own documents?

Your friends will be flattered that you ask. Plus, you'll be doing some "accidental networking" when you send them your revised resume and cover letter to review, which is a nice secondary benefit.

Do you see how powerful a tool funnel vision can be? And there are plenty of other ways for you to get unstuck -- I've adapted only four ideas from the 10 in that article on blogging.

Now, go out and make your own luck!

Kevin Donlin is Creator of TheSimpleJobSearch.com. Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. Author of 3 books, Kevin has been interviewed by The New York Times, Fox News, CBS Radio and others. His latest product, The Simple Job Search System, is available at http://www.collegerecruiter.com/guaranteed-resumes.php

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Information Technologies as a cost saver

Interesting comments from a manager at Dewpoint, that Information Technologies can help us get out of our current, fear-induced, economic slowdown. Most IT projects are known to be a cost saving investment over time, as we have seen more investment in projects such as virtualization, cloud computing, unified communications... But companies need to spend money to save money, and those responsible for approving the funding remain reluctant to pull the trigger. This guy believes that IT will get better and stronger, and I think he's right. I only wish we knew exactly when.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

If we can just hang on a few more years

This prediction states that technology spending will increase next year, but at a slower rate than previously anticipated at less than 1% growth. As you might expect, the U.S. will lag behind emerging markets. But I just don't get a good feeling when they start talking about 2012 as our full recovery target date.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wondering what will happen with the Autos

Most of us are just waiting, knowing that something big is going to happen to the automotive industry soon, we just don't know what yet. GM has shelved the Chrysler "merger" talks. Apparently nobody else is in line to but Chrysler either. The question might be who survives long enough to buy the remaining parts of those that fail. Government assistance is inevitable, there are too many precious, remaining U.S. manufacturing jobs at stake. But will it happen this year? Before the Presidential inauguration? Sometime in the first quarter of 2009 before Ford and GM exhaust their remaining billions in capital on hand? And once it finally comes, what (and who) will be left of the auto companies? I saw this article on The Street at the end of last week. Just in the past week we have seen an adverse trickle down affect on non-manufacturing companies making cuts due to the auto industry struggles, including advertising agencies, marketing, and technology companies.