Good news for unemployed and under-employed workers comes from two fronts:

  • Layoffs are dropping which could indicate a coming increase in hiring. According to an Associated Press report, first-time applications for unemployment benefits dropped 5,000 nationwide in mid-January to a seasonally-adjusted 330,000, the fewest layoffs reported since January 2008. Because unemployment typically increases during the second week in January due to seasonal post-holiday layoffs, employment experts view the down-trending statistics as hopeful. While uncertainty over the Businesswoman with  growth graphfederal budget could still keep worried employers from hiring, the layoff slowdown should give unemployed workers hope.
  • The U.S. economy will pick up this year. That’s the prediction of out-going Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who told the Associated Press, “The economy is stronger than people appreciate.” Geithner expects economic growth to start accelerating this year, citing the stabilization of oil prices and the European debt crisis.

Even with progress on the horizon, workers can’t afford to sit back and wait for job postings to increase. You need to start positioning yourself now to take advantage of future opportunities. To increase your chances of getting a job or getting a better job, follow these tips:

  • Keep updating your employment plan. Many laid off workers are already on Plan C or Plan D. You can’t get discouraged if Plan B follows Plan A down the tubes. It’s important to keep revising your employment plan as circumstances change. You should always be thinking about “What’s next?”
  • Keep networking. Networking keeps your name in front of friends and acquaintances that are likely to hear about new job openings. Using an insider reference when you apply for a job gives you a leg up on the competition. Networking is also a good way to keep up with what’s going on in your field which can be important when you interview.
  • Be open to opportunities. Workers often limit themselves by failing to consider jobs in other fields or new locations. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
  • Be a Zoondy entrepreneur. Selling your services on Zoondy shows employers you have initiative and drive.