Make Your Own 2014 Forecast

2014 is fast approaching and we are going to get all kinds of forecasts coming to us in the news. HERE is one from a group of economists (Aren’t they all) predicting a year of steady but slow growth. We have been out of the Great Recession for five years. Really? I haven’t seen it and I still speak to people who are worried about their jobs or haven’t fully recovered.

And any growth projected has to be hedged with concerns of Washington and what is going on up there. The instability overseas in about all areas of the map may also have a huge effect on the US. Again, like last year, buckle up it may get wild.

But that is macroeconomics–big picture. How about in my house, what can I do? There are some steps I would suggest to make 2014 a better year for you and your career.

First, get away from the TV. This is an election year and the mud will be flying. The parties can’t even get along with themselves on things that will help the country. They are really going to be slinging it to get reelected. And the trend for political advertising has been getting higher and higher.

Second, check your qualifications on education and certifications. Make sure you have what you need. Having 75% of the qualifications that a company is looking for on your resume isn’t good enough anymore. The competition has gotten tougher. Make sure you measure up.

I am currently working on a resume writing certification. It is not easy and other things keep coming up. But I just have to keep it a priority and keep in mind why I decided to do it in the first place.

Training classes are a great way to broaden your network. That would be part of my deciding what classes to take, who will be in it.

Third, reach out to your network. Have you contacted every one of your LinkedIn and FaceBook connections this year? All you have to do is say hi. In person would be best. The holidays make connecting and meeting with people much easier.

Also, is there anyone you need to meet? Take the initiative to make the opportunity happen.

Fourth, check your budget. (Tim, have you lost your mind? A budget, really?) Well at least get a grip on your expenditures. Are there any expenses that you can cut back on, even temporarily? This will help lessen the fear and desperation you/I often feel when the bills are too close or I fall behind. It is easier to have confidence when you are not struggling to stay afloat.

And last, research the next step you want to take in your career. I have worked mainly with people who had this choice to change jobs forced upon them. There are jobs out there and will be next year. Determine what job you would like to do and then make the moves that are necessary to get there. It may be with your current company. If so, start taking on new roles to get the experience and show the managers your abilities to do the new job. Who knows, they may be currently looking for someone.

As always, your career is in your hands. There will be some bumps in the road, are you prepared for them? But make your career development a priority. You may be surprised where you end up.

Construction’s Long-Sought Return to Greenville

Greenville, SC has been fortunate to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. The county’s rate was 6.7 in December and 7.1 for the area. This is largely due to the variety of jobs and companies and the vast amount of effort to bring companies into the area. Manufacturing has been one sector that has remained strong in the last few years. And our area is heavily influenced by the manufacturing plants and companies in the area.

One sector that has been stubbornly slow to return to “normal” levels has been construction. Since 2008, it has been in a “crashed” market. The jobs we loss have been very slow to return.

In 2012, Greenville was one area in the state that had an upswing in the housing market. Real estate sales in Greater Greenville were up 14.3%. This upswing was even more pronounced in December, even with the fiscal cliff hanging over us.

The upswing in real estate sales should be a forerunner to a surge in new construction. The Greenville economy has been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the hammers and saws to start echoing among our hills again. Seeing muddy boots and increased activity in the building supply stores will be a very welcomed sight.

How much construction returns and to what degree it re-energizes the local economy is anyone’s guess. But the region will be very glad to welcome it to return to more of a 2007 level than the recent absence we have experienced.

Welcome to timingreenville

Greenville has gained a great reputation for being a great mid-sized city to work or start a business. Companies move here because they are aware of our diversed and knowledgable workforce with current skills and good work ethics. The people are friendly. And there are several educational institutes in the area.

Greenville has undergone several transformations as the local economy has evolved through different challenges. South Carolina is very pro-business in its mindset and legislation. The local political war-cry is “more jobs.”

Greenville has been blessed with many pioneers with the entrepreneurial spirit. Clemson University (Go Tigers!) is a leader in helping to grow an environment conducive to successful businesses. They are relocating several of their Master programs to the downtown area.

Another new source of development will be in healthcare education. USC (University of South Carolina (Go Cocks!)) is bringing a school for doctors to the upstate. This is really good news for the upstate since there is a fear of a shortage of doctors in the near future. It will be interesting to see the ratio of South Carolina studentscompared to other participants.

One complaint of a local human resource manager that I heard lately is that it is hard to get their employees to relocate to other areas, especially north. Though South Carolina is notorious for low pay, the cost of living seems to make it more palatable. Also, the pace of life and the weather makes the area a good place to “set roots”.

In future posts, we will explore the different projects and job fields that contribute to the local economy. We will also look at different occupations and careers from a local point of view. Like all of the US, Greenville’s economy is undergoing a seismic shift (Yes that big) due to several global forces. These will also be topics for future posts.

This is an exciting, and scary time, and I will try to keep us informed of how it all works together. I look forward to your views and comments to help us all have a better understanding and appreciation of the world around us.