Given the number of high-profile setbacks the economy continues to suffer through, it’s not at all hard to understand why many professionals — especially those going through career transition — are finding themselves wrestling with an extra dose of anxiety and apprehension these days.  Clearly, the job market and the economy are sailing through largely uncharted waters right now, and even though history suggests we’ll come out of these recessionary times eventually, as we always do, this reality likely offers little assurance to the people directly affected by current conditions.

On a positive note, however, I feel it’s important to point out that even a relatively high unemployment rate (5-6%) means that the vast majority of people in the economy are still gainfully employed, and that even in a down market, job creation continues to churn on.  For example, a quick search of reveals that there are currently more than 200,000 job openings available in Washington State alone, and even though some of these listings are likely redundant ones, this factor is more than offset by the fact that published openings, at most, only account for 20% of all the hiring that takes place.

Are you, yourself, qualified for any of these openings?  Well, that’s a different question and one that obviously must be addressed on an individual basis.  There can be no denying that certain job skills are more in demand than others, at the moment, and that certain categories of employee (e.g. executives, broadcast industry employees, financial services workers…) will face a longer runway in terms of turning up leads unless they retrain or retool into a more up-and-coming field.  But at the same time, there’s still plenty of movement out there, and I continue to find that motivated, hard-working job hunters — armed with the proper knowledge and tools — achieve success within a reasonable time frame.  In other words, while macroeconomic trends and statistics may indicate significant things about the U.S. workforce as a whole, they don’t have all that much of an effect on what an individual job seeker can achieve.  So keep in mind that companies are still facing plenty of challenges, on a daily basis, and corporate challenges are the lifeblood that creates hiring opportunities.

Still, for those of you out there who (understandably) may be a little anxious about your job situation, there’s no question that it’s going to take some concentrated positive thinking to maintain your motivational level in the face of the dreary daily news cycle.  Along these lines, I’d steer you to a great recent blog posting that was written by our friends over at Career Hub.  This article can be found here and provides tips on how one can maintain “inner strength” throughout the career transition process, an aspect of job hunting which I think is absolutely imperative.  Give it a read!