The Job Exchange

Tapping Into The Hidden Job Market

The Army of Unemployed

Adlai Wertman is a Professor and Founder of the Society and Business Lab at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California

He writes:

According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, 53% of charities received decreased donations in the fourth quarter of 2008 (the time of year when many charities receive as much as 60% of their annual income).

Is this a time, though, where we can apply a basic math rule — two negatives equal a positive? Could a large group of unemployed actually be good for the charities? Without sounding callous, we now have millions of people with more time on their hands. And this is not just any time — it is the time of able bodied, often highly-skilled workers. It is also the free time of those with college and graduate educations, managers, executives, administrators and finance experts.

This idle talent pool needs to be put to work to bolster the talent base of charities whose backs are sagging under the weight of a ‘perfect storm’ (i.e. more demand for services, fewer options to help clients and less money to pay for staff and resources). I am not talking about one day events where a group paints a school house. While those events are noble and helpful, they don’t provide the kind of real help non-profits need. They need volunteers who bring their business and craftsmanship skills and talents to the table. Charities need volunteers who will regularly commit to one, two or even five days a week in the office, classroom or clinic. There is a desperate need for the skills they can bring to bear — marketing, accounting, organizing and human resources management, to name a few.

Which led me to add a comment to his article:  Volunteering will allow you to gain the skills and competencies you may need to switch industries. So it essentially serves two purposes: it supports the greater good and helps the unemployed gain needed skills.

My point: While there ARE companies that are hiring, they may not be in the industry in which you specialize. Consider volunteering to gain the skills, knowledge, or competencies you may need to make the transition to, say, healthcare (which is where the most jobs are these days).  Then add this experience to your resume. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Your thoughts?

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02/26/2009 - Posted by | General | , ,

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