“就业市场低迷的新闻铺天盖地，让人们觉得找到一份新工作似乎是一个不可能实现的目标，”再就业咨询行业巨头Challenger, Gray & Christmas公司首席执行官约翰•恰林杰说。“但事实并非如此。”
“报纸和广播电视报道掩盖了不同群体间失业率的巨大差异，”纽约大学（New York University）的职业管理高级指导罗伯特•赫尔曼指出。“对于拥有本科学位和几年扎实工作经验的人来说，就业市场远非人们想象的那么无望，所以，务必四处寻找机会。”他补充说，关键在于把重点放在发展势头强劲的行业。
Dear Annie: A friend sent me your recent column about eight signs it's time to quit, and all eight of them apply to me. I would like nothing better than to leave the company where I work now. My performance reviews have been great, but this is a family-owned business, and I've come to realize over the past couple of years that nobody gets promoted (or gets a raise) unless they have the same last name as the CEO.
So it's clearly time to move on, and I've rewritten my resume to reflect the terrific track record I've built up as a brand manager since I graduated from college 12 years ago. But is there any point in going out looking? We keep hearing that 15 million Americans are unemployed, the job market is terrible, nobody's hiring, etc., etc. Should I start job hunting anyway, or just try to make the best of things here until the economy improves? — Hitting a Brick Wall
Dear HBW: "The constant barrage of lackluster employment news can make finding a new job seem like an impossible goal," says John Challenger, CEO of outplacement giant Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "It is not."
That's especially true in your case, for at least two reasons. First, you already have a job. It's no secret that employers (loath as they may be to admit it) often give preference to the already employed. "Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to being out of work," says Geoff Hoffmann, chief operating officer of global recruiters DHR International. "There are ways to mitigate it but, yes, a gap in a resume does create apprehension." Since you are working now, the 15 million unemployed are not your main competition.
Which brings us to a second advantage you may not realize you have: your college degree. The overall U.S. unemployment rate, while lower than it's been for three years, is still dauntingly high at 8.5%. But that figure doesn't apply to every segment of the workforce. For people with a high school diploma but no college degree, for instance, the rate is 8.8%. By contrast, for folks like you with a bachelor's degree or higher, joblessness is at 4.3%, or less than half the aggregate rate.
(To put that 4.3% in perspective, it wasn't long ago that economists considered 6% to equal "full employment" -- meaning that unemployment is at the lowest point it can go, given seasonal and structural variations in workforce participation -- and, obviously, 4.3% is well below that.)
"Headlines and sound bites mask enormous discrepancies in unemployment among different groups," notes Robert Hellmann, an executive coach who teaches career management at New York University. "For those with bachelor's degrees and some years of solid work experience, the job market is nowhere near as hopeless as people think, so do look around." The key, he adds, is to focus your search on industries that are thriving.
DHR's Hoffmann agrees: "Financial services, real estate, and construction are still weak. But from where we sit, it looks like almost everyone else is gearing up for growth. At the senior management level, we're seeing a lot of hiring that is expansionary, not just replacement hiring." You can get a new job now, Hoffmann adds, if you "understand which sectors are hot, and where the appetite for talent is."