The Feedback

Last week, we wondered if a sharp drop in the national unemployment rate was really the result of people losing heart and giving up on the hunt for work. What would keep you going, we asked, after months and months of fruitless searching?

Reader Ken, who wrote of being unemployed for long stretches, said there’s no choice but to keep marching onward:

I got laid off this latest time in March 2008, and I’m a few weeks from finally getting a permanent job w/ benefits again, this time as a DoD intelligence analyst. I left my marketing dreams behind . . . and reinvented myself by going back to graduate school for something that could get me a job. It’s been a long, hard road, but I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones.

My only advice is to keep on trying, keep on thinking, and keep on praying. Eventually things will change.

Christopher Hastings provocatively tied in a different Drucker principle that’s often cited in the context of product lines:[EXPAND More]

Drucker wrote about intentional abandonment. How do you know what to abandon? When you hit a wall. Or you are too successful and blinded by it. Giving up entirely sometimes seems like the only option, and if you haven’t experienced that, your time will come.

‘Try something new’ isn’t bad advice, but it must augment the earlier statements – do something to keep investing in others, volunteer, keep thinking, praying, waiting, trying what works, abandoning what doesn’t. And in the absence of something working, try something else. Unemployment is as much about managing the heart as it is putting a particular skillset out there.

And when we asked about how to keep employees motivated when the promotional ladder is crowded, reader Sergio had this to say:

There’s a good chance that a highly-motivated software engineer, for example, became that way through the daily process of designing, creating and solving challenging problems. . . . Promoting workers of this type ‘up the ladder’ will certainly move them away from what they do best, disrupting the balance of motivation in the process. In this particular case ‘lateral promotion’ is a valuable alternative.