Do your skills match your region?

September 19, 2011 Job Search,Portable Career

From: The Sceptical Market Observer: No Wonder There is Unemployment

“…one of the main reasons the U.S. fails to create new jobs is that its working population lacks the necessary skills which employers need and are seeking to grow their businesses. As Mary Landrieu and Patty Murray put it, “Small-business owners say that they have jobs but can’t find qualified people.”

I hear this over and over, that businesses can’t find qualified people, and this is not a problem unique to America at the moment. I’ve heard the same cry from Australian businesses for many years, in good times and bad. Is it because the skills just don’t exist in the pool of unemployed people? This seems unlikely. I think it’s more likely a geographical mis-match between where the skills are and where the jobs are?

So this begs the questions – Should you move to get a better Job?

Trailing Spouses  have been tackling the problems of re-location and work search head-on for many years. Julie Mendez of JSM Career Consulting  is a specialist in this area and helps coach people looking for work in expatriate situations.

But, is it right, or even practical to pick up and move the family for the reasons of maintaining employment? I’d say yes! Particularly if you have a unique skill set that is required by a growing company or region. History is littered with ghost towns that closed the plant, the factory, the mine, whatever and the town or the greater region slowly crumbled into financial and physical decay. How long do you hang around waiting for your region to correct itself, or do you identify your skills, find a region with growing, sustainable businesses and sell yourself there?


On the other side of the equation, Regional Economic Development Organizations, whether they be formal government funded entities or less formal collectives of businesses, must find ways to collectively attract the right kinds of skills and people in general to their region to ensure the growth.  Connect 64  in Michigan is a great example of this type of initiative.

It’s very easy to get complacent and expect that where we live will continue to provide the same opportunities, but as the landscape changes, we all need to be prepared to adapt or move. The more sudden the change the more urgent the need for action – Remember the dinosaurs?