Career Counseling in a Volatile Job Market: Tiedeman’s Perspective Revisited.

Today’s economic cycle is an unpredictable one, and job security has become an elusive experience. Many workers do not expect to have the same job or to work for the same organization long term (Hall & Associates, 1996). For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2004) expects employment growth in the service-providing areas of the economy, such as education and health services, leisure and hospitality, transportation, and computer occupations, in the near future. In contrast, the manufacturing sector has contributed greatly to the mass layoffs experienced in late 2004. There are reports of employment expansion (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2005), of employers replacing full-time workers with part-time or temporary workers, and of the changing climate of competition in acquiring and retaining employment (Fussell & Furstenberg, 2005). Modern-day employers are also more likely to expect that workers embrace complementary and diverse skills, such as multiskilled positions and cross-training responsibilities (Mangumn, 1996), in an attempt to yield more productivity from new or existing employees. Phillips (1997) noted that the modern worker is faced with an environment in which major career upheavals occur without warning. Trends in corporate restructuring and downsizing, associated with mergers and profit seeking, have dramatically affected careers that were once thought to be secure for life (L. S. Hansen, 1993; Mangumn, 1996). Like the business world, places of private and public education, government agencies, and health care institutions have been faced with making difficult organizational decisions that require a reduction in the number of employees. Displaced professionals are in need of assistance to find work again. They are also caught in the vulnerable situation of finding it unlikely that they will obtain a similar job, at similar pay, with similar benefits.

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