Joe Biden recently said, “I’ve never seen an economy this dysfunctional.”
National and state unemployment figures show some signs of stabilizing, but holding steady at an alarmingly high level is not encouraging news. Some career professionals believe that they have to avoid frank talk of facts and figures about the job market, unemployment rates, and the “r” word. Many coaches won’t discuss the realities “out there,” because they think individuals are powerless to change the recession. But what if they’re wrong?
Contrary to conventional wisdom, looking truthfully at the macro-economic environment can be empowering in multiple ways… if one understands that by working together individuals can create changes that have ripple effects in direct ways that change lives.
For example, an unemployed factory worker who understands the dynamics of the changing economy and believes that she can make a difference will get retrained with skills in a thriving industry and demand political action from Washington to create the sort of economically stimulating and progressive policies that can allow that to happen. But a cynic in the same boat could lash out indiscriminately towards political incumbents, reaching for a convenient scapegoat. Or they might join a reactionary political movement. They might even tell pollsters that they have given up on hope.
A dysfunctional economy creates dysfunctional careers and dysfunctions in the human spirit. A truly empowering and integral approach to career coaching begins by embracing the possibilities for transformation in all areas: self, culture, and society.