Labor Day signifies the official ending of summer – closing of the pools, back to school for some parts of the country and a focus on autumn and winter. It is also time for employees around the country to take a much needed break.
This year seems a little different.
Too many employees have had time away from the workplace for a long time – and it has not been a much needed break.
In past months I have posted pictures of baseball stadiums on Facebook and Twitter, in order to reflect the number of jobs added for the previous month – an easy way to illustrate job growth.
In June 2011, I posted a picture of Turner Field in order to show that if only 357 more jobs were created across the country in May, the total number of jobs would have equaled the highest attendance ever recorded at Turner Field – not enough jobs.
In July 2011, I posted a picture of the Florida Marlins playing at home, in order to show that only 968 more jobs were created than the average home attendance figure for the Florida Marlins – not enough jobs.
A few days ago, I posted a picture of an empty baseball dugout, in order to show that the United States had not experienced even a net growth of one job in August 2011 – not enough jobs, for sure! There was nobody in the stand, nobody in the dugout, nobody in the bullpen.
Seasons have already changed for many, well before Labor Day.
In these times which require character, the dry season has seemed to drag on. Even those who have not experienced the unimaginable feeling of becoming unemployed have felt the pain – especially if those persons sell for a living.
It can become easy to point towards Washington, DC with a sense of disgust and blame.
Don’t take your eye off the ball, during this long dry season.
This is the time to stay motivated, to stay focused, to stay current, to remain strong…
For the unemployed and underemployed in the United States and around the world, fatigue can sometimes set in. Keep going.
There are times when it may be necessary to learn about a new field and to obtain information in a flurry that seems overwhelming. Keep going.
There are times when nothing seems to work and everything seems difficult. Keep going.
There will be times when it is necessary to swallow some pride. Keep going.
There are days when it seems that nobody checks in to see how you are doing. Keep going.
You will be surprised by the generosity of strangers and the indifference of those close to you. Keep going.
Perhaps you will decide to start a new business and the learning curve seems to have so many twists and turns. Keep going.
This post isn’t filled with inspirational general statements from someone who has not felt and experienced during these times which require character.
I’ve learned to keep going.
So as we experience Labor Day 2011, may we remember that while the symbolic job creation dugout was empty this past month, there is still a game to prepare for.
There are still obstacles to tackle, still skills to sharpen, still expectations to surpass, still loved ones depending on you, still loved ones cheering you on, still much at stake and still time.
This season cannot and will not last. Outlast the dry season.