The Obama Presidency and Your Career

By Paula Santonocito

pic1Today, Barack Obama becomes the 44th president of the United States of America. How will his presidency affect your career? As single-minded women know, layoffs and job losses have dominated the news for several months. President Obama pledges to reverse the trend by creating new jobs. But where will these jobs come from?

Get energized. A goal of the Obama administration will be energy independence. As a result, look for new employment opportunities in green energy fields. These jobs won’t only involve installing solar panels on roofs, although there will those kinds of positions, too. Every industry requires marketing professionals, accounts payable staff, purchasing agents, and so forth.

A bridge to somewhere. A major area of focus will be the nation’s infrastructure. In order to repair the country’s roads, bridges, tunnels, and aging water systems, workers will be required. As with energy fields, a wide range of positions will be needed.

Get smart. The new administration will emphasize education in America. This will result in new programs, some of which will involve partnerships between business and the educational community. It is also likely to result in better pay for educators.

A global economy with local jobs. The Obama administration recognizes that the U.S. economy is part of the larger, global economy. Nevertheless, there is understanding that American workers need jobs. Look for possible renegotiation of trade agreements and incentives for U.S. job creation, which could have a positive impact on both large and small businesses and in turn create employment opportunities in a variety of fields.

More government jobs. The current economic climate requires bold and broad solutions, and government intervention. As government plays a larger role in shoring up the financial system and other ailing business sectors, employees will be needed to oversee programs and procedures. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDI), for example, is already hiring more specialists to deal with bank solvency issues.

And job creation isn’t the only issue on the agenda likely to affect the workplace.

Health care reform. The exorbitant cost of health care, an issue for single-minded women and other workers, as well as employers, will get attention from the new president.

Greater attention to and greater support for women’s issues. President Obama has already spoken about the need to create equal opportunities for women in the workplace. His team’s transition website, Change.gov, includes specifics about how the new administration will address women’s employment issues, including inequality with regard to pay. The site also mentions the need to invest in women-owned small businesses.

Diversity a given. As the first African American president (or biracial president, depending on your perspective) takes office, it’s undeniable that the country has turned a corner in terms of greater opportunities for all. Diversity will now be a given. This will translate to increased opportunities in the workplace for all people, including women.

It’s a terrific time to assess your career with an eye toward long-term goals. True, the economy has not been conducive to such planning, but change will unfold—and with it, opportunity.

Why not be ready?

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