Some reflections for this Labor Day

As I prepare for the long Labor Day weekend (and begin mourning the end of summer), I’m reflecting on how “hot” the jobs issue is right now. You can’t pick up a paper, look at your social media sites, turn on the TV or talk with friends without some commentary on the stubborn unemployment rate, the supposed talent shortage, the education system (as it relates to job preparation), what government can be or should be doing… the list is nearly endless.

But let’s cut through all this rhetoric and focus on what I believe we should be thinking about and celebrating this weekend:

As employers, we should be appreciative of the workers who make us successful. Without their hard work and dedication, there would be no company. Without them, who would deal with customers? Who would create the products and services? Who would sell the products and services? Who would keep everything under control? You get the picture.

As employees, we should be thankful to have a job. Appreciation goes both ways — because my company appreciates me, trusts me and counts on me to do my job, I have a nice lifestyle and security. I have a place that I look forward to going to every day. I spend my days doing meaningful work that helps others find jobs. And an added bonus for me personally is that I also have the opportunity to give my time and talent back to my community.

And if you’re looking for work, this Labor Day might not be a time for celebration, but it can be a time to regroup, re-energize and redouble your efforts to make that perfect impression at your next interview.
So happy Labor Day to all. Be thoughtful (and safe) in your celebration. And let’s all think positive thoughts for those who are out there looking for their next opportunity.

Melanie Holmes is vice president of World of Work Solutions for ManpowerGroup, a Milwaukee-based staffing solutions company. Holmes will be one of the featured speakers at the BizTimes Get Smarter Conference. To register to attend, visit

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