In 2012, I wish for the press and politicians to stop talking about job loss and unemployment numbers - we all know that the economy needs several transfusions. But, when the focus is on how high the unemployment numbers are and how few jobs are being created, we are giving excuses to job seekers with current work skills to take their feet off of the pedal and blame others.

Let us talk instead about improving the economy by creating employers and manufacturers who need productive people. If we can stimulate the economy enough, many of our current employers can hire, returning to their pre-recession staffing levels. That, combined with additional employers and manufacturers, will put millions of people back to work.

In the meantime, let me say that there are jobs available and many employers who are working hard to make new hires. But they are having trouble finding people with the skills necessary to do the job or the work ethic required to keep it.

Let us talk about identifying individual work skills and transferring those skills to the jobs that are available. Your old job may be gone forever, but I'll bet you garnered valuable work skills that can be transferred to a current industry. Stop looking for a job that doesn't exist anymore and turn your attention to jobs that need your expertise - right now.

Let us talk about work ethics like my dad and your grandparents developed during the Great Depression. My dad had three jobs in his entire adult work life, and made each job change by choice. He was proud to work, and he worked hard to maintain a comfortable lifestyle for his family. It takes hard and honest effort, consistency and reliability. Let us talk about what it takes to get a job and then do what you have to do to keep a job.

If Congress can find a way to work as a team, and we can ignore the negativity being offered, 2012 can be a new beginning.

Happy new year - and do what others fail to do.

• Marvin Walberg is a job-search coach based in Birmingham, Ala. For contact information, see

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