Sunday, July 12, 2009

Job Search Strategies in Difficult Times

(Sorry about the gap in my postings. I've been writing copy for my website Advancement Alternatives)

For those of you who are conducting frustrating and fruitless job searches, you must use every method possible to get re-employed. In IT and Software, as well as in most fields, “there are jobs out there.” OK. We might be in a deep recession with no chance of it ending in the near future. But that notion is a self fulfilling prophecy. Proactive people are getting new jobs everyday. Again, you need to do whatever it takes to get your career back on track today!

You must make yourself as an attractive candidate as possible to get that new job. If you lack strong interviewing skills, then get them now. If your resume doesn’t convey a compelling case why you should be hired, then find someone to assist you. If you don’t project a positive and proactive image and attitude, then change it. We have all the tools available that we need. You just have to use them.

I see too many people whose job search is seriously impaired. They don’t know what they want; or they do know what they want, but they aren’t qualified, unless they get more training and are willing to possibly consider a position at a lower level. Remember the longer you are out of work, the more difficult it will be to find a position comparable to your last one. Still, for some of you, a career change may be your only hope for employment. If so, get good unbiased advice, get training, and then start looking.

Sure you can contact all the headhunters you want, or you can post your resume on every job board that interests you. But if you have been walking these passive paths towards a new job for three to six months with no success, then it’s time to start running! It’s time to envision yourself working and regaining your self- respect and self worth. If your vision is strong enough, it will become a reality.

Learn and utilize social media and other forms of networking. Contact companies directly -- even if it means knocking on companies’ doors and asking to speak with the appropriate hiring person. I know this may sound extreme, but these are extreme times that call for bold and innovative action. Contact alumni from your alma mater; contact everyone you have worked with in the past that has a remote chance of helping you. And most importantly, do it now!

If you aren’t being ultra-assertive, then get a career coach to help you discover, and develop that vital competency. Bottom line: you have to take yourself off auto pilot and break through the barriers that are between you and the job you want. You might be angry, depressed, scared, panicky, or feeling sorry for yourself, but honestly, companies could care less. They need people with the right mindset to give them 150% effort from the get-go, and those are the people who are “acing” the interviews and landing the jobs.

Why are ninety per cent of the calls I get for job openings coming from foreign born immigrants? Why don’t native born Americans call? What happened to our optimism, ingenuity, and work ethic? Why do we passively allow emerging powerhouses, like China or India to thrive on what were “our” industries and innovations? It’s simple. They often work twice as hard, with smarts and as long as necessary to get what they want. Do we want to be a fallen superpower like England, Russia, or even ancient Rome? Frankly, it’s happening right now.

I hope my call to arms motivates you to develop a winning strategy and a winning attitude, and gives the employer no other choice but to offer “you” the job. Stop listening to the naysayers, the cynics, and the losers who sap your energy and poison your pride. Forget about the media and its endless barrage of negativity. I know you can do it, and, deep down, you know you can do it too. So, just get out there and do it. Soon you, and our nation, will be moving up in success rather than sinking down in failure.