If you are a job seeker that has been on the market for more than a few weeks, then you recognize that things have been slower than usual through January and February. Of course, most people know that the time from November through mid-January is historically challenging for job seekers, as many employers are not active in recruiting, interviewing, and hiring because of the holidays and vacations. However, the market generally picks up by early February. That has not been the case in the general market this year.
Don’t expect this lull to last too long, though. Despite the sensationalist views of the media and others who state that this is the worst economy we have seen in over 70 years, the facts simply do not support that view. Sure, the economy is down and big companies are in a wait-and-see mode before investing in new people and new projects. As long as we stick with free-market principles, the economy will quickly stabilize and businesses will begin to hire once more. So you need to make sure that you are prepared and ahead of the game when that begins.
To ensure that you are ready to go when the market loosens up, here are some things that you will want to have in place already.
Having these items taken care of now will ensure that your job search is clicking on all cylinders as the job market picks up again.
But What About Now?
Many of you may be asking this exact question. For whatever reason, you need to make a move right away. So what options do you have for securing a job in a tough economy with limited employment opportunities? Consider some alternatives to big-name companies. In the past, small and mid-size companies have taken advantage of the opportunities that present themselves as a result of corporate reticence to expand. These smaller companies are really the innovators in many industries. Think about it! That is why big corporations have such big mergers & acquisitions (M&A) departments. They let the little guys come up with the great ideas and then they buy them out once they are proven or show promising signs of being successful.
Some candidates feel that more is at risk when seeking employment with a smaller company. But remember, it is mostly these big companies today that are the ones laying off, downsizing, or in hiring freezes. So is there really job security with a Fortune 500? Ask people who used to work for a whole host of leading financial institutions, Enron, or Arthur Andersen.
So do some research to identify up-and-coming companies in existing or emerging markets. One of the advantages of a rough economy is that it separates performers from pretenders. Any organizations on firm financial footing with a record of growth and profitability despite this economy are the types of entities you want to pursue, as they will be the types of companies actually looking to hire new people.
Preparing for and launching your search now and focusing on emerging leaders is the best prescription for finding the ideal position regardless of economic climate—even though it appears that things are improving right as we start the March Madness basketball season. Good luck and get going!
To learn more about conducting a successful job search or to better understand the role the resume and recruiters play in the job hunt, please check out my site with Job Search Tips and Advice. What about me should make you go any further? I am a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with an MBA. I have more than 6 years of experience as a career services professional and job search coach in addition to 8 years of experience in high-level corporate leadership positions.
In February 2009, I launched a new group job hunting networking site: NoddlePlace.com. It is absolutely FREE to join, and you have access to everything on the site. Come check it out at NoddlePlace. You can also follow me on Twitter.