The Job Blog
Finding a job isn’t easy these days, and If you’ve been out of one for awhile, getting back into the job market can be an even bigger challenge. In fact, the longer you’re out of the work force, the tougher it can be to get back in.
This is why it is important to act quickly if you find yourself searching for a new job. Ten years ago it was considered the norm to take a week or two off or perhaps even an extended break from one job before beginning the search for a new one. Not anymore. It’s no secret that employers tend to hire job seekers who are already employed instead of those who have been out of work for even a short period of time.
Whether it’s fair or not, there is a stigma associated with workers who are not currently in the work force that if they are out of work, they may not be entirely up to speed with the ever changing skills and technologies needed to perform the jobs for which they have applied. Time is crucial in today’s job market, and if you are not currently in the work force, it is not on your side.
However, there are some things you can do to try to minimize the down time and show potential employers that you are still marketable so you can land the job you are searching for.
First, begin your job search immediately. Do it before you leave your previous employment if possible, but if it’s not, start as soon as you walk out the door.
Maintain your list of contacts in your field and stay in communication with them if and when possible.
Build up a network of peers who are currently employed and ask them to help in your search. LinkedIn is an excellent social media tool for networking with others in your field. Use it to connect with those who are currently employed and let them know that you are seeking new opportunities.
Do everything you can to keep your job skills current. Subscribe to trade publications related to your field, read them, and keep up with all the news in your industry. Let your peers and potential employers know that you may be out of the work force, but you’re not out of the loop and you’ve still got what it takes to do the job.
Freelance whenever possible. A temporary job is still better than none at all for more than one reason. It signals that you are still active in the industry, it can help you keep up your skill set, and can also be a great way to get noticed or even in the door with another company, possibly even leading to a more permanent position of employment.
Whatever you do, don’t wait. The longer you sit on the bench, the greater the risk of not getting back to the field. The time to start your job search is now. The clock is ticking.
Job hunting in itself has always been a full time job. In the past it involved typing a formal resume, printing multiple copies at a local printer, spending hours scouring the daily job listings in the employment sections of newspapers, calling and mailing out resumes to potential employers, and “pounding the pavement”, so to speak, by dressing up and walking in the door for an impromptu introduction and, possibly, an on-the-spot interview.
Today, it’s become even more challenging. The job market is a lot tighter than it used to be. There aren’t as many jobs available and there is a lot more competition for the ones that are out there. A lot of people are out of work, and the longer they are out of the job market, the tougher it is for them to get back in. The world is changing rapidly, and for those who don’t maintain the ever changing skill sets needed to land a job, there is a very real threat they can be left behind.
But there is good news. You don’t have to be one of those people. While technology may help perpetuate this environment of potential obsolescence, It can also empower you with new tools and opportunities to stand out from all the competition, and perhaps even land the job of your dreams.
For instance, the proliferation of modern home computers allows almost anyone with a PC and a printer to create and print their own resume, as many copies as they need whenever they are needed. It isn’t necessary to stick to one resume, either. They can be changed or modified on the fly to customize personally for any specific job. There is no longer a need to scour the newspapers to find that one listing that is relevant to the type of job you are seeking. Now you can instantly look up job listings on the internet and filter them down to just the ones you are looking for, saving you hours of searching. You don’t even need to keep it local. You can search jobs listed across the country or even find one in another part of the world.
As for keeping up your job skills, You have now have opportunities available that did not exist twenty years ago. There are many online resources available to help you stay current in your field or find a new field to enter. Many colleges now offer continuing education classes online. Free trade publications are available that can be downloaded instantly to keep you on top of the latest topics and technologies in your industry of interest. Social networking sites such as LinkedIn can not only help you network with other professionals in your field, but can help you stay current with your peers.
Searching for a job in these uncertain times can be difficult, daunting and even depressing. I know, I’ve been there. But I found the job I was searching for, and if I can do it, you can too. Chances are, it won’t just drop in your lap. You need to go out and get it. Make the most of all of the resources available to you, they can help you provide the advantage you need to stand out from the rest of the crowd and land your next career.
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