Hurdles, insurmountable odds. That’s what you may feel you’re facing if you’re looking for a job in the current economy. Every time you turn on the news you see: rising unemployment numbers, companies contemplating layoffs and now chaos in Cairo (what will that do to gas prices and inflation here?). And you think, “why should I even try to find a new job?”
Because the only failure is in not trying. As a career coach, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients, in good times and bad. But even in these difficult times, my clients are getting jobs. They’re having to work harder and it’s taking longer, but they are succeeding.
Since it’s a very competitive climate, to achieve your career goals and land that job, you have to apply yourself and use creative ways to run your job search. Just answering ads is not enough. Sitting in front of the computer and answering job boards is like buying a lottery ticket, you might win but what are the odds when there are so many players?
Now you have to be more aggressive in your approach, find different ways to get in front of decision makers. Today it takes a combination of tools to get attention. First you need to decide on a direction, then you need a targeted resume and cover letter that really highlights and markets your abilities and skill-sets. And finally, you need a plan, a marketing plan if you will, one that uses innovative strategies to help you get in front of the right people.
Your plan should include traditional, as well as social online networking through resources like Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. You should also identify companies or organizations you’d like to work for and use creative strategies to get a meeting, either in person or on the phone. Yes, you can still spend some time on job boards, but only a small amount, just to gather intelligence about who’s hiring.
So if you’re riveted by the recession and stymied by news stories, what you need to do is turn off the noise. While you can’t control current events, you can control your own efforts and that’s where your focus should be. People are getting jobs, it’s just a matter of applying yourself.