Advice on employment in Los Angeles County

The economy is still having some rough times to current date. Some industries are hit harder than others with layoffs, cutbacks, and pay reduction. In Los Angeles County the unemployment rate is currently 12.7 % according to State of California Employment Development Department. The industries that are suffering the most include construction at the top of the list, government, leisure/hospitality, and transportation/utilities.

Finding a job undoubtedly can be tough and often depressing for some. But from my experience there appears to be a pattern from the people I have contact with that are looking for employment. Of course we cannot apply this to all unemployed individuals, but it does appear to be a pattern in the job search techniques utilized.

Some of the individuals are looking for a certain pay wage from day one. Yes, pay wage is important, but when unemployed and not making a pay wage there has to be some give and take. The motivation should be some type of income until you are able to get the employment you desire. A young male I met with has an MBA lost his job. He had a difficult time locating another job quickly so he took on two jobs making less money, until he found the one job that he wanted with the pay wage acceptable to him. One of the jobs he took was a NOC shift janitor making $11 dollars an hour and the other job was teaching a CEU class during the day making $15 dollars an hour. Yes, it was a lifestyle change and tiring working nights and days, but he saw the bigger picture. Sometimes you may have to go out of your league of expertise to make ends meet.

Believe it or not there are many people that do not have a job resume. You would think some things are standard, but they are not. If you are unemployed you have time to make a job resume. Today you have the ability to Google resume formats; you can get assistance in putting together a resume from friends, family, etc. From time to time I forward potential candidates to my business associates for employment. I typically follow up in a few weeks and the feedback I receive is when they ask for a resume some individuals say they do not have one or they have to make one. This puts these individuals on the bottom of the hiring list. To date I am employed and still have a current resume ready to go.

Finding a job is like sales, but you are selling yourself to the employer if you think about it. Some jobs are just pure skills. You either know how to direct air traffic or you don’t. Other jobs are like customer service are saturated fields. No opposition against customer service it is a great field, but you have to be able to sell yourself to employer by bringing something to the table that is better than the next person.

Contacts are important when on the job hunt. Let’s cut to the chase if you know someone at a certain employer with some influence or better yet hiring, you are a shoe in. How many people do you work with that you say to yourself (how did they get employed here, they could not have passed that interview). Develop connections with people in general, because you never know who you will come in contact with. It is not uncommon to run into someone in a coffee shop, and then you walk in a see that person is on the interview panel. Hopefully you were not a jerk in the coffee shop.

So let’s recap some the items addressed here.

1.) Sometimes we need to step down more than a few notches to find employment. We may even have to work two jobs to make ends meet. You have to be willing to do what it takes to keep food on your table until you find something better. For myself I’m a little planner. I always think in the realm of what if my job laid me off today what would I do. So I have a backup plan, first I save money to survive at least 4 months. It took me a while to save that money, but I did it.

2.) I keep my resume current, and I have contacts that I’m 99% sure would employ me if I picked up the phone.

3.) A resume should be standard. Taylor your resume for the job you applying for. There is no such thing as a catch all resume. If you applying for a job at Home Depot you may want to think about the things you did that relate to Home Depot and put that in your resume.

4.) Contacts are important for employment leads, possible leads, and direct hire. You may be surprised on how many jobs are offered based on a contact. Treat everyone as if they may be a potential boss.

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