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Finding Employment When the Job Market is Flat

Updated on July 30, 2013

Millennium Job Search Got You Down?

It may seem hard to believe. In 1978, there was a devastating recession that took numerous jobs. Almost for the same reason then as the present. Many large corporations like General Foods in the midwest in 1979 and 1980 were cutting middle management jobs and relocating employees. I know this because my technical recruiting firm was charged with the duties of relocating many displaced middle and upper managers. That, perhaps, is the only real difference between job cuts then and now. In those days, the first to go were those with the highest salaries. However, most of these employees were offered generous severance packages or an opportunity to work within the network of the new offspring subsidiaries of these huge corporations. Today, the cuts begin at the bottom and severance packages are still only offered to executives at the top. So, where are the jobs in the US today? 71% of all US manufacturing has been off-shored as the US Labor Department has indicated for many decades.

Creative Job Hunters

The first thing today's job hunters must do is forget all they think they ever knew about looking for a job. Gone are the three interviews, the resume mailings, the long waits for responses to resume submittals and job applications. The actual number of workplaces has gone the way of the Edsel. Telecommuting and project phase work is today's answer to keeping remaining corporations profitable. Can you accept that? If you can't, you've already placed a mountain-sized rock in front of your ability to find a job. Part of maturing into today's employment world is learning to stop tilting at windmills, accept and move on. Only with this refreshed attitude can you view the possibilities new vistas have in store. This is the profile of the creative job hunter.

Know Your Skills and Your Targeted Job Market

What good is a resume if it's already obsolete? What good are skills that are no longer remotely viable in the big world of lightening speed IT and globalization? Wait. Don't totally discount your job skills and experience just yet. Instead, use your gift of fore vision to see where those skills can be reinvented and fit into tomorrow's available job market. Not today's...tomorrow's. Each employee has a unique set of skills, talents and experiences that fit neatly into a target job market. In other words, learn the finely honed art of parlaying your marketability to something that has lasting resonance with who you are, who you want to be and who needs what you offer most. It really is that simple. Once your ponder these issues, finding a job will no longer be in the realm of famine, only feast.

Look Busy When You Aren't

It's a true fact that people who look busy attract work like job magnets. People who look idle, lacking in preoccupation or without direction are the least likely to attract jobs. It's always the people who look busiest who are perceived as the ones to go to when there's an important job to be done.

Need A Job? Create a Job

When joblessness lingers too long, all sense of ambition takes the first hit. Be versatile. If the only jobs available are project, phase or contract jobs, look upon these as opportunities. You'll have the free time to pursue your next step forward. This is free time those bogged down in full-time, long-term jobs don't have. Look for the advantages to the changes in today's job market and never look back and wish for what was.

If jobs seem to be located in a specific area and relocating isn't possible, create a job using the skills you've learned in prior positions. At the very least, your skills will lend itself to mentoring and consulting positions that can be done from a home office. When you can't find a job, create a job, no matter how simple the job may be. When you need a paycheck, make work you create pay off.

The proof of this kind of job creativity is how many immigrants came to the US in the early 1900s and immediately set up shop to feed their families and all without an endless list of venture capitalists or stock holders. It can be done. Where there's a will, there's a way. Trite, but very true expression.

Never Stop Learning

If the jobs that are available seem to require a very different level of education, take the time to educate yourself to the position you want. No employee today can risk their positions by becoming obsolete. It's up to each employee to continually educate themselves. The moment we stop learning and using what we learn, is the first step to an early mental retirement.

Keep repeating to yourself: Forward, Onward and Upward!


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