It can be tough to find a job even when the economy is thriving, but during down times it seems almost impossible to find a position that fits. Recessions take their toll on just about every job sector. But, that doesn’t mean you have to be discouraged by the lull in the market. Now is a great time to show your resiliency, improve your skill-set and prove how qualified you are. So how do you begin your job search?
Prepare Yourself
Education is key. It’s a perfect time to take additional courses or go for accreditation in your field. Subscribe to your industries newsletter, find out about upcoming projects, look at what firms are hiring, which market segments are experiencing growth, so that you can target your job search appropriately. Connect yourself. Join online groups like Facebook, LinkedIn or Now is the time to make the internet work for you, make yourself the authority in your field online and you will see the job market expand. It’s imperative to keep up with the changing landscape, so do what you can to stay abreast of trends.
Reach Out and Connect
Your network is the most valuable asset you have, but it’s only strong when you utilize it. Make a list of business associates, friends, owners, coworkers and anyone else that you’ve ever known or done business with. Get yourself out there and let these people know that you are available and looking for work. You may just be the missing piece that their company has been looking for. Until you have one, networking should be your full-time job. Contact friends, family, old school roommates, vendors or anyone else that might allow you to find a job.
Time to be Flexible
Flexibility will help you find a job no matter the economy. However, in a down market, you have to be open to trying different things. Maybe your full-time job will get its start through a small contract position. Some firms are reluctant to hire a full-time position due to fears of failing financially – so getting a contract position could give you an in that you need. Just get your foot in the door and be open to positions that are not related to your work experience.
Always be Prepared
Remember, everywhere you go, no matter if it’s dinner with friends, a social gathering or networking event – it could lead to job opportunities. Finding a job is your job now, so you have to do everything in your power to find a job. There are so many opportunities to work with people who will help you find a job. Who knows, maybe the next person you strike up a conversation with will know of an open position. You don’t know, so you should always be prepared to showcase what you can do.
Try to leave a lasting impression with the people you meet. Many people have found a job just by talking to people they meet at parties or through friends. Keep those eyes open.