Getting Job

8 Golden Rules To Getting A Job In A Bad Economy

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Show me someone who hasn’t fantasized getting in the car and leaving it all behind and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t drive.

The banks are a mess, credit is awful, the U.S auto industry is a mess, unemployment is still climbing, we’re all out of money, gas prices are on the rise again… Oh yeah, and according to the G-8 Summit our planet is melting!

So, is getting a job in this climate unrealistic? Absolutely not!

Many people mistakenly assume if a company is not actively looking for someone, then a job isn’t available. The experience of many job hunters may say otherwise.

The Keys To Getting A Job In A Bad Economy

What Do Successful Job Hunters Have In Common?

For one, they have identified their key strengths, related achievements, talent and competences, and where and how to apply them. They have also learned to engage in conversation that makes others start thinking about why they should create a job for them. If you have something people want, THAT’S the bottom-line. It’s business as usual: Someone recognizes a problem or opportunity and decides to do something about it.

What Else Do These People Have In Common?

They do not rely on convention. The career paths that were winners for most of the last century are often not providing much success. They’ve gone the way of the “eight track” (some of you may get that). These job hunters also have certain rules in common. Some of them are:

1. Out with the old, in with the new. Make time and create room for new learning (this is increasingly necessary today).

2. Think small. As in new, start-up, entrepreneurial not large, mechanistic, and bureaucratic.

3. Say, “Let’s make a deal!” Wherever and whenever you can.

4. Think like a consultant. Help businesses from the outside looking in (i.e. opportunities for project work with downsized companies).

5. Get excited about competing. Show a competitive drive (always grasping for the gold ring).

6. Realize when life gets tough, tough! Build a bridge and get over it

7. Pay attention. Especially to the consequences of the economic downturn over the last couple of years. Also, keep your eye on the future (watch affect on globalization, agriculture, R&D, environment).

8. Showcase your leadership qualities. Think like a leader, not a manager.

What else can be said about these job hunters and what they have in common? They recognize the need for objective input and feedback from someone or others they know and trust for the same reasons key decision-makers rely on staff or input from their Board. The easiest way to make smart decisions is to surround yourself with people “in the know.” It’s business as usual. Here’s one scenario:

A colleague and close friend phoned me. He was looking for a new career position and, after speaking to a mutual friend of ours who was also searching for a new position, he concluded, “When I had my own company and had to make an important decision that would impact the company and me, I would gather up and consult with my Board as the President does his Cabinet.”

He asked to meet with me to see if I would accept a seat on his Cabinet, which I gladly did, and he then preceded to fill four other seats.

The experiences of many of these job hunters also tells us they have learned how NOT to get caught up in the think of thin things. They recognize what matters most cannot be at the mercy of what matters least. The current economic challenges individuals and companies face in this recession is daunting. Changes in the marketplace, culture, the lightening-speed advancement in technologies… have made job hunting more complicated now than it was even just a few years ago. However, to let your doubts about the market and your success cause you to give up transcend foolishness.

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” (Michael Jordan)

And, successful job seekers do! They believe life doesn’t happen to them, it happens from them, and they keep moving on towards the “Gold,” for to them, that IS business as usual.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Rob Taub

Rob, a veteran career services professional with 25 years in the biz, is Principal of Job Search Corner and creator of the blog “Job Searching with Rob.”

18 comments

  1. Still a bunch a bull—- from people who already have jobs…been there done it all and still not anything new to help real people find real jobs.

  2. Even if this article is not new, it still talk about the “what next”. More power to your arm Man, you’r doing great.
    Nice write out.

  3. Thanks for sharing Rob! These are all great tips for discouraged job seekers. It’s absolutely true that you need to get out there and be proactive if you want to land a job. You also have to think outside the box. Just because you’re doing all of the traditional things a job seeker should doesn’t mean you’ll find an ideal job right out of the gate. I especially like your reference to the President’s Cabinet–it’s all about your network!

  4. I'm glad you mentioned talent. Read a study on talents and how they apply to your job and how you should manage someone else's talents. Never thought about taking the lead on my own talents and utilizing them. I think talents are hard to identify from your own perspective though so this is probably why you stand out… which is the point of your article!

  5. I'm glad you mentioned talent. Read a study on talents and how they apply to your job and how you should manage someone else's talents. Never thought about taking the lead on my own talents and utilizing them. I think talents are hard to identify from your own perspective though so this is probably why you stand out… which is the point of your article!

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  7. We’re a step ahead to give preference to the women job seekers in India. Find your dream Jobs in our Job Portal. We Have made a Portal where you can find each & every category of JOBS that is relevant to the FEMALE candidates. Most valid benefit that you will get that, on http://www.naukriforwomen.com there will be no male competitors. This means that more than half of the competition has already been eliminated! Please Visit http://www.naukriformen.com

  8. First you have to know where the jobs are before you mount a strategy to go after them. Most executive job seekers look to executive recruiters and job boards for open positions. The problem with this is recruiters get 15% of all executive searches and fill half of them, and only 1% of anybody ever gets a job from a job board.

  9. Careerrealism's advice is good, but I need some job search advice specific to my field-education. If I apply to a position at a university or college, how do I follow up? Search committees are impossible to get in touch with often & this is a school out of state. I WANT this job but don't know what to do after sending in my cv. I need advice that's less business oriented.

  10. Hi Careerealism.
    I want to apply for a job online as a lifeguard but these health clubs have their applications done with Kronos and Unicru which have you answer about 100 questions that are (to me anyway) really hard. As a result I'm considered not good to be interviewed which is frustrating. What type of answers are they looking for in these questions and how can I pass them to be getting an interview with these health clubs who are in need of lifeguards?
    Please get back to me asap.Thanks.
    John Nguyen BROOKLINE, MA

    • That is a terriific addition! Thank you for contributing. I hope our readers take the time to read the comments. –YT, RT

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