(As published in the SF Examiner on February 1, 2010)

As I have been working with candidates and clients at a National level for many years, I am asked several questions each week about the job market such as, “What do you think is happening in the job market today, is it getting better or worse?” — “Do you think that the market will turn around?” — “It’s really tough out there, when do you think all of this will come to an end?” — My all-time favorite is, “Do you think we’ve hit rock bottom yet?

There are many suggestions that I have for clients who tend to become way too analytical about the details of the data, but the true indicator of the job market, as far as you need to be concerned, is what you make it to be.

The five points below are critical for you to list and to remind yourself of daily as you manage your own personal job transition or search strategy:

1) Ignore the news

You cannot allow the media to hold you captive to being successful in your search.  Do not try to manage something that is out of your control.  Rise above it!

2) Get out of the house

It has been proven that networking is the single most effective way to increase your visibility and your odds of making progress into your target companies. Staying indoors, trying to work the search boards is likely not going to the way to success in your search efforts.

Sign up with different nonprofit groups and engage in serving the greater community beyond the walls of your own home, and never refuse an invitation to a BBQ – You can use this time to make new introductions, expand your network and leverage the event to support your search strategies, introducing people to your background and letting them what your professional goals are.

People want to help you, they just don’t know how. If you get out and get in front of people, this affords you an opportunity to expand your network and increase your odds of connecting to a “Person of Influence.”

3) Be flexible

Don’t limit yourself into one discipline and don’t take your accomplishments for granted.  Look deep into your resume and remind yourself of the diversity in your skills and experience. You have completed and accomplished many tasks that were all inclusive to the role of one job, and this is your opportunity to “toot your own horn.”

4) Remember that you are always interviewing

You never know when your next hiring manager is going to be at the same event or function that you are attending. Your reputation and behavior outside of the workplace can have a huge impact on the success in your job search or can serve as a huge liability in your efforts.

5) Be encouraged / Remain positive

You are entitled to feel bad and depressed during your term of unemployment, but you never want to allow it to get in the way of maximizing your momentum in moving forward.

Remind yourself often that you can do your job better than anyone else, and you bring value to the next company that is fortunate enough to hire you!

Brand yourself as a “Solution Provider” to your next employer. If you are in an interview, you are there because that company has a need. View this interview as an opportunity to stress your capabilities to bring value to the company.

Make the best of your situation, embrace the challenge and ask yourself one question as follows, “Am I going to have a great day today, or do I have other plans?” Other plans cannot be an option!  You are wired for Success!

When all is said and done, YOU are the only person that can be responsible for the way that you choose to address the question about the employment market. The jobs are out there, but you will only be able to increase your visibility and odds of success if you are willing to color outside the lines, get in front of the right people and remain positive through your individual journey.

Go get’em!

 

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