The Blog You've Been Missing

Tough Time for Job Hunters

December 6, 2010

Filed under: Coaching,Management,observations,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 8:15 am

If you’re looking for a job, December is a tough month. If you are among the 9.8% of the workforce counted as unemployed or the 17% that is under-employed  you can’t help but be a bit depressed by the thought of trying to stretch what income you have, to buy presents.

If you’ve been out of work for a while, you now have to worry about losing unemployment benefits.  (although it appears Washington politicians have worked out a compromise today) It’s tough to stay optimistic about the upcoming job-hunting season.

But, now is the time to summon whatever optimism you can and start working on possible strategies. Even if you think you’ve tried every method you could think of , it’s time to start again.

It’s a good idea to at least question your underlying assumptions on a regular basis. Basics such as career fields, location, pay level, or training should all be re-assessed regularly.

A few suggestions might be in  order.

Try not to use the New Year as an excuse to wait a few more weeks. Traditionally few companies do much hiring around the holidays. It used to be that they didn’t do many layoffs either, but the pressure for quarterly results has ended that and the public relations disaster of being the Grinch who stole Christmas doesn’t seem to worry most companies. As a result, there’s a lot more movement this time of year.

Also, if you call  now and the hiring administrator puts you off until January, that’s one step closer than calling in January and getting put off until February.

This is the time of year when most firms are doing their planning for the year ahead so they will know about possible openings.

Except for retail, things can be pretty slow for many businesses. Yes, that can lead to some “out of office’ replies on emails, but it can also give employers more time to get to know you.

While holiday parties and get-togethers can be uncomfortable when everyone asks what you’re doing, force yourself to go. It’s just networking with eggnog. Try not to turn down invitations because you’re embarrassed, you need to be out in public so people know you’re still looking.

I’ll repeat what you already know – 75% of jobs are not filled through the formal application process and more than half of the jobs are never advertised.  Taking advantage of your network contacts can help you get an introduction, find out about a job or even meet someone who does the hiring. You never know what ‘friend of a friend’ might be helpful.

If you haven’t already, learn how to use online networking. It doesn’t cost anything to join Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn or any of the hundreds of other social media sites. Learn how to find school classmates and old friends. And find out how to use groups to broaden your list of contacts.

Don’t be bashful about telling people you are looking. How else will they find out. Your profile is your resume.

Finally participate in online forums in your field and consider starting your own blog so that potential employers can get to know you better. But don’t just ramble on about current events, comment on issues in your field. Avoid politics at all costs.

It’s tough to sugarcoat job hunting, and it’s tough to be optimistic, but you have to remind yourself that your attitude comes through to everyone you meet, so you’re better of believing that your new job is just around the corner.

Post to Twitter

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment