Job hunting isn’t easy in a good economy. During a recession, it’s downright disheartening. The solution, however, is the same in both cases: action. The more pro-active and engaged you are with your professional portfolio and marketability, the better your chances of landing a job.
So how does this look?
1. Being smarter, faster and better
a) Update your resume! This is important and must showcase all of your skills and professional merit. You really need to stand out from other applicants and this is the first impression you give to employers. Click here to see 10 resume tips to get you hired. It’s also a good idea to have your resume reviewed or written by a professional.
b) The job market is becoming increasingly digital but old-fashioned people skills still go a long way. Research networking events, job fares, and build and establish a presence on LinkedIn.
c) When you do meet new people or come across new opportunities, Follow up immediately. Professional enthusiasm should not be equated with desperation.
2. Modify your strategies
If what you have been doing isn’t working, change things up! Getting a job in a bad economy requires a dynamic approach and more leg work so you can generate more leads. Don’t just look for jobs in the same industry. Network with other professionals and don’t be afraid to leverage different skills for different positions. Look at big companies, small companies, and everywhere in between.
3. Find a way (or ways) to generate another income
Remember, professional enthusiasm is great but desperation can turn off potential employers. Also, the added burden of stress which follows financial burden will prevent you from performing and searching at your peak capacity. You can tutor, do free-lance work, or leverage any and all of your skills for private jobs. Check out local job boards, and local buy and sells for people looking for work from those with your set of skills.
4. If you already have a free-lance job, build it!
Down let your situation bring you down. Turn melancholy into motivation and start hustling your side-gig. This may have some meaningful pay-offs, especially f your business is geared towards service or a way to assist others. Consulting and free-lancing is a great way to generate more income and you can learn about consulting
5. Be willing to re-locate
Everyone’s situation is different but if you are in a position where you can move, do it. Sometimes recessions are regional, like in Alberta or Manitoba and often there are cities which will thrive more than others. If you’ve been thinking about relocating, you might want to consider a place that is thriving despite the economic downturn.
6. Move to an industry which is thriving and has jobs to offer
Not every job is as sensitive to economic down turns.
Consider expanding your job search into one of these industries. For example, if you’ve always worked in oil and gas, consider an alternative energy sector like renewable energy. If you’re interested in management consulting, think about a firm that specializes in healthcare or energy consulting. If you’ve thought about teaching, do it!
7. Learn new skills!
Sometimes, losing a job is a blessing in disguise. If you can afford it, take the opportunity to go back to school. Take some new course, develop a new skill set and take advantage of a coop. In my professional experience, the number one-way people gain meaningful work during (and after) a recession is by switching industries. People will often use the downturn as an excuse to do what the always wanted and I can say, with confidence, this yields enormous benefits to their personal and professional well-being.
8. Help others
This is a great opportunity to get involved and engaged with your community. Not only is this personally rewarding but you can build and acquire skills, gain new experience, and above all network. Help other people with job leads, event invitations, networking contacts, advice and moral support. When you see a job listing that’s perfect for a friend, forward it with your praise and best wishes. Learn to barter your strengths with others and perhaps make a name for yourself in a new industry. “Paying it forward” makes you feel good and it’s bound to come back to you in kind.
This is just a start but it’s a good one. You should always be asking yourself, “Am I the kind of employee businesses want right now?”. The answer, should be yes! Sharpen up your resume, acquire new skills, be willing to change, and above all, be willing to work!