Times change. Years ago, a person would get a job straight out of school and plan on retiring from that company years later. The loyalty went both ways. The company would keep its workers on the payroll, through boom times and bust. Not anymore.
Large companies continually trim their payroll as they see fit. Jobs are moved wherever the wages are lower. Full-time positions are cut and replaced by part-time workers who receive lower wages and fewer benefits. The employer is driven by the bottom line.
Does that mean that employees today are discovering it's much harder to find a rewarding career? No! The employee simply needs to be more creative. Finding your dream job doesn't have to be an uphill struggle!
As an owner of a resume writing service, I have seen many different types of job seekers, from college students hoping to land a summer job to executives who command a six-figure salary. Yet most of them have one thing in common - they feel intimidated when it comes to finding a new job or career.
They have the wrong attitude. If you think of the job search as a life and death struggle between David and Goliath, with you being David and having just run out of rocks, no wonder you feel intimidated. You need to change your mindset.
The job search is not a struggle, it's a game. When you play a game you need a plan, one that will enable you to win the game.
Let's cover some of the basics.
First and foremost, you need an income because sometimes the job search game can last longer than you want. To stay in the game you need to have money to meet your basic needs. That means you may have to go out and find a job, any job that will bring in some money. Taking the inferior job now allows you the opportunity to continue playing.
Next you need to decide if you are willing to relocate. Some people will and some people won't. If you choose not to relocate it doesn't mean that you are a bad person, it simply means that you have different priorities than others. But, if you aren't willing to relocate, your employment opportunities are much fewer.
Now that you have decided where you want to live, what do you want to do with your life? Spending 1/3 to 1/2 of your life at a career you hate is not fun. Sit down and analyze where you want to be in 10, 20 or 30 years. How can you reach those goals? Do you need more training or education?
What companies can help you reach those goals? Make a list of companies you want to work for and then research those companies. Find out everything you can about them and the industry they are in. If you have to, spend your free time at the library doing research on them. Knowledge Is Power.
Who is responsible for hiring at these companies? Find out. A personnel manager hates to see a cover letter addressed to "Dear Sir or Madam". Call and talk to this person directly, usually early morning before their day becomes hectic. Let them know who you are and why you are calling and tell them you would like to send in a resume. They will not automatically say, "Sure, send it in and we'll call you for an interview", but you would be surprised at how many people get the job they want without the job ever being advertised. If you have the skills to fit their needs, they won't bother spending money to advertise a position.
Once you're this far into the game, don't lose it by sending in an inferior resume. If you are confident in your resume writing abilities, spend the time and create a resume you will be proud of. If not, have your resume professionally prepared. It will be one of the best investments you will ever make.
Interview fun? Sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it? But remember, as nervous as you are during the interview, just imagine the nerves of the interviewer. Whether he/she is the owner or just the head of the personnel department, they have a lot riding on who they hire. If they hire the wrong person, they might find themselves unemployed, or worse yet, end up losing their own business. He/she is very fearful when it comes time to interview for a new employee.
You want the job? You alleviate their fears. Convince them that you have the qualifications to do the job better then anyone else they will interview. Be confident. Be prepared. This is where your research will pay dividends.
Remember, when going through the job search process, it really is nothing more than a game. And with every game, the player who is most prepared will win.
Author of Relish the Job Hunt and many other job and resume related articles - James Aure would be honored to assist you with your career resume, CV, cover letter and other job search needs.