Landing A Career In A Tough Economy

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Today's job market is unlike any job market since the Great Depression. With off shoring, outsourcing, economic uncertainty, the prospect of deflation in many sectors of the economy, finding a position, much less a career, is a huge challenge in today's world. Saying so is an understatement, to say the least.

New graduates:

Many new graduates are confronted with a job market that their college or university career center counselors are probably ill-equipped to advise about because they have never seen a market like this, and in many cases, career center advisers have never actually hired anyone.

Experienced Applicants:

Experienced applicants are doing better than new graduates in securing positions because they bring with them experience and contacts, but also have their own set of issues to confront, which can include salary expectations, family obligations, inflexibility, and lack of technological expertise.

Ideas:

Ideally, when looking for a new position, you want to find a position that has the possibility of turning into a career and where the skills, experience, and education that you obtain in the position can be used to promote with in the same company, to move laterally within the same company to gain even more exposure, or to move into another company or even into another industry. This is true for new grads and for experienced applicants alike; while experienced applicants likely already have one or more careers, and the same growth principles apply.

In today's challenging times, this is not always possible to achieve. However, to achieve happiness, it is imperative to keep your eye on the ball - that is, the ultimate goal and career direction. If you find that you're taking a lesser position than that which you have experience or training for, take from the experience all that you can - learn all that you can, make valuable networking contacts, learn the product or service line, and more about the industry in general. It never hurts to have more knowledge; you never know when that knowledge will pay off.

One other way to do this (amongst many others) is to volunteer your time: while you won't get paid, you will gain valuable experience, show potential employers that you used your down time productively and in the service of others, and you never know what contacts you might make. Most importantly, keep contacts in the field and industry that you ultimately want to be in so that when times get better, you already have contacts in place and ready to go.

Michael Trust, MPA, SPHR-CA is a Human Resources and Career Coaching professional, and president of Michael Trust & Associates, www.MichaelTrustAssociates.com, a Human Resources Consulting and Career Coaching firm. His Human Resources experience spans twenty years, and he has had major roles in staffing in all of his Human Resource positions. In addition, he has coached individuals at all career levels relative to their career paths, job search strategies, and related areas.

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