Economic Slowdown and Your Career: Strategies to Keep Afloat

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You’re Not Alone

In an economic slump, one of the few really buzzing growth industries is job placement and career counseling. Business is booming for “headhunters,” motivational speakers, college career advisors, and job placement agencies. If you’re out of work, the down side to all this activity is that you have increasing competition for a shrinking job pool. The up side is that you’re not alone in this search.

Consider checking into the online sites to see what people in your same situation are doing. You’ll learn more about successful strategies-and the ones that have failed. In the process of learning more about other people who are job hunting, you may also be able to overcome that “it’s-something-wrong-with-me” feeling you get after a few job rejections.

Don’t Put Your Life on Hold

You may be temporarily out of a job, the constricting market may have forced you to lower your expectations and take a position that you don’t like, or you may feel stuck in a job you wanted to leave long ago. You’ve constructed your own personal brand, you’ve identified the types of jobs and employers that are right for you, you’re ready with resumes, but so far nothing has turned up. What next?

Get up and do something, advise the experts. Many people are throwing themselves into activities that serve a dual purpose: helping others and networking. Volunteers at events trade stories about job prospects as they earn living as freelancers. Activities as diverse as group exercise classes, psychological support sessions are available to job seekers.

Participants in these activities trade tales of where jobs are, where they’re likely to be in the future, which companies are looking for new hires, and who to contact for an inside line. And, while exercising, volunteering, and socializing, these job seekers are also continuing to build the lines of community support and interaction that make life rich. When they finally connect with jobs that are right for them, they’ll be better equipped to be well-adjusted and productive employees.

The current economic downturn may reverse direction sooner than expected or continue for the foreseeable future. Job hunting in a slow economy requires increased diligence in identifying job leads and following up on those opportunities. There are more people competing for jobs and in an uncertain economy, employers will slow or even freeze their hiring plans so be prepared for an extended job hunt.

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