USA Today offers a great article on people to have to move for a new job. 15% of executives and managers had to move to take a new position. The article attributes this situation to two factors: an improving economy and job seekers’ willingness to move. Many of my clients can’t move because of family commitments. Those who can expand the market for their services. In a job market where salaries are still tight, moving to another city can be a way to earn more money. Relocation should be an option in a good career management strategy.
Over the past few months, I’ve heard two radio commercials that are very interesting. Both are targeting employers and offering web-based solutions for recruiting new employees. The two companies sponsoring these ads are Zip Recruiter and Pro Jobs Network. The fact that these companies exist and are advertising shows that the job market is tight for small and mid-sized businesses. Employers need to have another company recruit and screen candidates. It’s easy to focus on negative news like major corporations laying off thousands of employees. At the same time, we need to remember that most Americans work for small and mid-sized companies. As long as online recruiting companies are advertising, it’s safe to assume that they are hiring. That’s good news for the economy and American workers.
P.S. Zip Recruiter offers functions that job seekers can use to search for jobs. Pro Jobs Network is only for employers.
I often caution against making too much of broad news about the job market. At the same time, some good news needs to be told. The latest Department of Labor job reports shows growth in higher paying jobs in professional services. It also features a spike in construction jobs. This is the kind of news that might be a sign of a growing economy, which would mean strong, lasting job growth with better wages. My fingers are crossed.
Most of us have had ups and downs in our career, which Winston Churchill summed up in these great words: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is courage to continue that counts."
Persistence might be the greatest strength, and -- as Churchill says -- it takes courage to move forward when we doubt ourselves. However, every success we have had was a time we could have failed. The only way to change is to take a change and move forward with courage. I'm not the biggest fan of Churchill. But, in this case, his words are great advice for anyone who is frustrated with their career or unhappy in their job. Find your "courage to continue."
Where’s the best place to look for a career? Technology. According to an article in Bloomberg, six of the top ten industries that hire career changers involve technology. As the article notes, these companies are not just looking for employees with technical skills. They need employees with a wide range of skill sets. The trick in a career change is to identify and leverage your transferable skills. For example, negotiation is a skill that can be used in sales, purchasing, and management. It will be used differently in each job function, but the skill will transfer from profession to profession. In some cases, a career changer will need to go back to school for a new degree or certificate. More often, if you can align your transferable skills and experience with an employer’s needs, you can make a career transition. With the unemployment rate going down, now is a great time to make a change.
Huffington Post has published a list of 25 best jobs. Such lists are always subjective. They also reflect a group of people, not one person in his or her job. I think a good job is one where you are doing the right thing in the right place with the right people. If you are happy at work, you have a great job.
Albert Einstein said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
This quotation made me think about the advice I give as a career coach. Knowledge is vital. As job seekers, we need to know our skills and strengths, our industries, and potential employers? But, to play with the famous words of Donald Rumsfeld: "How do we know what we don't know?" That's where imagination comes in. When we're stuck and don't know what else to do, that's a good time to start thinking about new ideas, time to get creative. Imagination lets us find new ways to approach employers, find job openings, and network more effectively.
Here's a simple way to engage your imaginative power. Take a blank page, give yourself 15 minutes of quiet time, and write down all the new ideas that come to your head. Don't worry about how the ideas sound or if you are using correct grammar. No one will see this page but you. Repeat this exercise whenever you get stuck. Sometimes you might end up with a blank page. That's part of the process, and you should not worry about it. If you let your mind wander and discover, it will lead you to new paths. That's how geniuses like Albert Einstein achieved wonders that no one had imagined before.
Nothing hurts worse than being rejected, and it happens all the time during a job search. Nicolle Pelletiere of Good Morning America reports on Amanda Mester, a job seeker who edited a poorly written rejection letter and sent it back to the employer. Mester says that she wanted the company to follow proper grammar rules. She also posted her message on Twitter, where some commentators said she was jeopardizing her career. I wouldn’t go that far. Some employers might see this action as an indicator of a bad attitude. Others might see it as a sign of an employee with good communications skills, attention to detail, and a sense of humor.
My problem with what Mester did is that she is looking backward. Her response to the company and tweet did nothing to move her career forward. I advise clients to give rejection letters the time they are worth: none. Getting hired is a numbers game. It takes time, positive energy, and much patience. Use your time to network and apply for new opportunities. Look back only to look forward.
I’ve often cautioned readers about one size fits all rules. Too much career advice is based on the words always and never. Here’s another example: Stay at a job at least a year before leaving. In most cases, it’s good to do this. However, there are circumstances when we should leave a job as soon as possible.
Mark (not his real name) is a client who received an offer to work for a company everyone would recognize. During his interview, Mark felt uneasy about the person who would be his supervisor. He talked to his family about not taking the job. They told him that he had to take it because working at this company would look good on his resume.
Mark called me after working at his new job for only four months. In that time, his two co-workers had quit because they could not take the boss’s constant belittling and bullying. Both employees went to HR, but nothing was done to change the way they were treated. Mark was worried about how it would look if he left a job before completing at least a year. I told him that it would be a concern for some employers, but he had to weigh that concern against how he was being treated.
Why should anyone stay in such job? Mark’s challenge will be to explain why he is leaving so soon. We talked about how he can do that in a way that doesn’t bring up his boss or his problem with the job. We also discussed how he can present what he has accomplished in his short tenure. A good employer will look beyond how long Mark stayed at this job to see what he has accomplished at other jobs and in school. The worst thing Mark could do is stay in a job where he is exposed to unprofessional treatment. My advice: Why wait eight months? Start looking now.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 321,000 new jobs were added in November, and it revised hiring figures for recent months to reflect increased job growth. According to Daily Kos, there are still many Americans who are out of work or only able to find part-time jobs. That’s the downside. The upside is that job growth is starting to lead to higher wages. If this trend continues, that will be the real game changer. While hiring has increased the last two years, salary has not been increasing. If you’ve been stuck at a job that has been giving you small raises or no raises, it’s time to start looking for a new job.
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