How to Find (and Land) a Job in This Economy

How to Find (and Land) a Job in This Economy

Pssst… wanna know a secret?

NOBODY can tell you how to find and land a job in this economy.

But I can say for sure the following:  It’s not gonna be a killer resume.

It’s not gonna be a memorable business card.

Or that guy you knew fifteen years ago, haven’t spoken to since, and are now hitting up for a reference.  With a cold call.

People, there are folks losing their jobs who have been doing what they do for the past 25 years because of the historic economic times we find ourselves in – you think a humorous Moo Card is gonna help you, how?

I can’t think of a single job I’ve landed – as a W-2 or a contractor – since 1985 that I didn’t get through a personal connection or through a network of people that knew my work.

(1) Knew.

(2) My Work.

If you’re just now building your network, only after you lost your job, what can I say.  You’re behind in the game.  Not impossibly behind, but I ain’t gonna lie – it’s not good.  The competition is tough.

You’re gonna have to get above whatever noise you’re contending with to get noticed.  That’s what a lot of well meaning advice on resumes and job fairs and business cards are meant to convey – stand out.  Problem is, EVERYBODY is trying to “stand out.”

The one positive benefit that working on resumes and revamping business cards has is that it does get you doing something.  Anything.  Better than sitting around moping about not having a job.

If I seem to be flippant about this, I’m absolutely not.  Quite the contrary, I genuinely want anyone reaching out to me for a hand to get a job.

But I can’t in good conscience dole out a bunch of bromides about leveraging your LinkedIn network to land gigs.  Or go to your local chamber of commerce mixer and expect to get anything other than a bunch of “come ons” to buy life insurance, financial services, or be otherwise “rushed.”

You want to land a job?

Get your story out.  Get it out in a way that tells who you are, what you’ve done, and what you’re capable of doing.

What’s the best way to do that?  How many Angels can dance on the head of a pin?  Nobody can tell you that.  And I won’t pretend to.

But chances are, you’re not going to land your dream job reading this post (or any other post) sitting in your kitchen, den, or bed room.

Get out.  Tell your story.  Show your work.  Persist.

Good luck.

Troubled Times

Troubled Times

I don’t need to tell ya – times are tough.  All over.

Every day, I talk to friends who have been with their current employer for ten years or more, either on the hunt for a new job or fearful that their job is in jeopardy.

Friends with a wealth of experience – smart, loyal, dedicated to their professions.

All fearful of the uncertainty the future holds and what this will mean for them, and for their families.

It’s been said – a recession is when someone you know loses their job; a depression is when YOU lose YOURS.

I think it’s fair to say, that for most of my contemporaries – that is, folks who came onto the job market in the early 1980s – this is by far the toughest job and economic environment we’ve faced in our professional lives.

And no one really knows where the bottom is, or where the next shoe will drop.

I’ve been doing what I do now for about 25 years or so.  And doing so as the head of my own company for the past almost thirteen years.

Even in good times, the fear of failure has been a tremendous motivator for me.  In one sense, it has been my traveling companion for many years.  I say that like it’s a bad thing; it’s not, really.  It’s simply the way it is.

I’m just used to the fact that unless I’m out there selling every day, that unless I am constantly marketing, if I don’t show up consistently, if I don’t grow continually, if I don’t execute each and every time…  I’m toast.

But for a lot of my friends, friends who have been with maybe one or two employers their entire professional career (don’t laugh – it USED to be normal), this is probably the most stressed that they have ever been.  Ever.

I really struggle for words of comfort to share with them.  Words with meaning and solace.

And I guess, my only useful advice, is that every day you gotta get up, and DO.  Do something constructive.  Network with friends.  Use slack time to learn a new skill.  Go out on a limb and take on a project WAY outside your comfort level.  Build something on spec.  Mentor someone.  Talk to a counselor.

DOSOMETHING.

No one is immune to this market.  And I honestly gotta tell you, not a day goes by that I’m not worried that things can totally go to Hell.

But it doesn’t rule my business approach, and it doesn’t rule my reason, and it doesn’t rule my judgment.

It simply makes me aware that every day I need to be generating the maximum amount of value in everything that I do, so that I can keep doing what I do, the way I want to do it.

Or else.

And that is motivation enough.