The Job Hunt ? it Ain?t What it Use to be

Before you go and email me for using the word “ain’t” stop, because it is being used here strictly to catch your attention. The truth is, the way we find a job today, is nothing like the days of handing your resume and application to the HR representative and getting a call back in a week or two telling you the job is yours or not yours. The days of response or any facsimile of are gone. It is a buyers market out here in unemployment land and employers know they can now get the cream of the crop for less.

So, what can a middle-aged divorcee, mother of one tell you about being a working stiff? Worse yet an unemployed working stiff? Plenty! Thirty years and seventeen jobs later (full and part-time jobs I might add) I have finally settled into my “life’s work.” The journey had its ups and downs, but through it all the lessons learned have been invaluable.

Believe it or not there really are advantages to seeking a job when the economy is rocky, even when it’s on the edge of collapse. Unemployed people have to become problem solvers, not just a good problem solver, but a great one; and surprisingly it does not take that much more work to become a great problem solver. You will need to be organized, committed, tenacious and a bit ruthless in your pursuit.

Ask yourself.

Can you save the company money?

Can you add money to the company’s bottom line?

Are you creative enough to design a new process or procedure?

Are you a good communicator?

Do you possess emotional intelligence?

Do you raise the bar? (Making your co-workers a bit jealous?)

Are you willing to work as an independent contractor?

Are you disciplined?

Do you have faith in your ability?

Are you hungry? (Because hunger can make a monkey eat pepper!)

If you answered yes to these questions you just might have what it takes to land a fairly decent job in coming years. Those who find success in the job market today are not the smartest, most attractive or most cunning. Those who find success in the job market today are folks who can easily adapt to change and are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. You have to think, plan and pursue when everyone else is sleeping.

Sounds a bit crazy? It is crazy. These are crazy times we live in and the traditions of the past are just that, lingering in the past. Why would I hire an executive for $100,000.00 when I can not get an Obama-Techno savvy Blackberry caring consultant who will deliver more than I asked for in less time for less money? There are consultants who keep themselves on retainer and company hop from one to the next working 9-10 months out of the year then surfacing for air and a quick recharge, doing it all over again the next year. This may sound nuts, but they are always working, in demand and for many, headed toward an early retirement. And I don’t mean that in a bad way.

Recently a professor suggested that the day of formal education may even be coming to an end. There may be a time when you will simply contact a specialist in your field, negotiate a price for studying under the individual, sort of an apprenticeship and surface as their “Mimi-me” protégé working toward building a brand around the brilliance of a great learned man or woman.

The truth is the $100,000.00 plus jobs will always be out there, but there will be fewer of them and the folks that occupy that country will find their residency short lived. Those will be the new job hoppers of the day.

It matters not if you are employed or unemployed; today the question you must ask yourself is what type of worker am I? In the days that come will I be the person who can only do one thing for the rest of my life, refusing to adapt to the realities around me; or will I be a “McGuiver” a jack of all trades, but a master of none.

There is a strange pathetic belief by Americans that thing’s will soon be back to normal; unfortunately they won’t. Life will go on and normal will take on a new face. For some the face will be familiar, but for most it will be a challenge. Are you going to adapt willingly or go kicking and screaming into the night?

Detra D. Davis is an online instructor with more than 25 years experience in business-to-business, business-to-consumer instruction. Currently an online instructor for Stiletto Learning Center, Davis teaches the ever popular A Foot in the Door: Employment Opportunities 2009, a four week course that assist IT professionals and displaced workers in learning the skills to land gainful employment during these tumultuous times. Holding a Masters in Distance Education, Davis is a specialist in helping the unemployed design e-portfolios and effective strategies to attract job opportunities. For more information email Davis at: contact@stilettomediagroup.com

Image taken on 2009-04-16 08:45:16. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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