by S. L. Robertson —

Anyone who says the current economy has drastically impacted the job market is just wrong. For those who are willing to put in the sincere effort to find a job, providing they sincerely like to work, there’s always gainful employment to be had.

If it takes you longer than two weeks to land a truly great job, you’re doing something wrong.

Heed this handful of helpful tips and you’re sure to get your career swiftly back on track.

Think that being unemployed means you don’t have a job? Guess again. Finding work IS your job. Forget sleeping in and setting a leisurely pace. Get up early and immediately attack the job search. Devote at least eight hours a day to the process.

Have a plan. For example (and this is simply one course of action; you can certainly plot out a strategy that may be even more effective for you);

Day 1.
Get up by 6 a.m. Get online. Search your state’s Internet employment bank and job-search sites such as Career Builder and Monster.com. Make a point of applying for at least ten jobs. Take a break for lunch. Get in your car or on a bus or head out on foot and note the names of at least a dozen (hopefully more) major businesses. Not everyone is going to advertise on the web with an external service. When you get back home look up the company websites and see what positions they are hiring for. Plan to apply for at least 5 more jobs to finish out your day.

Day 2.
Perform a new online search and note the top six opportunities that look most appealing to you. Now call those businesses and get the name of the hiring party and their email address and phone number. Create a more comprehensive cover letter, something that essentially sells your expertise, and email it to the person in charge. Follow up with phone calls later in the afternoon, unless the job ad specially stated “No phone calls.”

Day 3.
Make sure you have a quality, up to date and error-free one page resume at the ready. Get nice looking copies on a professional grade paper stock and take them, door to door, to established companies that appeal to you. Make a concerted effort to get past the receptionist and at least introduce yourself to the HR director or any variety of hiring manager.

Day 4.
Follow up and follow through. Make calls or send out second emails to the top ten companies that you prefer to focus on at this time.

Day 5.
You’re likely to have at least a few interviews arranged at this point, possibly more. Make sure you schedule your appointments with significant time in between. You NEVER want to be late for an interview.

A few more points to keep in mind;

Don’t jump on the first offer. Think about the fit, your goals, the corporate structure and culture. There are many more considerations than wage in the long run. Job hopping is a waste of your time (as well as your interim employers) and ultimately it will have a negative impact on your future ability to progress effectively in your career. Make sure that the position you accept is something you’ll want to stick with for a long time, given the opportunity.

Be realistic about your worth. Don’t demand a salary that’s higher than your expertise and education would warrant, but don’t sell yourself short either. Make sure that your new salary is at least as much, preferably more, than the amount you were most recently earning.

Be honest about your needs. If you’re really uncomfortable about leaving your kids home alone past 5:30 and a job calls for service until 6, getting you home by 6:30 or even later, don’t take it. You’ll only end up resenting it and in the long run that negativity will detract from your work and create an unpleasant scenario at the office. Good companies care about the well being of their workers and will, within reason, make minor concessions to accommodate your personal needs.

Put real effort into your performance once you do accept employment. Do your best to abide by the adage that “a job worth doing is worth doing well.” Don’t be a prima donna; help out where you’re needed and drop the “it’s not my job” attitude. If you’re being paid, anything legal and reasonably moral can be your job. Get busy.

When you’re on the job, remember that the workplace is for work. If you have time to gossip, take frequent breaks, surf the net or text friends, you obviously need more to do. Let your boss know that you’d like to have more assignments. If your work is done early, offer to help with someone else’s. It’s a business, not a playground. Be a good worker bee.

There’s plenty of work to be had and a terrific supply of top-rate employers who are on the hunt for capable, conscientious professionals. If you’re the type who is enthusiastic about rolling up your shirt sleeves and getting things done, it’s likely that getting a good job won’t be too tough. Put in a good amount of effort and you’ll see some great results.

S. L. Robertson is an experienced mountain-region writer. The Northwest transplant has published hundreds of articles offering business advice as well as horse-training tips and suggestions for affordable professional fashion, just to name a few of Robertson’s areas of expertise. You can find her writing on the new blog site http://avonladyslc.blogspot.com/ as well as on the Promo.Utah business blog site ( http://promoutah.blogspot.com ).

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