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On Desperate Times – State of the Job Market

October 16th, 2008 · 2 Comments

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As I promised last week, it’s time to take a step back and assess where we’re at.

You may have noticed that things have been crazy and scary in our economy recently. The good news is that hopefully Hank, over there to the right, might finally have landed on a mixture of fixes that will keep the banks alive.

The bad news is, the recession is still neigh, and we’re only in the early innings. There are going to be more layoffs and the job market is going to get worse – much worse – before it gets better.

I started this blog almost a year ago because we were just beginning to see the signs that things were getting bad. I wanted to have a venue to get some helpful advice out there. Last year, it was just the mortgage brokers. Then it was the construction industry. Then it was the banking industry. Now it’s almost everyone.

So here’s a quick summary post of “what you should do now” using some of my earlier posts as touchstones.

1) Do you have a job? Good. Hold on to it.

If you have a job that’s reasonably secure, then now is not the time to get adventurous. Try to hold on to it for dear life. A job in hand is worth anything you might be able to find in the bush in these circumstances.

And the best advice I can offer you now if you think your job is probably safe: take out insurance anyway. Set up a rainy day fund just in case your guess is wrong. (Original post here)

2) Is your job in trouble? Be proactive.

Get your butt in gear now. I wrote a comprehensive 5-post series about how to a) detect if layoffs are coming and b) try to position yourself in such a way that you can be one of the survivors. (Original post here with links to the 5 post series)

Also, I have 8 sure signs that your company is in trouble and thus your job might be on the line. (Original post here)

3) If you find yourself job searching, remember, it WILL happen eventually.

I’m not gonna lie. It’s going to be tough out there. You’re going to send your resume out dozens of times and hear nothing back. You’re going to be competing with dozens of people for each open position. And you might have to go through 8 interviews before you finally make the right impression.

Job searching during a recession is a difficult task. But there are some helpful tips I can pass along. (Original post here).

And finally, a reminder that tomorrow will be another day. Things won’t stay bad forever.

And downturns are often a time of opportunity. It’s not doom and gloom everywhere, as this post reminds you: (Original post here). A quick excerpt from that last post:

We founded at the height of the dot com bubble. And so we were there for the nuclear winter when the bubble burst. At one point, fully 1/3 of our clients were out of work techies.

Some of them got out of tech and moved on to another career path.

But I can say this with certainty: the tech folks that stuck with their career path are now doing very well. And the two clients we helped get hired at Google in early 2003? They’re multimillionaires now. Even in a nuclear winter, there are opportunities for the future; somewhere out there, good people are hiring.

Related posts:

  1. How To Find A Job In A Tight Job Market
  2. A Bad Job Market Means Position Yourself For The Future
  3. A Bad Job Market Means Position Yourself For The Future (Repost)
  4. In Career Planning, Follow Your Heart, Not The Ebb And Flow Of The Economy Or Job Market
  5. The Stock Market As A Signal Your Job Is In Trouble

Tags: Job Search · Jobs · Layoff Rumors

  • CK

    I have to agree with the advice given.

    I am searchng for another job but am employed (still). Others have given me the very same advice and that is to STAY PUT dispite my hating the job and the organization!

    I still keep looking and eventually things will turn around and I will get the job I want. I know that others in my organization are doing the same – looking!

  • Brian

    Yes, and this sort of advice extends to something I’ve said before: sometimes conditions are such that you should take any position available, even if it’s below your standards. If you’re looking around for your dream job now and aren’t having any luck… but there are some lesser jobs that are available RIGHT NOW… now might be to time to take those lesser jobs. Even if it’s just for the time being. Again, as things are now, you’re better off having a job period, even if it’s not what you wanted. You can wait things out and at least still have money coming in.