Finding work in tough times is like marketing in an environment that's flooded with sellers. At the executive end of the job market, compensation is high enough to support professional executive placement specialists, but if you aren't one of the elite, you'll be doing your own marketing.
Here are some suggestions for positioning yourself as a superior product, reaching the buyer ahead of your competitors, creating a compelling message, and making yourself easy to find for anyone looking for someone like you.
- Participate in local chapters of professional societies
- Professional societies emphasize education, networking, and job search services tuned to your profession. You can exchange news and techniques with colleagues. Especially valuable: leadership positions or responsibility for posting job openings.
- Teaching in continuing education programs dresses your resume; keeps you fresh; and gives you networking opportunities, access to library facilities, and faculty discounts for equipment and software.
- Tight budgets are compelling chapters of professional societies to favor local non-professional speakers. Extra income is unlikely, but you'll make yourself known to people who might want to hire you.
- Use Google alerts
- Avoid surprises in interviews by being informed about current events in your profession. And be among the first to learn of new opportunities. If you're targeting a particular company, set a Google alert related to your target. Set alerts for people you know, your target industry, yourself, and anything that appears on your resume or record, or anything anyone might ask you about. Include misspellings.
- Avoid surprises in interviews
by being informed about current
events in your profession
- Network, network, network
- Effective networking requires discipline, organization, and dedication. Networking in person is best; telephone is next best. Networking through Web sites can be helpful, too. There are books and Web sites galore. And job search networking groups are almost everywhere. Search for groups in your area by modifying this example for Boston.
- Get into electronic business networking
- As an active electronic networker, with a presence at LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter you'll create a multi-media resume. You'll gain a clean, professional presence that highlights your accomplishments, capabilities, and assets.
- Keep submitted resumes fresh
- On-line resume databases often display submission dates to employers, who sometimes interpret older dates as indicators of undesirability. Visiting your submitted resumes monthly and making slight modifications probably resets the submission date.
- Publish books, scholarly articles, book reviews, or articles in trade magazines or Web sites. Regular book reviewers often get free books, and you'll be helping the world find you.
- Blog or tweet
- If you have useful things to say, create a blog, or tweet regularly. It's a commitment, but it can also keep you sharp and engaged, and the word will get around.
In this environment, you have to be inventive to stand out. Sending out resumes isn't enough. In May, 2009, software engineer Larry Fowler placed ads on WCRB, a Boston radio station. Whatever works. First in this series Next in this series Top Next Issue
Love the work but not the job? Bad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? This ebook looks at what we can do to get more out of life at work. It helps you get moving again! Read Go For It! Sometimes It's Easier If You Run, filled with tips and techniques for putting zing into your work life. Order Now!
For more on finding work in tough times, see "Finding Work in Tough Times: Strategy," Point Lookout for July 8, 2009; "Finding Work in Tough Times: Infrastructure," Point Lookout for July 15, 2009; and "Finding Work in Tough Times: Communications," Point Lookout for July 29, 2009.
Your comments are welcomeWould you like to see your comments posted here? rbrenmhXARWRMUvVyOdHlner@ChacxgDmtwOKrxnripPCoCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.
About Point Lookout
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, and that you'll consider recommending it to a friend.
Support Point Lookout by joining the Friends of Point Lookout, as an individual or as an organization.
Do you face a complex interpersonal situation? Send it in, anonymously if you like, and I'll give you my two cents.
More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- Organizational Firefighting
- Sometimes companies or projects get into trouble, and "fires" erupt one after another. When
this happens, we say we're in "firefighting" mode. But it's more than a metaphor — we
have a lot to learn from wildland firefighters.
- Social Distancing for Pandemic Flu
- It's time we all began to take seriously the warning about a possible influenza pandemic. Whether or
not your organization has a plan, you can do much to reduce your own chances of infection, and the chances
of mass infection, by adopting a set of practices known as social distancing.
- The True Costs of Indirectness
- Indirect communications are veiled, ambiguous, excessively diplomatic, or conveyed to people other than
the actual target. We often use indirectness to avoid confrontation or to avoid dealing with conflict.
It can be an expensive practice.
- Finding Work in Tough Times: Communications
- Finding work in tough times entails presenting yourself to many people. You'll be conversing, interviewing,
writing, presenting, and when you're finally successful, negotiating.
- How to Waste Time in Meetings
- Nearly everyone hates meetings. The main complaint: they're mostly a waste of time. The main cause:
us. Here's a field manual for people who want to waste even more time.
See also Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness for more related articles.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming October 23: Power Distance and Teams
- One of the attributes of team cultures is something called power distance, which is a measure of the overall comfort people have with inequality in the distribution of power. Power distance can determine how well a team performs when executing high-risk projects. Available here and by RSS on October 23.
- And on October 30: Power Distance and Risk
- Managing or responding to project risks is much easier when team culture encourages people to report problems and question any plans they have reason to doubt. Here are five examples that show how such encouragement helps to manage risk. Available here and by RSS on October 30.
I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenmhXARWRMUvVyOdHlner@ChacxgDmtwOKrxnripPCoCanyon.com or (650) 787-6475, or toll-free in the continental US at (866) 378-5470.
Get the ebook!
Past issues of Point Lookout are available in six ebooks:
- Get 2001-2 in Geese Don't Land on Twigs (PDF, )
- Get 2003-4 in Why Dogs Wag (PDF, )
- Get 2005-6 in Loopy Things We Do (PDF, )
- Get 2007-8 in Things We Believe That Maybe Aren't So True (PDF, )
- Get 2009-10 in The Questions Not Asked (PDF, )
- Get all of the first twelve years (2001-2012) in The Collected Issues of Point Lookout (PDF, )
Are you a writer, editor or publisher on deadline? Are you looking for an article that will get people talking and get compliments flying your way? You can have 500 words in your inbox in one hour. License any article from this Web site. More info
- The Race to the South Pole: Lessons in Leadership
On 14 December 1911, four men led by Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole. Thirty-five days later, Robert F. Scott and four others followed. Amundsen had won the race to the pole. Amundsen's party returned to base on 26 January 1912. Scott's party perished. As historical drama, why this happened is interesting enough. But to organizational leaders, business analysts, project sponsors, and project managers, the story is fascinating. We'll use the history of this event to explore lessons in leadership and its application to organizational efforts. A fascinating and refreshing look at leadership from the vantage point of history. Read more about this program.
Here's a date for this program:
- Baldwin-Wallace University, 275 Eastland Road, Berea, Ohio
44017: November 7,
Kerzner Lecture Series/International Project Management Day, sponsored by Baldwin Wallace University and the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Project Management Institute.
- Baldwin-Wallace University, 275 Eastland Road, Berea, Ohio 44017: November 7, Kerzner Lecture Series/International Project Management Day, sponsored by Baldwin Wallace University and the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Project Management Institute. Register now.
- The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
Many people who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.