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Why can't I find a job now!

by D. Lawton

Category: Job Seeker Tools

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If you have been in job search and you are not securing the job leads, interviews, and offers that you expect, then you may be vulnerable to letting self doubt get the best of you when you begin to grill yourself with, "why can't I find a job". Here's the good news, if you are a recent college graduate and you put in long hours to grind through a tough academic curriculum, you are a super star. Con grads! If you were a prior employee of company who lost their job through a mass layoff and are trying to regain your position in a shrinking market segment, then a thank you is in order for the products, services and contributions you’ve added to society to date!

Rather than your inflicting yourself with a daily beat down, take a deep breath and acknowledge your personal and business strengths while you prepare to compete for a job in the new economy. The new economy is a bubble. It has up and down cycles, expansions and contractions. It is also more global and therefore more fiercely competitive. The new economy has large domestic corporations that show record profits and strong balance sheets without hiring new workers. The new economy can be negatively impacted by reduced consumer spending in the US as well as in Europe, Greece, Italy, or China. Banks can show lots of money on their balance sheet to lend despite their reluctance to increase domestic credit to small businesses. Today employees can be replaced by offshore and onshore outsourced labor, automation, and business process improvements.

Given the daunting challenges in the labor market of this new economy, job hunters might turn to government for solutions. Ok, don’t hold your breath on Washington to create a miracle anytime soon! Washington is in grid-lock and political actions targeted toward changing the employment climate may not appear until well after this year’s elections. Assuming that nothing dramatically alters the US jobs landscape in the short run, then what can a job seeker do to positively advance their economic condition? Here’s a look at a few traditional tactics that should be adhered to at a minimum.

Become a “Master Of Your Universe”

This requires that you become an expert at basic requirements that pertain to the industry that you seek employment in. This entails preparing a professionally written resume and cover letter, knowing how to dress well and basic etiquette during interviews. Failure to follow these simple guidelines could be spell immediate elimination when competing for strong employment opportunities. Becoming a master of your universe will also dictate that you show a mastery of at least one or more core competencies that employer’s desire. Be prepared to promote your “value added brand”. Also be prepared to visualize your “value added brand” in new ways that translate your transferrable skills as the building blocks that open opportunities in related industry sectors.

Leverage your people contacts – search for hidden opportunities.

The most effective way to find employment is by connecting with other people. Let you network know that you are seeking employment. Remember to give as well as receive. Pass job leads to other people in your network if you find an opportunity that might be a better fit for someone else in your network. Consider joining an industry association where you can rub shoulders with workers that have deeper experiences and contacts within a chosen profession.

Research findings show that a large percentage of opportunities are rarely advertised. To that end, try to target stable companies that you desire to work for and attempt to develop contacts internally to position you for jobs that are posted directly on company web sites. Don’t wait until a job appears on a general job board where your resume will compete with as many as five thousand applicants per job advertisement.

Do not get de-motivated in the face of rejection.

It can be quite hard to keep going when you do not get called for interviews or get your calls returned for positions that you were almost pretty sure you had. Do not give up but learn from your experience. In most instances it will be a good idea to ask for help from a qualified career counselor or a mentor. Don’t be afraid to solicit a few pointers from an experienced person about what you could be doing differently.

When you finally get an opportunity for an interview make it easy for the employer to hire you. This includes doing your homework and knowing as much as possible about the company. Show the employer how if hired you can help the company perform better and achieve its objectives.

Take a look at the big picture

In today’s economy, you may discover that a magic bullet doesn’t exist in the short run for finding a new job or replacing a prior position quickly. Your best options may be to consider doubling down on using your time wisely and becoming more mobile with respect to where you are willing to look for work. You will also want to consider attaching yourself to non-traditional, less glamorous, industries that may be creating employment in a soft economy. In the long run, individuals may need to re-invent themselves with skill sets that are either more technical and scientific or less impacted by globally shifting occupations.

If you are still asking yourself, “why can't I find a job” then try to avoid falling into the trap of defining yourself by the impact of the headwinds in today’s broken employment engine. Adopt a few successful job search strategies and work them with passion and reasonable expectations. Successful candidates know who they are today and have a sixth sense with respect to who they might become tomorrow.

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