Jobseekers: Lessons for the Next Crisis
Those 10-plus millions who are out of work or unemployed may still be in crisis mode, but let’s realize that with jobless claims at a four-year low, and other economic factors improving, there is some cause for optimism. Those lucky enough to have kept their jobs or who keep improving their career situation should always stay vigilant on their careers. Here are three things to thing about:
Starting to look for your next job when you need it is too late. One observation during the recession and quarters after it is that companies did not mind executing mass layoffs. Layoffs used to be a negative, but many organizations took the opportunity to eliminate headcount. So, while you may be happily employed, doing something you love and even making a good buck doing it, it’s always important to have a sense of career vigilance. That doesn’t mean keep looking for a job and making sure every week that you have an interview, but think about your next career move: Is there a good book you can read to prepare? Are there other target companies you’re interested in? Many involuntary job seekers were surprised and woefully unprepared for their job search. Let’s be a little better prepared next time!
The technology landscape has changed. Back in 2007, when the economy was great and unemployment was low, did you even know what Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn were? Smartphones were just getting started, and Apple was just launching the iPhone. Now, your job search and career needs to always involve a technology and social component. If you know interesting companies for your next career move, you can follow them on any social network. You can also connect with your former co-workers who are at your next target company; that way, if you need to make a career move, you have a network with your next potential employers. Make it a point to spend at least 15 minutes in your favorite social network finding new connections. Every month, find a new company to follow.
The technology landscape will change. Innovation is evolving at such a fast pace, who knows how job seeking will change in your next job search? But you just need to be ready. Don’t jump on any and every technology, but it may benefit you to play around with a few things just to keep the technology side of your brain fresh. Think of it as stretching your brain muscles. Twenty years ago, emailing your resume was new; now it’s the norm. Connecting with future employers on LinkedIn was not possible eight years ago, now it’s the norm. Five or 10 years from now, who knows? Video resumes? Just be ready to leverage the best way for you to land your next job.
While we don’t want to dwell on the past, it benefits job seekers to understand what happened, and more importantly, how to better prepare the next time a crisis occurs. Whether a crisis occurs in the overall economy, or just in your own house, preparation is key to continued success.