The economy’s in the dumps, thousands are being laid off and you’re looking for a job? No wonder you’re feeling a little down!
But things may not be quite as grim as you think. There are still jobs out there and many employers are still hiring. Demand for skilled trades, accountants and IT specialists is still strong. And with massive numbers of baby boomers soon to start retiring, career experts say many employers are on the lookout for replacement talent now.
You just have to know where—and how—to look.
But if you’re not convinced, let me introduce you to two real-life friends of mine. Both found new jobs in the last month or two, despite the struggling economy. I asked them how they did it.
Emma’s Job Success Story
Just a short while ago, Emma worked as a television program subtitler. Today, she is a communication and liaison officer for a non-profit community organization that assists women who have been sexually assaulted.
Since Emma wasn’t actively searching for a job, I was intrigued to learn how she had found this one. Her spontaneous answer holds a lesson for all of us on how to find employment in tough times.
“I did go through a period when contracts were a little scarce,” Emma confides, “but my career change wasn’t really motivated by that. Even when I am not looking for work, I always look at the want ads. That includes everything from newspapers ads to postings on industry-specific job sites specializing in culture and communications. I have always been interested in working for a woman’s group, and I saw this opening posted.”
Emma believes that although the economic downturn is definitely having an impact, it’s not the sole factor in determining whether you find a job. “It also depends on your skills, on timing and good luck, and on your ability to sell yourself.”
While she modestly mentions good luck, Emma probably owes her recent success more to the effort she makes to stay abreast of hiring news. “I subscribe to online job boards which e-mail me when suitable openings come up. You have to look all the time—even when you’re not seeking work—just so you know what’s out there and what qualifications employers are demanding.”
Jocelyne’s Job Success Story
Jocelyne was a freelance copywriter, translator and editor until financial uncertainty—partly a product of the economic downturn—became a cause for concern. “I decided to look for more stability, given the economic situation and my age,” she told me.
Motivated by that insecurity and the desire to be part of a dynamic team, she has just made the leap to a similar position at a well-established branding, marketing, advertising and design firm.
Unlike Emma, Jocelyne owes her success to her networking skills. “I had been keeping an ear open for opportunities for a while,” she says. “I learned about this opening through an ex-colleague, who knew that I had actually worked at the same firm about 15 years ago. When she heard about the opening, she contacted me.”
And is she happy with the change? “Yes, very,” Jocelyne told me. “I have a more regular schedule now, which is better for me. My salary’s about the same, but now my income is guaranteed. I also have good benefits, like health and dental insurance, which I didn’t have before.”
Another happy ending!
Stay Plugged into the Canadian Job Market
Two people, two success stories. And while the first relied on research and the second on networking to learn about their new posts, both were firmly plugged into the job market and ready to seize opportunities as they came up.
That’s a strategy all job seekers could benefit from!