Topic of the Week Rules of the Road... What are the keys to a successful career today?
Success in a tough economy:
• DON'T assume the best get hired.
• DO perpetual job hunt.
• DO network with your enemies.
• DO remember, the first offer is never the best.
Your Rant: Is it possible to get the job you really want in such a tough economy?
It seems totally counter-intuitive, but there is no better time to get the job you really want than in a difficult economy. Why? If you are really focused on something you love, you'll work much harder and put in far more time than you will for just any job. Which reminds me of Cha Sa-soon, who took her written drivers test 950 times in Joenju, Korea. That's almost daily for over four years, until she scored the required 60 out of 100 points to qualify her for her license.
We can all use a bit of Cha Sa-soon's dedication and discipline in our next job search. But it doesn't stop there, that's why I've included three Do's and one Don't for getting a job in tough times. For more, check out "Get the Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring by Ford R. Myers (Wiley, 2009).
DON'T assume the best get hired. Great skills and experience should be the ticket to a your next job. But it isn't always the case. Sometimes the prize goes to the person who markets him or herself the best or who knows the most people. That's why you've got to be sure that your resume is top notch, that you put a lot of effort into networking and that when your interview comes along that you are practiced and prepared. You've not only got to be the best candidate, you've got to outwork the rest of the field too.
DO perpetual job hunt. Most businesses today run 24/7. Can you afford to not do the same with your career? You've got to keep your eye on the horizon at all times, scanning the landscape for opportunity. Some of you are probably asking, who has time to do that? I'd respond with a simple question, if you aren't actively managing your career, who is? View yourself as a temp rather than someone with lifetime employment. Always be on the lookout for what's next.
DO network with your enemies. In the old days most of us stayed away from the competitors. However who is often in the best position to hire you if you've been laid off? The enemy. A friend of mine once said, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Truer words were never said.
DO remember, the first offer is never the best. Recently I talked to a friend in HR. She was hiring a new employee. She made her first offer expecting the candidate to push her for more money. The candidate never did. She not only got the employee cheaper than she thought she'd have to pay, she actually lost some respect for him. Push back a bit, most employers don't want to hire doormats. They want people with the moxie to hold their ground.
Follow these tips and you'll pass the test that really matters, you'll get hired.
Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. If you have a question for Bob, contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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"Always be smarter than the people who hire you."
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• Marketing expenses and building awareness, 26%
• Attracting and hiring top talent, 22%
• Government regulations, 21%
• Gaining access to credit, 11%