Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Job Market Sucks - Find A New Angle

I don't want to find a job. And I'm glad I don't have to look for one right now.

Quite honestly, the economy sucks. Unemployment is still at 9.5%, and out of 1.5 million fresh faces graduating from college each year, 60,000 of them are bright eyed, bushy tailed, and unemployed.

I wish I was making these numbers up. The other figure that depresses me is the 1.2 million people in the US who are not searching for work because they believe that no available work exists. People have given up.

But I found a job. I got my bachelor's in 2007, and have had a 9-5 ever since. And despite all this news about the economy being in the shitter, I managed to get a new job with a $10,000 raise in February. My former company was going through a salary freeze, and despite our division turning a record profit, I got tired of seeing the less profitable divisions benefit from our hard work without us doing the same. So I jumped ship.

And it isn't just me who is finding work in a troubled economy. My circle of friends, most of whom work for a giant aerospace company in the area, have each been promoted within their organizations a few times in the past three years. The point is that it can be done. If these guys can manage to hold onto their jobs and get promoted in a tough economy, I am willing to bet that other less fortunate college grads can do so too.

The job market has changed. And there are more people than ever competing for the same jobs in the same places. They get on a job site like CareerBuilder or Monster, they post their resume to any jobs that fit their desired criteria (which at this point is pretty much anything that doesn't require selling insurance), and they wait. A few weeks later, they talk to me about how frustrated they are that it hasn't panned out, "I've applied to 50 different jobs, and NONE of them will email or call me back!"

Then the victim mentality sets in. The unfairness of the whole damn situation overwhelms them, and they roll up their sleeves and try their luck on Craigslist. The process repeats.

You just have to learn how to play a different game.

I don't mean to hold anything in your face, or demean the fact that you may not have a job right now. I've been unemployed and searching before, and after a while it can really wear on you. But what I can do is share what has helped college graduates like me get work in a shitty economy. Anything to save you from moving back in with your parents.

My first piece of advice: accept that the world is an unfair place. Accept that it's also far more abundant than any bloated job site will indicate. Read "The Alchemist" if you want an inspirational folk tale to help your search. I'm serious.

Every single job that I have found throughout my career except one has been through somebody that I know. This isn't just about networking, it's about putting that social network that you have to good use. The BEST way to get an interview is through somebody you already know. Spamming job sites with your resume does not work, because that's exactly what everybody else is doing.

And yes, I found my $10k raise through somebody I knew. My personal and professional relationship with them got me an interview, and once my foot was in the door, getting a job became much simpler.


  1. I enjoy the way you write, simple to the point with your own experiences. Did you have any luck with LinkedIn and networking with someone you know?

    Because of unemployment issues and being unemployed myself, I write a blog on most everything but have changed my focus to the facts on unemployment.

  2. Thanks, Elaine! I'm flattered.

    I don't actually use LinkedIn because I don't like how "professional" it is. I used facebook, which is comprised of people that I care about - family and friends.

    I posted a status update, which my friends all saw, and said I was looking for something new. I didn't hold back any of the built up frustration I had with my job at the time, and people noticed. (Venting like that probably wouldn't fly on LinkedIn).

    I got an immediate wave of comments, and people continued to follow up with job leads for several weeks after my post. This led to interviews for a couple jobs, including a few that weren't a fit for me...but ultimately, I got an offer that I couldn't refuse.

    There's something to be said for outsourcing your job search to your friends and family...even if it was completely by accident.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. I just graduated this past June. I am not giving up easily because I've seen the job listings. There are many opportunities, its just finding the right one that is challenging. Insurance sales was actually the only thing I've had an interview for at this point, so its funny you mention it. I completely agree with your advice in terms of doing more than bulk resume releases. I need to start connecting with people who know me well enough to provide some job leads and recommendations. With 500 applicants per online posting, there is no other way to get noticed than to sneak in the backdoor. @callahankyle

  4. Hi Paul,

    You're right about networking - just spewing your resume out into the void doesn't work in this job market (not that it ever really did).

    If you find yourself looking again at some point (hopefully not any time soon!), you may want to reconsider setting up a LinkedIn account (sans venting, of course), though, since more and more employers are looking there for job applicants.

    Best continued luck with your job!

  5. Now job market is going good and some one having degree in any field can get good job opportunities. If one is looking for job in Aviation field or any other type of jov, can look job the great jobs on Aviation Jobs.