Careers are planned and made by hard work and perseverance but unfortunately extenuating circumstances can makes those plans obsolete and irrelevant. The Great Recession of 2008, which technically ended at the end of 2009 is still showing it’s ugly head and for many is the determining factor in our future plans.
Too many very good and talented people have been on the sidelines during these past few years and the “so-called economic recovery” is pitiful at best and continues to force individuals to forget about future plans but worry more about day to day solutions that can get them to their next position in life. It certainly isn’t an easy task but there are creative means to taming that weakened employment beast. It takes a lot of work and a bit of shrewdness to get the attention of employers and decision-makers.
I’ll say it one more time – It is a full time job in finding a new job. It certainly can be frustrating and demoralizing at times but no one is knocking at your door to hire you – Lord knows many of you have tried that technique with miserable results. You need to work at finding your next employment and you need to make sure that you stick out above the crowd when candidate decisions are being made.
* No one is hiring individuals who are unemployed. The old dictum that it is much easier to find a job when you have a job is more relevant today than ever before. It is a buyer’s market and employers can be very particular when hiring a new staff member. It behooves you to make sure that you have done something with your life since leaving your last assignment. Make sure your resume doesn’t have a gap that you can’t explain. If it has been awhile since you were gainfully employed it is now time to either put out your Consulting Shingle or volunteer with a deserving organization, maybe even as a Board Member so that you can at least show some activity during this downtime. You need a title for that resume.
If you think it is tough for you, can you imagine what it is like for those just getting out of college? I am very proud of our son who graduated smack in the middle of the worst economic situation since the 30’s. He graduated in December, 2008 from a Big Ten School with a great GPA and a degree in Finance – his timing has always been impeccable. For the last two years, he returns stateside next week, he has been teaching English in South Korea. It has been a remarkable experience for him, he has grown and matured beyond belief and his tenure abroad looks wonderful on his resume. His goal is to get an MBA, but of course a year in the finance field starting this fall will certainly help him to accomplish that lifelong goal.
To a future employer you are a busy individual who is no longer with that previous position but Lord knows you have kept yourself busy and have added skills in the interim. With a resume title of Consultant, Board Member, Volunteer or Advisor you will be able to explain away what you have been doing the past few months and you can also highlight the new skills that you have attained that will assist you and a new organization at your next stop.
Like ripe fruit, your talents can go bad if you don’t continue to develop them. Your field or industry is changing rapidly and much has happened since your recent departure. Make it a point to keep abreast of the changes that are taking place around you. It is important to name drop during interviews and it helps knowing where those names are currently residing.
We all must do what we have to do during these tough economic times we find ourselves in. Unless you are ready to retire at a much too early of an age, it is time to get out there and make a difference in your current situation. Keep active in your field, update your abilities and most importantly know what is happening around you. This too shall pass and despite the hardship and pain, this will make you a better person and a better employee at your next employment stop.
Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations in his career. He is one of only 230 Association Executives worldwide who has been granted the prestigious designation of Fellow by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) since 1986. He currently is between positions and has taken the opportunity to author more than 75,000 words and 125 blog postings on the topics of job search, career transition and association management.
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