Tuesday, February 17, 2009

take the ball and run with it

It’s time. Time to put down the remote control. Time to put your iTunes music organization project on hold. Time to be in action. Think back to what we have been through, my 18 blog following buddies! After we met online we talked about a number of career obstacles and opportunities, like what difficult times we’re facing on the front lines of unemployment. We considered what life would look like if we had a career coach. We even dabbled in continuing education. But in the end, y’all, we’ve got to put down the snackie cake and get a move on. We can do it together. Hold hands as we cross the information super highway. Next stop – research and preparation.

Let’s be clear about what we want here. Make a list of what you want in exchange for a paycheck every week. Take a look at your past experiences and see what worked for you and what didn’t. We can’t launch into action looking for something if we are unclear about what we are searching for. For example, I would flounder in a job that didn’t challenge me. I need fast paced environments and to be surrounded by people that are thinkers, creators, and committed to open communication. That declaration itself automatically eliminates a ton of industries, jobs, and companies that would not be a good fit for me. Think about it for yourself. Know where you need to go.

For those of you sitting at a computer terminal in an Internet café, put another five bucks on your machine tab because it’s research time. Jump onto companies web sites. Check out their About Us, Media, or Press Room sections. Companies might seem like giant faceless entities, but behind those corporate glass doors are people just like you and me.

Clearly, company web sites will tell you simply wonderful things about the organization but don’t stop your search there. What is the rest of the world saying about the company you are thinking about working for? Check out news and information sites, recent articles and online profiles. For this, head to Hoover's or Vault. A little light reading could also come from picking up a (public) company's annual report. Super fast short cut: Google them.

A quick way to put your ear to the ground is to check out career groups and forums. Craigslist has sprung up everywhere. Start listening to your job market area today, click here for NYC.

If you are a percent person – I’ll leave you with this:
CareerBuilder.com's survey "2009 Job Forecast"
  • 19 percent of workers' New Year's resolutions include finding a new job. The same amount plan to leave their current job by the end of the year.
  • 47 percent of workers planning to find a new job this year cite better compensation and/or career advancement opportunities as their primary reasons. 
  • 8 percent want to venture into a completely different career than their current ones. 
  • 80 percent of workers claim they aren't actively looking for a new job, but they would be open to one if the right opportunity presents itself.
  • 35 percent of workers did not receive a raise in 2008.
  • 80 percent of workers did not ask for or receive promotions.
  • 54 percent of workers say that their workloads have increased over the last six months.
  • 20 percent of employers say they take two months or longer to fill their open positions. 
  • 23 percent of employers will decrease their recruitment budgets this year.
  • 19 percent will devote more recruitment dollars to online hiring, such as generalist sites, niche boards and local job boards.

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