More than a job: Make
your career dreams a reality
Top 100 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Career, Expert Advice
from Nation's Leading Recruiters, Outplacement Consultants, Career
Coaches, Career Counselors, Resume Writers, and Career Development
Professionals, by Wendy Enelow. Submitted by an expert who was
interviewed for the book, Janice
If you know
that you are going to leave your current position, or if you're
concerned about possible layoffs, downsizings, and reorganizations,
start your search campaign now. Don't wait until you've already
left your position or the company has abandoned you. If you do there
will be too much downtime and too many missed opportunities. You
must take control of your career or your career will take control
This does NOT mean that you have to immediately begin to aggressively
search for a new position. What is does mean is that you should
always have a current resume, keep abreast of impending changes
in your current company, be aware of economic trends that may impact
your industry, and constantly network to keep your name visible.
You are the one, and the only one, responsible for your career destiny.
Find Strength Within Your Community
"No man is an island." This is perhaps one of the most vital
concepts to your career today, tomorrow and in years to come.
Everyone needs support, and you must find the resources that will
support you. Maybe it's your family; maybe it's your friends;
maybe it's your college buddies. These are extremely valuable
sources of support that can help you evaluate opportunities, make
decisions, and proactively manage your career.
If you don't manage your own career, it will be managed for
you by your employers. This, in turn, places you in a tremendously
vulnerable position. Take control of your own destiny!
The Purpose of Interview #1
The only purpose of interview #1 is an invitation for interview
#2. With the tremendous complexity of today's job search market,
it is extremely rare that you will be offered a position after just
one interview. Chances are you will be back interviewing with the
company on several occasions before an offer is extended. During interview
#1, your challenge is to impress the interviewer, sell your skills,
competitively position yourself against other candidates, and get
your name on the short list of prospective candidates returning for
the next stage in the company's interview process.
Geography Impacts Compensation
Do you think the cost of living in Gadsden, Alabama is less than New
York City? Is the cost of living in San Francisco more than in
Greensburg, Pennsylvania? The answer to both of these questions is
a resounding "yes!"
When reviewing each opportunity, in addition to salary, you must also
consider geography and its resultant impact on your cost of living.
How much does an average house cost? Are private schools affordable?
What is the annual tax burden? What about auto insurance?
These are all important considerations in evaluating your compensation
Bypass the Human Resources Department
Whenever possible, approach a hiring manager and NOT the HR Department.
HR professionals are generally not hiring managers (unless it's
a position in HR). Rather, be sure to target your resume to the
appropriate decision-maker (i.e., MIS Director). These individuals
have the power to make a hiring decision and get you through the HR
When an advertisement directs you to forward your resume to the HR
Department, do it. However, attempt to get the name of the hiring
manager for your department and then also send a resume and cover
letter to that individual. This "double-hit" method can be
Alternatives to Instant Cash
When you're negotiating your salary or compensation package, sometimes
things other than base salary should be considered. Stock options,
bonus, golden parachutes, and other long-term financial incentives
can be very valuable if you are relatively confident that the company
will do well. You must closely evaluate the opportunity as well as
Or what about an extra week's vacation? Is that worth more to you
than another $1000 or $2000 in salary? Consider the unlimited value
of a comprehensive health insurance plan fully paid by the company.
It should never be just about the money...It's also about the perks.
Accumulating Career Resale Value
This executive growth strategy is clearly defined as "seeking and
accepting a job offer based on its ability to score future job offers."
It is a foolproof method meant not only to secure employment but also
assure continued career growth in spite of a recessionary climate.
It requires discipline even in prosperity.
Candidates are traditionally defined by the functions they perform
and the environments in which they are performed, i.e. Controller
in a manufacturing setting or Director of Sales in consumer products.
If these candidates are good career planners, they change jobs based
not necessarily on vertical promotion, i.e. Director of Operations
to CEO, but on securing alternative opportunities perhaps requiring
sacrifice that will ultimately ensure more options. Most of my top
executives have sometime in their careers taken lateral positions
or even stepped down with pay cuts knowing that eventually this diversification
would increase their resale values toward greater opportunity - or
at minimum solidify their movement with ease during an economic downturn.
They move from OEMs to end-users; they've mastered their skill in
telecom and now want to add IT knowing that, much like investing,
diversification reduces volatility in rough markets.