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#168782 - 03/06/09 03:47 AM job search strategies in deep recession?
picard120 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 763
What are your strategies for job search in this depression?


#168793 - 03/06/09 12:46 PM Re: job search strategies in deep recession? [Re: picard120]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5074
Be flexible, find a need and fill it.

#168801 - 03/06/09 02:33 PM Re: job search strategies in deep recession? [Re: Russ]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Be willing to do anything, and capable of doing most of it. Lie about the rest.

Be willing to travel long distances (intercontinental) for gainful employment.

In the absolute worst case, be prepared to kill someone in order to create a vacancy.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#168841 - 03/06/09 08:53 PM Re: job search strategies in deep recession? [Re: picard120]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Well, I think that the main thing is to do something - anything - to keep your head clear.

Back in 2001-2003, my industry in particular had an incredible downturn and at the time I was self-employed and was having an incredibly hard time finding enough work. But I was able to find grueling manual labor - stuff like shoveling mud out of a flooded basement one bucket at a time and carrying beach-ball sized rocks out of what was the center of an old stone barn that hard partially collapsed - and the remaining gable end walls were too unstable and dangerous for power equipment to get in and haul out the rocks.
I'd work 12 hours hauling rocks and the next day I'd put on a suit and head out to one of my clients for a strategic planning session with the CEO of the company. I did this mix of things for two years, taking on what I could, until things finally picked up again and I was back to my cushy indoor job full time again.
I think that's the key - if you were a CPA and you can't get work, OK, then take whatever work you can get. The only loss of dignity is found in giving up. All these years later I still feel proud of the reaction a friend of my wife's had when she learned that I'd been hauling mud out of a basement - she knew me as a successful business owner up to this point - her reaction was "Good! That's what real men do - they buck up and get the job done".
It should also be noted that I also joined the fire company in 2003, this has, despite my recent issues as posted here, been a very good move for me personally, because each time I work a car wreck, each fire that we deal with, each marine rescue and each body recovery job reminds me that I do more than just my day job, that I have developed a buffet of skills that has proven more valuable over time than any one thing I "do" for a living.

#168854 - 03/06/09 11:09 PM Re: job search strategies in deep recession? [Re: MartinFocazio]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
Tell everyone you know that you are looking. Many jobs are filled by word-of-mouth.

Give them an electronic copy of your well-scrubbed (i.e. at least spell-checked) resume so they can easily spread it around for you. Have friends look at your resume and give you an honest assessment.

A lot of jobs are advertised so apply online at company web pages and websites like monster.com But still look at the newspaper, too.

Get your resume registered with www.usajobs.gov and apply for positions there.

The Federal Government is ramping up. Great bennies and great job security if you can land a career slot. The federal hiring process can be tedious but it can be well worth it.

Even if no specific position is advertised, if there's a company that you admire and would love to work for then write a cover letter to the CEO that says why you'd love to join their team and how you can help them and enclose your resume. It's worked for friends of mine. Shows initiative.

#168881 - 03/07/09 12:18 PM Re: job search strategies in deep recession? [Re: benjammin]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Originally Posted By: benjammin

Be willing to travel long distances (intercontinental) for gainful employment.

Indeed, this was the on-ramp back to my gainful employment, as the only work in my field I could find was in Cyprus, a heck of a commute (I think it's like 8,000 miles). As much as I hated being away from my family, I liked the stack of money that resulted.

There's plenty of work for those willing to travel.

#168889 - 03/07/09 03:40 PM Re: job search strategies in deep recession? [Re: picard120]
Comanche7 Offline

Registered: 07/04/02
Posts: 435
Loc: Florida
My current job was successfully located via internet job search ten years ago. Below are lessons learned along with other observations made from searching for employment as well as being a hiring manager and interviewing many folks for jobs that I've had to fill. These are not in any particular order, just numbered for clarity & discussion as needed:

1. DON'T set the job search engine search parameters too tightly. Many employment websites have a function that you can set parameters on what you want to do.

Initially I had my parameters set very specifically to my work history, skill sets, abilities and interests. Not surprisingly (in 20/20 hindsight) I kept finding the same very limited results.

After opening the parameters on pay (i.e. from only showing jobs that pay between $x and $y, to eliminating that element by having it "show all pay scales") which is how I found my current employment (10+ years) which had been there all along, but due to the way it was worded in the advertisement, the pay level search function treated it as not being within my initial tight search parameters even though it actually was worth my while when I factored in the benefit package and other factors.

2. As others have said, roll up your sleeves and do what it takes. This is where Robert Heinlein was entirely correct in his statement that a human being should possess a wide ranging skill set. Even if some of those skills are not often used, you should be aware of how things work, how to do things and survive by being creative in your approach to problems.

Having been out of work while raising a family and paying mortgage, car loans and going to school etc. I've had to perform physical labor even though it was not what I wanted to do. This included lawn mowing, car repairs, helping people move, miscl. construction type work etc. There are times like other posters have mentioned that I went from scrubbing the grease out from my hands after doing a vehicle repair to putting on a suit and going to an interview, then back to working outside doing yard work.

Not my idea of fun, but when you have a family depending upon you, you do what you have to do...

3. Maintain you integrity! This cannot be stressed enough. No matter how hard things get, once you give up on this, you simply become one of the many faces looking for a handout.

If you tell someone you will do x work for $y then do it.

Years ago (when I was first starting a contracting business and had very few customers to start with) I had one particularly physically demanding, outside job that I was performing for a customer in the hot & humid Florida summertime which that took about several weeks to complete. This was while I was seeking customers and trying to get my business off the ground, and the work at his house was one of the first jobs that I could land. I took it even though it was well below the normal contractors charge just to generate a cash flow to make the mounting bills.

It was NOT a job what I really wanted to do, and it seemed to take forever to complete. There were several times that I was very close to just walking off the job due to the heat, humidity, mosquitos etc. Although the customer was nice and paid the agreed upon wage at the agreed upon timeframes, I was rapidly becoming discouraged at facing any more days doing that particular work. Gritting my teeth since it was a paying job, I held on and completed the job.

What I did not know at the time, was that this customer owned a large and successful law firm. When I completed the work at his house, I later got a call (totally out of the blue) from his secretary asking for me to come to the office (five story building in Miami) and do work there.

When I got there, my customer informed me that he had been so impressed with my attitude and integrity (his words) that he was interested in using me as a sole source vendor for my tradecraft (at slightly more that what I had been charging as a normal contractors rate and definitely much more that what I had charged him forthe work at his residence). From that point, I developed a lot of word of mouth customers which helped my business more than any paid advertising.

4. When something better comes along, be up front with your employer and tell them...don't keep them guessing or let them find out from someone else. Honesty pays and burning bridges behind you can cause much regret later on.

5. It is not something that most folks want to hear, but even now that I've been with one employer for a decade+, I still keep my resume up to date.

While I'm not in any fear of being laid off (not that it could not happen) and I am not proactively looking for another job, having your resume updated two or three times a year is really easy to do. It generally only takes about an hour to tweak it up and I am ready when approached by various folks that ask for it.

Most of the time, this has been from managers in other areas of my current employers organization. It never hurts to be prepared to entertain an employment offer when it is presented, even if you decide that it is not what you are interested in. You never know where your next contact may take you jobwise.

6. Keep taking some sort of educational training classes. There are many that are online and free. Look at things that are not in the immediate area of your current expertise in addition to those that will help increase your current work knowledge.

Maintain an updated record of the training classes that you take. I keep a three ring binder that holds the training certificates (placed in plastic sleeve pages) for all training that I take. When you apply for a specific job, you will have all your reference material at the ready. Most employers will ask you what kind of training or recurrency training you have. I know that when I interview people for jobs, I ask (and really want to know) what they do they do to keep themselves in the learning mode and to keep bettering themselves.

7. As others have stated, when looking for a job, tell everyone that you know that you are looking. Use the widest net you can when you are fishing for a new job.

8. Have the generic resume with contact information that IS CURRENT and please have someone else that is unfamiliar with you review your resume and critique it. It is amazing what another set of eyes can find that needs corrections on a document that you think is totally perfect. Been there, done that (on both sides of the resume).

9. When reviewing serious job offers, consider ALL the pros and cons.

Travel distance, time, tolls, traffic, work hours, type of work, working environment, benefits, insurance, vacation & sick leave policies, other work specific benefits, impact on your family, overall income impact on your finances etc.

Yes,I know that there are times when you will take anything, but WHEN you have a choice, take the time to make the best overall long term decision for your particular set of circumstances.

10. Set up an E-Mail account (or two) that you specifically use ONLY for job searches and employment.

>>Then make a point of monitoring them at least twice a day<< (as well as any other contact types, phone, skype or what have you) when they have been used in employment search engines and job resumes, postings etc. Few things are more frustrating for a hiring employer than to have found or interview promising applicants and then NOT being able to contact them in a timely manner. It also leads that hiring employer to have second thoughts about their initial favorable thoughts.

And please, don't use names like "dizzygirl", "martinidreamer", "motobeastmaster7" and the like when you create E-Mail address names for employment use. These may be really nice for your social networking, but when a potential employer sees things like that on a resume or job application, it is cause to wonder what the persons sense of values, work ethics,moral values and work related social skills are like.

11. Another thing to consider is the very real possibility that your prospective employer may well do some research and locate that YouTube video of you actively participating "in a really funny moment at the sorority party" or "frat kegger" (you know, "oh yeah, that one" ... wherein you were photographed doing the conga in a thong, while wearing a fruitbasket hat, smoking a cigar with one hand, holding a flaming alcoholic drink with the other hand and sashaying with a lampshade along with several of your other cohorts in various measures of disrobment and a poster is visible in the background indicating that the celebration is for some antisocial cause, and/or some other display that might not go well for an interview opportunity decision by a potential employer.

Please think carefully about the bigger longterm picture before posting or allowing others to post your image in a less than flatting manner. If there are things like this that you are aware of, you might want to consider removing them to the extent possible (yes, I know once on the net they lurk forever, but do what damage control you can anyway).


#168892 - 03/07/09 04:18 PM Re: job search strategies in deep recession? [Re: Comanche7]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 788
Loc: wellington, fl
Just got back into gainful health care employ after a 5 year experiment in entrepreneurship. Consider well the words of Martin F-expand your skill set into health-related areas. IME there has never been a long-term oversupply of entry-level health care workers-home care attendants, ER techs, patient care techs, aides, orderlies. The positions tend to be filled with a few lifers and a lot of folks in transition-pre med, nursing students, moonlighting paramedics and firefighters. The work can involve heavy-lifting, dealing with explosions of bodily secretions of various hues, and some...interesting...olfactory experiences (note: typically the foot with the maggots is cleaner and smells better than the foot without the maggots). Pay is not great, but the folks you work with tend to be nicer than average, and there is generally lotsa overtime available. Improves your first aid skills, gives you informal access to physicians and nurses. And there is Empire College, which lets you pursue a AAS in nursing through distance learning while working. Not a bad deal.
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

#168960 - 03/09/09 10:43 AM Re: job search strategies in deep recession? [Re: nursemike]
LoneWolf Offline

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 101

I currently work in an engineering discipline. We have had numerous RIF's over the past several years. Seniority appears to have no impact on whether you keep your job or not.

I have felt that the writing is on the wall for me for some time so I started looking into other career paths. I am very close (time now measured in weeks smile )to finishing up my nursing degree. It's something that I have thought about doing for years and now is the time. Let's face it, we are not outsourcing people who get sick to foreign lands for their health care. There will always be a demand for health care workers.

On another note .... if anyone is considering a move into the health care field, I STRONGLY recommend that you start NOW. When I first started, there was a two year waiting list to get into the clinical classes of my nursing program. That will at least give you time to get the pre-reqs out of the way.


#169070 - 03/10/09 08:25 PM Re: job search strategies in deep recession? [Re: LoneWolf]
CSG Offline

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 72
Loc: Idaho
Well, the first thing is don't call a moderate recession a depression.

Even in the 30's 75% of people who wanted to work were working.


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