I am so excited! This year – 2019 – is set to be a record year for job searching. If I could knock on the door of every reader to personally deliver this message, I would. This message deserves to be yelled from rooftops everywhere. If you have ever thought of looking for a new job, now is the time to do it. Right now. Not in six months. Not next year. Now.
Andrew Chamberlain, the Chief Economist from Glassdoor summed it up best when he shared that, “this is the best job market we have seen in an entire generation.” This is the time to negotiate for more money. It’s the time to ask for better benefits. And, it’s the time to wait to find a job that fits your life.
I could not agree more! We haven’t seen a job market like this since before I graduated from college. For years, the market has been dicey. But now, the unemployment rate is incredibly low, and there’s a shortage for skills in cities across the country.
When the market first turned in favor of the job seeker, it was hard to feel the benefits. Hiring managers were still being overly specific in job postings. They were still highly critical of candidates. But, it seems this trend is changing. Hiring managers have had unfilled job postings open for months. They’ve been burned by candidates who “ghost” them by not showing up to work on the first day. They’re starting to wake up to the reality that the job seeker is in the driver’s seat once again.
But, don’t delay. Don’t take this moment for granted. There is a reasonable chance that a recession could be around the next corner. Any economic slowdown will certainly change the dynamics of today’s great job market. Chamberlain predicts that the odds of a recession are 15 percent in 2019, and 35 percent in 2020.
And, this prediction makes sense. Big companies are already starting to feel the economic slowdown. For example, FedEx announced in December that they will offer an employee buyout program. Eligible employees will receive four weeks of pay for every year of service, up to two-years of pay. This move is expected to save the Memphis-based logistics company over $200 million in 2020.
If you’re as excited as I am, don’t wait. Start by revising your resume today. Then, update your LinkedIn profile and begin monitoring the site (and Indeed.com and Glassdoor) for the latest jobs – daily. Research your current market value. If you’ve been stuck in one company for years, you may be surprised to know that your value has gone up quite a bit since the last time that you looked. And, luckily, fewer companies are asking your current salary. Instead, they’re asking how much you want to make in the future.
Take advantage of the special moment in time, and create a new future for yourself.
Happy 2019! I think we can all agree that 2018 was a tricky year. But, it’s time to start fresh. It’s time to refocus on an awesome New Year’s resolution: finding a new job. And, it’s the perfect time. Unemployment is at a record low. Jobs are being added. For the first time in a long time, it’s a job seeker’s market.
So, let’s get to it. The first place to start is your resume and cover letter. These will be crucial to your job search success. Combine all of your accomplishments into a one or two page document. Go through the details carefully. Review it many times and ask friends to proofread. Then, move on to your LinkedIn profile.
Once you have your materials together, it’s time to run with your search. First and foremost, you have to get into the right mindset. Job searching is a numbers game. You’ve got to start with volume. Set a goal and stick to it. A great goal to start with is ten job applications per week.
You’re not going to hear back from every one. In fact, you may only hear back from ten percent (or less). You must prepare yourself for this and be determined to keep going, even when it seems that you’re getting nowhere. Trust that the process takes time. If you keep putting in an effort, it’s going to come back to you. Keep going.
To increase your chances of hearing back, don’t just apply online. Apply online. Then, email the hiring manager. This person is the one who will be your future boss. They aren’t typically all that hard to find. You can search on LinkedIn for the company you want to work for. Then, you can look through the employees who work there. You can even sort by location and title. Once you’ve located your future boss, send them a copy of your cover letter and your resume.
Just remember, you won’t hear back from them every time either. Don’t take it personal. Just keep applying. Apply like it’s your job. Focus on the positive wins. Be happy every time you get an interview, rather than focusing on every time you get a rejection email. You have no idea why you’ve been rejected. It’s possible nobody was hired. It’s possible they had an inside candidate who was preselected. Don’t focus on this. Keep moving.
Applying for jobs is an imperfect process. It’s like trying to win a bear at a carnival. The game could be rigged. There could be outside factors impacting you that you don’t know about. Keep playing and shooting and hoping for the bear. But, if you don’t win, don’t let it ruin the experience.
And, don’t take it personally. The job search is an imperfect process that doesn’t necessarily reflect on your abilities. Get going on your search, so we can start 2019 off strong!
Finding a work-from-home (or remote job) can seem to be an impossible proposition. It’s like finding a unicorn. You’ve heard they exist, but you’ve never actually seen one.
Many people ask about finding jobs you can do from home. Whether you have children, would like freedom to relocate, or just prefer peace and quiet, working from home sounds ideal.
Many companies that create virtual positions or departments often do so for financial reasons. It may be cheaper to allow employees to work remotely. If a job requires travel, it might not make sense to force the employee to live in the same city as the corporation. In other cases, allowing a remote assignment increases the chances a company will have access to the best employees.
The Survey of Income and Program Participation reported a 45 percent increase in employees working from home at least one day per week between 1997 and 2010. It appears that a large portion of those people are self-employed. If you want to work from home but don’t want to start your own business, where should you begin?
The first thing to remember is to proceed with caution. There are a startling number of remote jobs available online that are, simply put, scams. And, unfortunately, a number of legitimate remote opportunities are not listed as such online. Often, it’s not until you’re in the interview that you learn the hiring manager is open to you working from home.
The types of jobs where remote working is possible are often technology-dependent. Their heavy reliance on computers and the internet are what makes working from anywhere possible. The types of jobs you may find are web developer, virtual assistant and technology support. In order to see what’s out there, search Indeed.com for “work from home” or “remote” rather than by city name.
After you’ve found what appears to be a great opportunity, take the time to do your research. In fact, research it more than you would an in person role. Get all of your questions answered. A work-from-home job has the potential (at least initially) to go awry more quickly than when you work from an office. You aren’t able to form the same bonds as quickly when you aren’t together in person.
Here are a few questions to consider. Why is the role remote? Will you be the only remote person, or is the entire team working from home? What technology (such as a laptop, cellphone and Internet) does the company provide, and what are you expected to provide? It’s also important to meet other team members. Are they committed to their work, or are they using the work-from-home option as an excuse? Do the current employees feel the work remote environment is working for the company?
In the end, finding the perfect work-from-home job is a lot of work, so be sure the one you select is worth your time.
As we enter approach the New Year, there’s a lot of talk about setting goals. They may be related to career, family, fitness or other personal pursuits. It’s interesting to think about which goals will be achieved and which will eventually be shelved.
Is success always related to the particular goal – or to the person achieving it? And what sets the achievers apart from everyone else?
My belief is that almost always, the achievers possess something a little different than others. It’s not a MBA, money or good looks (although those don’t hurt). In fact, it’s cheaper and easier to come by.
The characteristic that sets them apart is they are able to live their lives without fear. It’s not that they don’t have concerns. It’s not that failure doesn’t cross their minds, or that they don’t worry. But, they are able to try new things without letting their fears stop them.
On a number of occasions, I’ve witnessed people who never finished college land a professional-level job faster than their degreed peers. On paper, they may have appeared to be less qualified. But, in reality, they had a lot to offer and they were willing to put themselves out there. I’m certain that in some of these situations, the fact that they had little to lose and everything to gain came into play.
But, I suspect this ability to let go of fear isn’t a one-time occurrence. It’s not something the person is able to do for just the most important things – or in the moment when everything is on the line. It’s the way they live their life every day. They’ve turned living without fear into a habit they practice every day. So when it does count, they’re ready.
Thomas Edison once said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” For all of his inventions, he must have failed on an everyday basis to lead him to the innovations that still influence the way we live today. Yet, he still kept going.
In 2004, I quit my corporate job and moved cross country for graduate school. Not only did I not know anyone in Los Angeles, but I paid for my own education and living expenses for the time I was there. Looking back, I often wonder how I was able to conquer that kind of fear and whether or not I could do it again today.
In the end, I often ask myself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” And, if I can’t come up with anything other than embarrassment or a little lost time, I try. Worst-case scenario, even when I fail, I learn something new. And that new thing helps me to either try again successfully or to set another goal to try – without fear.
I hope your New Year is filled with new goals, new experiences, and a little learning along the way.
It’s party time! Chances are, you may have a holiday party coming up for work or with friends that you just can’t avoid. Whatever the occasion, these parties can be draining. This is especially true for those of us who are introverts, or who have other commitments. It can feel like there’s just no room for another to do on the list.
But, if you’re planning to be on the job market next year, holiday parties can truly be the perfect place to kick off your search. Where else will you find such a large group of warm, friendly people in one room together? They’re typically friends you haven’t seen in a while, who genuinely want to know how you’re doing and what you’re up to. And, they’re often looking to reconnect again outside of the event.
Holiday parties are also often very cost effective as they are typically free and at the most, may only require a small host gift or a bottle of wine.
The best part is, you don’t have to wear a suit. And you don’t usually need to deliver your elevator pitch from scratch. You’ll know most people, or a friend will likely introduce you. Conversations will be easier, more interesting, and less forced than a typical networking event.
To truly make the most of your holiday parties this year, plan ahead. Try to get enough rest in advance and be ready to share the latest news in your life. Share personal updates, including changes in your family, your home, or your work. But, do your best to keep your news positive. Holiday parties are meant to be a festive occasion and should focus on the good things going on in your life.
If forced conversations feel difficult, think of a list of questions in advance. Ask how their family is doing. Ask if the friend has any plans to travel or take a vacation soon. Ask about common hobbies and interests.
Remember to bring business cards – and to exchange them with other guests when (and if) it seems appropriate. This will help you to stay in touch with new friends and update your contact information for old ones. If you’re not currently working, a simple card will do. Include your name, phone number, and email address.
After the event, make a point to follow up with the folks you want to stay in touch with. Invite them to your next party. Ask them to have lunch or coffee. And, be sure to connect on LinkedIn.
These small interactions build your friendships and grow your network. When the New Year comes, you’ll be more prepared to put your best foot forward. And, if you do ask a friend for help with a job application, it won’t be the first time they’ve seen you in a while. Build your network of friends when you’re not asking for help with a job.