Monday, December 1, 2008

Job Finding Secrets: Part II

Whoever tells you that there are no jobs out there has probably based their opinion on what they read in the press.

Sure the market is tough – real tough – and I’m pretty certain it’s going to get tougher. But with all the bad news about the unemployment numbers, I thought it interesting that an unusual number of people I’ve been working with had successfully landed jobs recently.

How is it that in this rapidly deteriorating job market, these people got jobs – really good jobs?

Personal career support is a difference maker

Thinking I might be on to something, I started looking for the common denominators among this group.

And what did I find? I found that except for falling under the category of “Executive” these people appeared to have little in common. Level, function, industry experience, age and most other variables were all over the place.

What they did have in common though, was that they all had personal career support. They worked closely with a career professional who advised them every step of the way.

A physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient

There’s real value in working with a professional. Someone who has the training and experience to help executives understand what they have to offer, determine what organizations need and would pay for those skills and develop a plan to make it happen.

Most people use a doctor to address their medical problems, a lawyer for their legal issues and a financial planner to help them manage their money. But when it comes to career advancement it’s amazing how many try to manage it alone.

That’s not a recipe for career success – especially not in these times.

Beware the charlatans

Helping others manage their career is not a skill that is easily mastered. And taking a two day training course to deliver a canned workshop on How to Get a Job is not a substitute for years of immersion in a field that is part science and part art form.

Advising people on the critical issues that impact their careers is becoming a hot job as the number of unemployed rise and fear spreads throughout the work force. Unfortunately, because career coaching is one of the few growth areas in this economy it is attracting more and more people looking to make a quick buck at the expense of others.

Real career pros are few and far between. And finding one, who is equipped to help, is not always the easiest task in the world. But, during times like these, it is definitely worth the effort.

So, the next time someone tells you there are no jobs out there, ask them how they know that and how long they have been doing career development work?

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