Congratulations! You’re now a full-time job seeker and if you happen to be among those affected by our current economic situation you’re not alone. According to the Globe and Mail it was estimated that over 63,000 jobs had been lost in Alberta alone in the first 8 months of 2015. While there was light growth in Alberta according to the GDP, our population continues to grow beyond that of available jobs. That being said there is no question that you are feeling a great deal of anxiety and as the number of days grow since the last time you collected a pay cheque – those feelings are only growing stronger. Competition is fierce and you need to find a way to get your resume to the top of the pile. While there is no quick fix to easing the pain, there are a few strategies that might help aid in the effort to stay positive and land the job that you want.
Whether you’ve been on the job search for the last few months or you’re just starting, take a step back and assess your situation beyond the obvious. Far too often I see job seekers making the critical mistake of rushing into the job search without really giving thought into the “who, what, where, why, and when?”
Who am I? Chances are you’re not exactly the same person you were when you last landed a job. Whether you were a 20 year employee or a new grad trying to find your way, this is your opportunity to take inventory and do some self-assessments. The internet is loaded with many free online assessments, take them with a grain of salt. If you’re not much of a computer person, visit your local Career Centre as they are typically well stocked with many paper copies and you can usually speak with a Career Advisor. Fill your soul! If you’re like me sometimes it’s hard to balance everything and we lose sight of what drives us. Perhaps it might mean a little self-discovery, re-igniting your passions or finding new ones.
Now that you’ve taken some time to rediscover yourself, what do you want to do? We live in a time where opportunities are endless and fortunately YOU are in the driver’s seat. In my line of work, we tend to be the last hope and by this time desperation has sunk in and we hear it all too often “I’ve applied to hundreds of jobs!”. It is critical that you map out a plan, do some career exploration and research your employment options. Find out what industries are growing and what occupations are high in demand. Know what you want to do and be able to say it with conviction. Once you have identified your desired occupations ask yourself “Do I have the right skills to stay competitive or is it time to go back to school to pursue the career I’ve always wanted?” (Yes, even at your age). A colleague of mine (not going to put him in the spot light, but you can read his blogs on our website as he continues his cosmic adventure) is currently pursuing his master’s degree and well he’s not exactly a young spring chicken. I certainly admire his enthusiasm and passion for lifelong learning. I’ve always said that recessions are the most opportune time to enhance your employability and you don’t have to follow in my colleagues footsteps and pursue a master’s degree. Sometimes something as simple as taking industry related classes to maintain your professional development or even upgrading your skills by taking a few computer classes can go a long way in maintaining a competitive advantage. It doesn’t hurt to think outside of the box.
If education is not a viable option, then make sure to do a targeted job search. If you’ve done the latter thoroughly enough this should be a piece of cake. A well done resume goes a long way and IS the difference between landing an interview and the never ending job search. If writing is not your forte consider outsourcing and utilize a Professional Resume Writer to do it for you. Don’t forget stay connected with industry contacts and continue networking. Going for dinner or get together with a group of friends? Let them know you are looking.
Where can you get more information? The ALIS website is maintained by the government of Alberta and is a one stop shop for all of your employment and training needs. The ALIS website includes the recently published economic forecast (that provides a good picture of growing industries and in demand occupations), occupational profiles, and up to date labour market information.
Why? Because your success depends on it. Maintaining a competitive advantage in a market like this is absolutely key. Staying positive and maintaining your mental health can also keep you ahead of the game.
Last but not least – When? NOW! As I said before whether you’re just starting your job search or been at it for a while, take some time to work on the things mentioned and don’t forget to re-evaluate, and if you need to make some adjustments – change it up. Your job search has now become your full-time job, happy hunting!