How the Job Market Really Works
Dr. Duff Watkins
If you’re unemployed the biggest problem you probably face is that you may not understand how the job market really works. In order to secure gainful employment, grasp these facts with head and heart:
First and foremost, find out what you want to do.
No consultant, prospective employer, recruiting firm or heavenly being can help you find work if you haven’t already defined clearly what skills you possess, what work you want, and in which market sector you wish to work. I claim that that over 90% of job applicants rule themselves out of the running by not devoting sufficient time and energy to simply deciding what they want to do. It’s a fact: if you don’t know where you’re going, you probably won’t get there.
There is a company seeking to hire you right now.
Trouble is, that company doesn’t know how to find you any more than you know how to find it. Since that company can’t hunt you down, you must look them up. You do this by doing the necessary homework, legwork and networking to locate the companies that require the skills you possess.
- Homework is researching the companies for which you wish to work
- Legwork is hitting the street, phoning up people, knocking on doors and continually narrowing your focus to companies that do the work you want to do
- Networking is constructing a web of contacts that can supply you with information.
Advertised jobs are like the tip of the iceberg.
Just as beneath the water line resides 90% of an iceberg, so too beneath the level of advertised recruitment resides 90% of available and upcoming job opportunities. Again, you locate these opportunities through homework, legwork and networking.
There are too many jobs available for you.
Even in a recession there are millions of jobs available. Your task is to narrow down the particular sector in which you wish to work rather than apply for every vacancy that’s advertised.
Not any job, but the right job.
Don’t panic and take the first —and usually wrong— job that is offered to you. Remember, your goal is to take a logical advancing step in your career rather than begin a string of dissatisfying stints of employment.
Find a speaking partner.
Job searching is tough, don’t go through it alone. Get support, advice, counsel, and help from another person be it a psychiatrist or a spouse.
How Much Work is Required?
Most people underestimate the amount of effort required to find a job. For example, I once counseled a man who was retrenched during a recession. He decided to change careers, then made 228 phone calls over a 5 week period, gained 56 interviews, and received 3 job offers, all of which paid more money than his previous position, and none of which were advertised vacancies. That’s a lot of work. But it paid off. He took the best offer and has progressed since then.
You will too when you understand how the job market really works.