Job Search News: What’s Up

The economy seems to be getting better… at least, when I speak, the job clubs say they are having people not come back because they land.  I’m hearing this a lot, lately.  That’s great, right?

In other news, layoffs are still abundant. Yahoo just dumped 2,000 engineers into the Silicon Valley area (again). Sony dumped 10,000 people (not sure where they are, I’m guessing many of them are outside of the U.S), and the Detroit Public School system pink-slipped “at least 4,100teachers.

No one is safe from this.  Nowhere is safe.  No industry is safe.  What used to be safe (teacher, gov’t employee, etc.) is now fair game.

What does this mean for you?

Prepare on your own with the right skills and credentials.  In the olden days (a few years ago) that meant a good, solid education.

I think today it means something else (not necessarily replacing education).  Here are three things YOU can do to protect yourself, and try and get some sense of what we used to call “job security”:

  • Sales ability. When I got laid off my younger brother said to get a sales job for one to three years, just to get sales training and experience. I think this is brilliant advice.  We sell all the time, but we aren’t trained, and we aren’t fearless, and many times we do a bad job.  Whether you think you are a “salesperson” or not, start learning sales techniques and strategies.
  • Entrepreneurship. Decades ago you were a cog in a wheel.  You had a place, and depended on all the other cogs to do their job, and things would work.  You let higher-ups make the strategic decisions that would affect your livelihood and future spending capability.  TODAY it is different.  This year you might have multiple jobs, or multiple income streams.  That’s not bad. Personally, I think it’s empowering!  It’s awesome.  But we need to have that mindset change so we understand that we need to do our career more intentionally, rather than just “show up.”
  • Career Management. For me this means cultivating and nurturing your network and your brand.  No one else is going to do this.  It’s up to you to finally get serious about your relationships, and how you manage them long-term, as well as how others perceive you (aka, your brand).  Keep neglecting this and your degrees and experience will sit on the shelf getting dusty while you have long, painful job searches.

What have I been up to?

I’m cranking through my book 101 Alternatives to a Real Job.  I hope to have it done and shipping by July, when I head to the D.C. area for some presentations.  If it’s out in July, it will only be 7 months behind schedule :p

What have YOU been up to?

7 thoughts on “Job Search News: What’s Up”

  1. Here’s a great question to ask when they say at the end of interview, “Do you have any questions?”

    “Yes, I do. If/when I am in this position, what would I have to do to fail?”

    First, there will be dead silence because no one has ever asked them that before. Then a normal response goes something like this: “What a great question!”

    Then they proceed to tell you what “failure” looks like to them. You have just gotten an amazing road map to have some final thoughts/concerns to address at the end of the interview.

    In addition, when you get the job, you know for sure what would cause you to be in big trouble with your performance.

  2. Great idea, Kathy! I will have to remember that one.

    Jason, I really like the sales position opportunity/training and experience. Last summer I turned down a sales position. It was 100% commission (a big reason why) and I would have to spend some upfront money. But it was basically B2B sales. It might have been a good opportunity to at least give it a shot. I have a retail opportunity I am looking at – with a company that I know the owner, I am a current customer of this business and have been since they opened their doors 5-10 years ago. I think I would fit well. I just need to get an interview.

  3. Funny you ask, Jason. I’m up to two things:

    First, I’m revamping my business by offering social media auditing and social media marketing, creating a new dba name for it called Digital AH, and soft launching it here and there (and here). I’m telling my friends and colleagues about it so they can tell companies and send them my way. Visit for the brief rundown.

    Second, I’m seeking to supplement that income through a part-time job in the social media sphere. I had been looking for a full-time position and interviewed in various places; but now focusing on part-time (for approximately 20-30 hours a week).

    There are other things I’m up to on assorted boards and initiatives, but the above two are taking up the bulk of my April and going into May.

  4. @Kathy, I love it – thank you!

    @Norm, you are welcome… 🙂

    @Brad, the “spend some money upfront” is a red flag for me…

    @Ari, sounds fun, and sounds like some significant changes. I hope your business does well.

  5. @Jason- It was getting licensed to sell the product with the State(s). Probably about $300 in total. This company is best known for the duck. You should be able to figure out who it was from that.

    I seriously considered it. And if the company covered the costs for getting licensed might have taken it. I just didn’t have an extra $300+ lying around at the time.

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