The Job Market Version of Catch 22

The Job Market Version of Catch 22

The Job Market Version of Catch 22

Billions of words have been written about job search tools and tactics in this job market of our discontent. Job board dos and don’ts. Twitter. Facebook. Building a personal brand. Improving your “findability.” It’s all good advice, but none of it will work if your career is sick. To put it in another and admittedly blunter way, don’t bother looking for a job if you have a wimpy career.

You see, that’s what’s different about today’s job market. Come as you are has been replaced by come as you need to be. The good old days of searching for employment with stand pat qualifications are gone. If you’re out of work, your career needs resuscitation.

It doesn’t matter that you got superior ratings on performance appraisals in your last job. It makes no difference that you have a track record of being loyal, dependable, and hard working. And, it is totally irrelevant that your employer went out of business, was acquired or for whatever other reason was the cause of your unemployment.

The plain, hard truth is that employers view people in transition as damaged goods. It’s not fair. It’s certainly not true. And it stinks. But it is reality. You won’t find many recruiters who will admit it. And in most cases, they work hard to avoid the appearance of such a bias. But deep down inside, it’s there. An everyday event confirms it: when presented with a choice between two equally qualified candidates, one employed and the other not, the offer will almost always go to the person who already has a job. It’s the job market version of Catch 22.

So, what can you do?

Reinvent yourself. It doesn’t matter how well educated, trained or senior you are in your field, change your image in the job market.

How? By fixing your career. By building up its strength, its fitness. There are many techniques involved in doing that, but perhaps the most important is pumping up its cardiovascular health. The heart of your career is your professional expertise, so go back to school. Right now. Even as you are looking for a job.

Build Career Fitness

Revitalizing your career in the middle of a job search involves two important steps:

  • Step 1: Begin acquiring a new skill or refreshing one you already have. You might, for example, take a course in a second language at a local community college or attend a new certification program offered by your professional or trade association. You can choose almost any topic just as long as it will clearly and meaningfully enhance your ability to contribute on-the-job.
  • and

  • Step 2: Add the fact that you’re back in school to your resume. Note it in the Summary at the beginning of that document and, in its Education section, provide the name of the course you’re taking, the institution or organization that’s offering it, the formal outcome if there will be one (e.g., the certificate or degree you will earn) and the term “On-going.
  • Those two simple steps will instantaneously transform you into a new person. First, they will enhance your skill set, making you a potentially more valuable employee. Second, taking a course of instruction or training program even as you are searching for a job demonstrates attributes all employers want but find it hard to identify in a candidate: resolve, fortitude, and determination.

    Most importantly, this course of action will set you apart from other candidates by demonstrating that you have two very special attributes: you understand that in today’s rapidly evolving world of work, staying competent in your field is an ever-moving target AND you take personal responsibility for keeping yourself at the state-of-the-art. You recognize the responsibility and accept it.

    Become that person, make that transformation, and the playing field will level. You may be in transition, but you will no longer be at a disadvantage when compared to employed candidates. You will have reinvented yourself as a career activist, a person who is committed to continuous self-improvement no matter how senior or experienced they may be. An individual who has the right stuff-the skills and the attributes to be a champion at work.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    Visit me at CareerFitness.com

    P.S. Please tell your friends and colleagues about WEDDLE’s Newsletter. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and so will we.

    A Special Notice for Career Counselors & Coaches

    Are you looking for a unique and compelling way to differentiate your practice?

    Would you like to be able to attract a broader array of clients?

    Well, now there’s a way for you to accomplish both of those goals. How? With WEDDLE’s certification program in Career Fitness. Based on Peter Weddle’s new book, Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, it uses the metaphor of physical fitness to introduce both the principles of successful career self-management in the 21st Century and a one-of-a-kind regimen of daily, weekly and monthly activities to put those principles to work in individual careers. There’s no other system like it, and the Career Fitness Pro certification enables you to offer it to your clients.

    For more information, email Peter Weddle at peter@weddles.com or call him at 203.964.1888. This program is open only to experienced career counselors and coaches.

    Our Featured Books

    The Best Guides to the Best Job Boards Period

    Get these job search bestsellers today:

  • WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This Gold Standard of guides to the Web’s 100,000+ job boards and career portals has been completely updated so you can find the best sites for you and your career.

    This edition of the Guide, our 9th, introduces an entirely new format: The Top 100, our pick of the most effective job boards and career portals on the Web, and the Best & the Rest, a directory of over 10,000 sites organized by career field, industry and geographic focus. There’s no better way to know which way to go on the Web!

  • WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Association Web Sites. Employers often post their best jobs at the Web-sites of local, state, regional or national professional associations. This Guide enables you to determine which of those associations have the job search resources you need to connect with those employers.

    The Association Guide lists over 3,000 associations by the career field, industry or location in which they specialize and indicates whether they have a job database, a resume database and/or a discussion area for professional networking. It is the only book of its kind in print and the only way to find the “hidden job market” on the Web!

  • How can you get these amazing resources? Click here to reach our online bookstore or call 203.964.1888 to order your copies of these truly unique job search guides.

    And don’t forget to share. Get the Guides for your spouse or partner, your sons and daughters, even your working mother or father. These books will help them find their dream job, as well. So, don’t delay; get your WEDDLE’s Guides today!

    To Find the Right Job, Find the Real You First

    If you’re searching for more meaning in your career, if you want the time you spend on-the-job to be more fulfilling and rewarding for you, then read Peter Weddle’s new book Recognizing Richard Rabbit. It’s a gentle way to figure out your dreams.

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for adults from 22 to 62 and older. In the genre of Who Moved My Cheese?, it opens the door to genuine self exploration. It is a story about finding the secret to authentic living. To being your own true self.

    How does Recognizing Richard Rabbit do that? Unlike traditional fables, this tale unfolds in two synchronized parts: one in fiction-the fable, the other in nonfiction-a parallel self-interview. In essence, you are invited to tap both the creative and the analytic sides of your brain-to probe the whole of your inherent talent-so you can find the pathway to the person you were meant to be.

    Why is that so important? Because whether you are a mid-career professional or a first time job seeker, whether you are a senior executive or a skilled tradesperson, whether you are actively looking for a job or just keeping your options open, the key to success is a sure understanding of who you are and what you stand for.

    So, make sure you know the authentic You. Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 203.964.1888 or click here. Don’t delay. Get Recognizing Richard Rabbit right away.

    Your Own Personal GPS to the Best Job Boards for You

    WEDDLE’s publishes the perfect job search tool for hard times-an inexpensive, quick and easy-to-use series of guides to the best job boards and career portals online in specific career fields and employment situations. Think of them as the CliffsNotes to career success on the Internet.

    Called WEDDLE’s WIZNotes-Fast Facts on Job Boards, each book includes compact, but complete profiles of the key sites that specialize in a specific profession or level of employment. There are WIZNotes for:

  • Sales & Marketing professionals,
  • Finance & Accounting professionals,
  • Engineers,
  • Human Resource professionals,
  • Scientists
  • Women Professionals
  • Managers & Executives,
  • and

  • Recent Graduates.
  • Plus

  • Finding a Job on the Web
  • Writing a Great Resume
  • All you have to do is select the WIZNotes that’s right for you. Each volume has exactly the information you need to find the right job boards and career portals for you. And best of all, at $12.95 each, WEDDLE’s WIZNotes are a bargain to boot!

    So, get one for yourself and one for your spouse or partner, son or daughter, friend or colleague or boss. They’re helpful to any and everyone regardless of their years of experience.

    To order your WIZNotes, call WEDDLE’s at 203.964.1888 or click here. Order today!

    Our Featured Job Board

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet.

    There are 50,000 job boards now in operation in North America and an equal number operating elsewhere around the world. The key to a successful online job search, therefore, is knowing where to find and how to select the best sites for your specific employment objective. WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide profiles The Top 100 employment sites on the Web today and provides The Best & the Rest, a listing of over 10,000 such sites worldwide. It’s all of the information you need to determine which job boards will deliver the best opportunities for you. For example:

    BrokerHunter.com

    http://www.brokerhunter.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes-All

    Distribution of jobs: International

    Number of jobs: 2,400

    Salary levels of jobs: Up to $251K+/yr

    Offer a job agent: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    How long are resumes stored: Indefinitely

    Restrictions on who can post: Those registered

    Other services for job seekers: Discussion forum, Career information, Links to other sites with career information

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes

    A Special Notice for Career Counselors & Coaches

    Are you looking for a unique and compelling way to differentiate your practice?

    Would you like to be able to attract a broader array of clients?

    Well, now there’s a way for you to accomplish both of those goals. How? With WEDDLE’s certification program in Career Fitness. Based on Peter Weddle’s new book, Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, it uses the metaphor of physical fitness to introduce both the principles of successful career self-management in the 21st Century and a one-of-a-kind regimen of daily, weekly and monthly activities to put those principles to work in individual careers. There’s no other system like it, and the Career Fitness Pro certification enables you to offer it to your clients.

    For more information, email Peter Weddle at peter@weddles.com or call him at 203.964.1888. This program is open only to experienced career counselors and coaches.