Millions of Americans are looking for work and that means thousands of managers and executives like you are hunting for jobs. I was at an event for people out of work the other day and a woman told me she was attending workshops on career change and how to deal with recruiters “even though I know it’s futile.” Futile. Futility. She’s not alone. That’s how many job seekers feel in this melodramatic climate.
Let’s face it – we can’t blame them. Look at the headlines which scream about high profile layoffs every day. Consumer confidence is down, inventories are up, salaries are down, hiring freezes are up. The indicators that fuel the headlines are grim, grimmer and grimmest. However, no matter how it feels, job seeking is NOT futile.
Oh, it’s difficult. And the odds aren’t great. But there is ample evidence that jobs exist and companies will fill key positions. Even in banking, a category one would suspect of being truly futile, people are getting hired. Hell, even Lehman Brothers, an outfit that is unwinding into oblivion, announced this week that they are – yes – hiring! Mid-market financial firms, private equity companies and boutique banks are hiring. Despite the carnage on Wall Street, there are jobs.
Some other examples: I have a friend in media who jumped from an executive position at one prominent corporation to an even better (but similar) position at a rival company … in January! This happened during record-breaking joblessness and layoffs, no less. I have several other friends in media – a business that is now famously contracting – who have made moves recently under their corporate umbrella from one division to another. And this week I met with a client who told me about a handful of top executive positions that had been open now for over a year because they hadn’t identified proper candidates to fill those positions.
This is truly a case of the glass being half full. (Alright – it’s maybe only 15% full, but it ain’t empty!) Psychology is always important in any aspect of performance, and job-seeking is really just another activity where performance matters. If you think it’s futile, it is. If you know, in fact, that jobs exist and someone has to get hired for key positions – then, why can’t it be you? If you feel hopeless, then save yourself and recruiters the trouble and give up. If you want a job, know the facts and believe that you have value and can fit the bill when the right opportunity presents itself. Look, even in good times, you had to beat out the competition for good jobs. Today is no different. Be persistent. No, be relentless. And believe. If you do, you may succeed. If you don’t – I guarantee you that you’ll fail.