We could be headed into a recession. Are you prepared? Do you know how to find and win a job in a smaller, more competitive job market?
Here are six winning resolutions to maximize your chances of scoring a secure paycheck in 2008:
1) Get in the game:
If you're serious about finding employment, become proactive. Stretch yourself, get out of your comfort zone and aggressively search beyond the listed jobs you find on the Internet. This requires a game plan and the expectation that you're going to win this game. Decide to excel and achieve at your job search.
Do something every day to further your search. Positive action diminishes anxiety and other negative feelings. This goes beyond survival of the fittest. For anyone who wants to succeed, it requires an iron will and determination. You will not be defeated by this job search process. You will prevail and you will outlast this challenge. Remind yourself of that.
2) Lose the neediness:
Take the words "desperate" and "defeat" out of your vocabulary. Employers can sense neediness and they won't hire you. If you present yourself with a sense of desperation, you're bringing your anxiety and fears to the table. Rather, focus on what you can do for an employer. Don't focus on your needs. Instead, focus on what the employer needs, and this leads us to resolution No. 3.
3) Think ROI:
Employers don't hire people to be liabilities on their balance sheets. They hire people to be assets (to provide a "return on investment," or ROI) and to solve a problem. To do this, demonstrate clear benefits that you offer them.
Take a look at your skills, experience, abilities and talents. Determine how you can best help the employer either
make money or save money. Turn your skills and talents into benefits that an employer understands and appreciates. Pull out examples from your past work experience. Ask yourself, "How did my work save time or money, make money or otherwise improve the overall situation for my employer?"
Education and skills, while valuable, do not translate into benefits. What can you do for this employer that your competitors can't? You have a unique set of skills, experiences and talents. Turn them into a "unique selling proposition" for the employer.
4) Widen your network
In the past, it was easier to find work by responding to ads found in the newspaper or on the Internet. That was before the bar was raised. Now it's foolhardy to limit yourself to ads on the Internet and expect success. Aggressively seek out those 80 percent of jobs that are not advertised.
Start widening your network both in person and online. Begin by making some new contacts each week through local events or related professional meetings. Online, you can add your bio to LinkedIn, Spoke and even MySpace, for starters. Don't forget family, friends and neighbors who might know someone. Job searching is tough enough. Don't isolate yourself behind a computer screen.
5) Be persistent
Nothing worth having is ever easy to achieve. There is a lot of rejection in job search. Sometimes it seems as if you'll never get a "yes." Remember what good sales people already know: That winning a sale, a job, or any other goal is a numbers game. Commission sales people will tell you that every "no" is one step closer to a "yes." When you can see your process from a more objective viewpoint, knowing that you're one more rejection closer to a "yes," you'll be less inclined to take the "no's" personally, and less likely to get discouraged.
6) Inoculate yourself against negative messages
Succeeding at a job search is a mental process, and negative input from anywhere can poison your outlook and encourage fear, discouragement, anxiety and other negative emotions. Associate with positive people and protect yourself from all types of negativity. A job search can be a big undertaking. You need all of the assets and advantages that you can possibly bring to the party. You can't afford to be exposed to the negativity of others. This includes friends, relatives and negativity from newspapers, magazines and TV. Read books and articles that motivate, encourage and inspire you. Avoid anything and anyone that doesn't fall into this category.
The job search market will only get tougher and more competitive in 2008. Get an early edge by implementing these six resolutions now to catapult your job search into the fast lane in a tightening job market.
As a recruiter, Joe Turner has spent the past 15 years finding and placing top candidates in some of the best jobs of their careers. Author of Job Search Secrets Unlocked, Joe has interviewed on radio talk shows and offers free insider job search secrets at: www.jobchangesecrets.com.