Survival is the Name of the Game

Everyone seems to know someone who is unemployed or just got laid off these days. While I don’t want you to give up on the dream of your dream job, a health dose of realism needs to set in right now. It’s all about survival in this market. It’s a buyer’s market. Employer can have their pickings today of talent out there as some of the most talented people (like you) are out of work today.

As we each see our bank accounts go down, the goal for job search in today’s market is about getting by and making money any way you can as well as realize that even if you took a lower level job now, it doesn’t mean anything about your ability in the long run. You are just being smart in finding something so you can stay financially solvent while waiting for the market to get better. It will get better!

Here are some survival tips.

  • Look for contracting job: while most employers have frozen headcount, many still have budget for contractors and need them to get the work done. Rework your resume to show you ability to work on projects independently and start reaching out to contracting agencies and your network.
  • Expect lower salaries or rates: I have seen rates for contractor get cut anywhere from 25%-50% in this market. Be realistic, always negotiate, but expect you will probably be paid much lower than average salary or contractor rate (average contractor rate is usually about 1.5 times your normal salary in a good market)
  • Be thankful and have perspective: if you got one reply on your resume, go after it. If you have one interview scheduled, give it your all. If you got a job at a lesser pay, be grateful. Even if the interviewer didn’t show up or your interview keep getting rescheduled, don’t take it personally. This is the nature of the market.
  • A job is better than no job : It’s time to broaden your search criteria, as there are very few job opening out there. Consider volunteering at a place so you can learn something that builds your skill sets. Everyone will look back at this period and understand if you had a gap in employment or shift in title. It’s better to have a good story about how you survived and learned something.

Good luck out there!  I am always in your corner

– Lei

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