Finding a Good Job in a Bad Economy

Former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, has predicted that the unemployment rate in the U.S. will soon reach ten percent. That’s a pretty grim prospect for all of us.

And, unemployment is not the only problem we face. Underemployment, already a problem, is also on the rise. There are no definitive statistics available, but the number of underemployed workers is thought to be a multiple of the unemployment numbers.

Both unemployment and underemployment are frightening prospects. How might we protect ourselves against them?

The following are ten suggestions.

1. If you suspect that your job may be in jeopardy, or if you believe you have hit the glass ceiling, begin searching for other opportunities without delay. But, be sure you “cover your tracks” so your current employer does not learn what you are doing.

2. Improve your educational credentials. Take online courses. Think about earning a certificate, certification or degree. The more letters you can put after your name, the better you will look to employers.

3. Network, network, and network some more. You can never have too many professional contacts.

4. Become an officer or an active worker in at least one professional society or organization. Even if you have to start at the bottom, it is worth the time and energy.

5. Be certain that you use a first class resume and cover letter. There is no room for error here.

6. Practice interviewing. Prepare answers to the questions you will most likely hear, and be especially ready to deal with tough questions.

7. There are thousands of articles like this, including many on common job seeker mistakes. Take a few hours to read them.

8. Register with appropriate job placement agencies (online and off-line).

9. Let all of your friends and family members know you are job hunting. It’s a bit like viral marketing.

10. Try to develop a skill that is valued but rare in the field in which you work. Be sure to include it in your cover letter and resume.

Job hunting can be a disheartening experience, even in a booming economy. These days, it is even tougher. But, as my father used to say, “it only takes one”.

Daniel Z. Kane is a veteran educator and webmaster who frequently writes about careers, online college options,

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