Why You Must Have a “Take Charge” Attitude in Your Job Search

It may be true that the meek shall inherit the Earth, but most assuredly not the best jobs. In today’s job market only the strong thrive, much less survive. In previous generations, a good education or perhaps the right connections was all you needed to land a great job. That just won’t cut in the current career culture. If you think that a wink and a smile and a firm handshake will secure you your dream job, you are in for a major surprise. Don’t assume that driving ambition and a killer resumé will take you take to the promised land. You’ve got to get behind the steering wheel, put the engine of your job search into high gear and navigate the curves and turns that make up the road of the 21st century job market.
Even though unemployment in the United States is at the highest rate in decades, in many sectors there are more high-salaried career openings than at any time in the nation’s annals. While it is true that thousands of positions are being eliminated in areas such as retail and manufacturing, changes are occurring constantly in the workforce, resulting in many more job openings in other parts of the economy. It doesn’t matter if you’ve only just finished high school or received your Bachelors or even if you’re a seasoned administrator. An enormous variety of employers are looking for the right people who are willing to put in the hard work necessary to find them. Don’t let this exciting time pass you by!

Passivity is simply passé in this job market! The faint-of-heart need not apply. This decade has lead to a major sea change in the workforce, with many contributing factors, such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the mortgage industry implosion. With so many people looking for work, employers have altered their needs from job seekers, tightening and narrowing their expectations and desires. Challenging as this sounds, you can succeed in this market if you are willing to use some innovative strategies.

Before you even start applying for jobs, you need to take very careful stock of your resumé. The resumé or curriculum vitae of yesteryear just won’t cut it today’s marketplace. Simply reiterating your past experience and skills won’t garner much notice, since you have on average only a few seconds to grab a potential attention with your resumé. Tailor the document individually to the position, using assertive, affirmative wording; in other words, sell yourself. Do this properly and you’re certain to get more interviews.

When called in for an interview, you need to be assertive. Confidence must be gushing from your pores. A mousy attitude will kill your chances of securing a job. You have to be able to illustrate why you are perfect for this position, show what you can bring to the table. Whatever you do, you can not focus on your past work history and achievements. Your potential new boss only wants to look forward, not backward. Also, be prepared to have a curveball or two thrown in your direction during the interview. The person conducting the session is certain to want to gauge how you deal with adversity and problem-solving. Navigate these landmines correctly and your chances of getting the job will increase dramatically.

After the interview, don’t be timid about following up. If you have an aversion to using the phone in this instance, then you’ve just blown your opportunity. You must show your earnestness and eagerness for the position you are seeking. Otherwise, the job will likely go to a more aggressive pursuer.

If all your hard work pays off and you are offered a job, don’t think your work is done. Now is the time for hardball negotiations. It is amazing how many job seekers grab at the first offer presented to them without realizing they have the power to bargain for better pay and benefits. Your new boss will be expecting you to haggle some over these issues and others, such as job requirements. Standing up for yourself will only raise your profile in the eyes of your new employer.

Follow all this advice and you will come out on top in your job search. In the breakneck speed marketplace of today’s Information Age, you have to put on your best running shoes to keep up. Fail and you’ll fall far off thepace. With due diligence, you can be the first to reach the finish line and hold up the trophy of a new job.

*News, Jobless Rate Soars To 6.1%, CNNMoney.com

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