How Can You Make the Best of a Dim Job Market?Aug 03, 2012
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported nonfarm payroll employment rose by 163,000 in July – but the headline unemployment rate was essentially unchanged. The U-6 number is still stuck near 15% and the job market remains weak. (See chart below)
Work has served the purpose of our existence from the beginning of time, yet satisfactory employment in our modern world has become more difficult to find. According to the BLS, 12.7 million people were unemployed in the United States in July.
Despite job market’s challenges, there are a number of resources available to job seekers who wish to improve their financial position and their standard of living. Here are a few useful strategies and techniques for today's job seekers:
Get organized: If everything has its place and every hour is scheduled for productivity, you are certain to get things accomplished. Have your objective set firmly in your mind as you plan your daily and weekly routine. Set specific and reachable goals each day and do whatever it takes to accomplish them.
Make a good impression: You never get a second chance at a first impression, so think and behave like the person that you would want to hire if the situation were reversed. If you build a good reputation in your community through networking, you will be more likely to get hired when a job opens up. In his book How To Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie spoke of the best way to make a good impression. He said that Charles Schwab once told him “his smile had been worth a million dollars.” A smile is more powerful than most of us recognize, so use it to make a good first impression.
Nail the interview: Most of us have had the privilege of surviving a job interview and attaining a job, but it never hurts to take a quick glance at some well-known interview techniques to help us polish up our skills. First, be sure to arrive on time and be well prepared. Research the company so that you have an understanding of the company’s needs and emphasize how you can fulfill them. Second, dress in professional interview attire. Show enthusiasm for the position, listen attentively to the interviewer and answer the questions that are asked of you. Lastly, don’t hesitate to follow up with the interviewer to remind them of your interest and availability.
Think positive: In his series of personal writings on self- improvement, Marcus Aurelius, the great philosopher who once ruled the Roman Emperor coined the immortal phrase, “Our life is what our thoughts make it.” It may sound a little cliché, but the fact is simple: positive thoughts lead to positive actions.
Take advantage of resources: Job search websites and temporary work agencies provide access to job openings in your area. Social networking sites allow you to cultivate relationships with business contacts and promote your resume to the public. Career centers provide assistance with resume building, interview techniques, success courses and job placement. There are always possibilities for growth if you take advantage of the services provided within your community.
Tips for those who are employed:
Keep your job: Once you have found employment, you must work hard to keep it. That includes upholding your end of the contract by contributing your abilities to the benefit of the company. Being positive and working well with your team will prove to be invaluable now. Being organized, ethical and resourceful will also contribute to your job security. All of the qualities you worked to acquire in the job-hunting process will be utilized throughout your employment. An entrepreneur will also have many possibilities open up if he exercises these same qualities while building his business.
Set a budget: You have a job and you have a paycheck. To make sure that you get the most out of your hard-earned money, make sure that you create a budget plan that will accommodate your wants and needs. Keep organized monthly statements that record all of your income. Create a list of monthly expenses where you record your exact amount of spending each month. Be realistic and make adjustments where needed. Always live within your means and try to avoid falling into debt.
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