Have you lost your job after many years with the same company? Has it been more than 10 years since
you last did a job search? Do you know how to navigate a job search in this market? Are you a non-
millennial? If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, you need to keep reading.
According to a recent study “Workforce 2020” by Oxford Economics
there are some major shifts happening in the
labor market including the increasing number of intermittent/seasonal, contingent or consultant
employees, difficulty recruiting employees with base-level skills – companies and employees are
unprepared for the growing need for technology skills, and the globalization of the labor supply.
Here are a few interesting facts from the Workforce 2020 study:
- 82% of Canadian companies say they are increasingly using contingent, intermittent/seasonal,
contingent or consultant employees
- 60% of Canadian executives say that when a senior person leaves, the company tends to fill the
role from within the organization
- 30% of employees are most concerned about their position changing or becoming obsolete
So, if you have recently lost your job, are returning to work after a period of absence or are thinking of
changing jobs or careers, consider some of these strategies to help you secure your next career
1. Take Personal Inventory – Your passions and experiences may have changed considerably since
you last did a job search. Start with listing your greatest accomplishments to date. Pull out the
most current resume you have as you will need to decide what you will change, add or delete.
Identify any new skills, strengths, training/certifications, that you may have acquired since your
last search. Also, identify what you are not good at, or any development areas you need to work
on or address in an interview. Take the time to really understand yourself, your strengths, skills
and be discerning about what makes it onto your resume. Your resume needs to paint a picture
of who you are.
2. Know What You Want – Start with a review of what’s most important to you – is it flexibility? Or
is it a base salary of x? or is it something else? It’s important that you know the difference
between what is negotiable for you and what isn’t. Sometimes, you need to take a step back in
your career for what could be a potentially ideal role for you. Holding out for a 6-figure job just
because that’s what you were earning before might result in you missing an opportunity to walk
to work or have the flexibility to work from home 2-3 days per week. A recent client of mine left
a permanent role to take a maternity leave contract role at another company at 33% higher
salary (because income was important to her at the time). It worked out for her. After being on
contract for over a year, she was offered a permanent position and another salary increase.
3. Do a Reality Check – By now, you may have decided that you really need that 6-figure income
and a permanent job in your preferred industry. But guess what? While that may be your
desired outcome, that may not be realistic or even available to you right now. You need to do
some homework and that means getting out and talking to people. Perhaps checking in with a
coach, a recruiter or two, or with people who work in the industry. The more research you do,
the better prepared you will be to understand what’s available to you now, how to best sell
yourself, and land your ideal role.
4. Develop a Plan – Doing the above 3 steps really is just the beginning. You next need a plan for
how you will go about your job search. How will you source potential jobs? If you are relying on
online recruitment websites alone, you’ll miss out on a lot of job prospects as 4 out of 5 jobs are
still found through networking connections. How and when will you reach out, follow up,
prepare for interviews, prepare for networking meetings? Looking for a full-time job, IS a full-
time job and you should approach it as such. Working with a recent client, I shared that he could
expect to apply to about 100 jobs (he applied to 87), meet with at least 2 dozen people in
person or over the phone, to land a handful of interviews, with perhaps 1-2 second interviews
which would land him a job at his level. He did land the perfect role for him, and he did have to
make some concessions.
5. Take Action – There are many, many actions to take. In the job search process (and it is a
process), the order and sequence are important. As is tracking your daily, weekly and monthly
activity, whether that is who you have reached out and connected with, or which jobs you have
applied to, or who you are now following up with. This is no time to procrastinate.
Whether you are an old pro at job search or a newbie in this changing workplace environment,
sometimes you need a little help. You may need some motivation from time to time (or a kick in the
pants support), you may need help developing your plan, or you may need an accountability partner to
help you stay focused on your goal. Regardless of your job search needs, a career coach can assist.