Heart of the Matter

Andy Chan's Blog for Parents, Mentors and Teachers

Why look now

Job Seeker: The market seems really bad. Everyone I talk to says that companies are not hiring. I was wondering if I should even be trying to look for a job. I mean, why should I look now if no one is hiring?

Andy: Although it may seem like no one is hiring, some actually are (see my post: We’re Not Hiring). Take a look at some online job boards and you’ll see many job openings. (BTW, don’t be intimidated by the job description. Many companies write up descriptions for the “perfect” candidate and often never get any “perfect” candidates to apply. You could be the best of the rest. But you have to apply.)

Also, the terms “job search” (or “job hunt” which is even more appropo today) means that you’re searching, or hunting, for a job. This means that you’ are proactively looking for, or aggressively pursuing, opportunities, not just going on job interviews with companies who are hiring.

Job Seeker: OK. I get it. But won’t I just be spinning my wheels?

Andy: No. Far from it. There are several reasons to be networking now, even if it seems like no one is hiring:

1) You can get significantly more information meeting someone in person than by reading a website.

2) By asking the right questions, you can find out if you’d like to work there, if you’d be qualified, what you’d need to do to be one of the top candidates, what the hiring process is, and any tips to be informed about and be considered for future openings.

3) Every person you meet should lead you to a few other valuable people to network with. But you have to ask.

4) The more connections you make now, the more potential offers in the future. Once you get an offer, you can re-connect with the top networking contacts you met previously and try to get an offer from them. You can’t do this with anyone who you have not met before.

5) You could find out about a job that isn’t posted anywhere. And may never get posted if you’re the right candidate.

6) They like you so much that they create a job for you.

7) As you learn about their goals and needs, you could offer a consulting project to get your foot in the door (and get paid while doing it).

8) And if you haven’t yet defined your job target and are exploring a variety of options, meeting with people to understand their job, company and industry will provide you with important information to help you get focused.

The sooner you start networking and the more contacts you meet wtih, you are more likely to find a job sooner – even if it seems like no one is hiring. With every contact you make, it will get easier and easier to do.

I like the quote from Bill Keane, the cartoonist for The Family Circus, “Yesterday’s the past and tomorrow’s the future. Today is a gift – which is why they call it the present.”

Get going. Make networking your top priority and use the gift you’ve been given – today!

Category: Job/Internship Search, Networking, Tips for Students