BEAT THE RECESSION – HOW TO GET THAT TOP JOB IN DIFFICULT TIMES
As the economic downturn bites ever deeper now is a brilliant time to learn how to take control of your future career and sharpen your survivor instinct at work.
John Lees, best-selling UK careers author advises: ‘No job is entirely recession proof. Right now job security is the top issue for people and there are many things you can do to improve the chances you’ll still be in your job in 12 months time. If change is made for you then you need to know how to react fast with smart job-seeking strategies. If the job you have is not the job you love and you’re itching for a change, it’s essential to stock your lifeboat before you jump ship! If you’re one of those people who spends more time planning their annual holiday than giving active and regular attention to what work you do, and who for, – this IS the time to take stock of your lot in a positive proactive way! How you choose to spend the largest part of your waking day really matters.’
The revised edition of John’s book How to Get a Job You’ll Love – a practical guide to unlocking your talents and finding your ideal career (McGraw-Hill, £12.99, October 2008) explores classic career conundrums including how to effectively market yourself within an organisation, the smartest strategies for impressing your boss, how you can find new fields of work and completely change your career, as well as how to avoid ‘Monday Blues’ and have a ‘Hooray it’s Friday!’ feeling every day!
Here are John’s top tips:
1. Look at what’s working, rather than what isn’t. Which parts of your job are still effective even in difficult times?
2. Find leverage. Concentrate your efforts on projects which are seen to be fireproof, or ways of protecting your income stream.
3. Find a fast-track mentor – an informal arrangement with someone more senior than you who can help you decode your organisation while it’s going through tough times.
4. Don’t ask for a pay rise just because everyone else is reacting to rising costs. Demonstrate your value – not your cost.
5. Go way, way beyond your job description in value-adding ways. Career progression, ultimately, is not a question of what you do, but how far you are seen to be doing the things that matter.
6. At the same time, work smarter not harder on tasks which your organisation recognises as things that make a difference.
7. Stay on winning teams. This is the time to negotiate a move away from a dead-end role, or a part of the organisation which is seen as under-performing or peripheral.
8. Stay in touch with changes in your sector, and don’t stop networking – both for industry knowledge and for insider tips on the hidden job market.
9. Don’t adopt cynicism of the marketplace. Not all organisations and markets are in decline – don’t miss opportunities by seeing your glass as constantly half-empty – adopt a glass half-full mentality.
10. Stock your lifeboat before jumping ship: understand what you are really looking for rather than passively reacting to advertised or headhunted opportunities. Well-informed job seekers find great jobs in tough times.