As many of you know, I’ve been looking for full-time work for about a year now. The life of a consultant has been pretty good to me, but I need a lot more stability and less stress. While I have to keep looking for gigs as a grant writer, social media consultant, and web content writer (hints!) to pay the bills, the job search has been my main focus. Here are a few thoughts and observations.
First of all, I was shocked at how hard it was to find even good listings in early 2008. I didn’t realize it then, but the recession had indeed already started. I wish I had say more about my experience directly at the time, but those of you who are longtime readers know I was very concerned about the economy through 2008. I wish I had more blankly stated what I was seeing in the job market, but my lack of experience left me unable to be sure.
The job market is a lot better now, and there are many more listings. The problem is that it seems that a lot of managers have “network fatigue” – they aren’t interested in yet another informational interview in their day. Information about the state of the market is getting harder to find as a result.
Filling the gaps in information are an increasing number of job search firms are offering to help. I can’t tell yet if this is worth the money or not, and I’d love to hear what other people have to say. The most common form is a full-service operation that helps with resume, contacts, and everything. I’ve also heard there are smaller operations that focus on resumes alone or information on companies taken from public records.
What has likely changed the most are attitudes of people involved. Gaps in a resume, or periods of time without employment in the profession desired, used to be a very bad thing. It’s common enough now that it’s rarely questioned. There is a growing acceptance that entire careers are changing, too, meaning that experience in a related field might count a lot more than it used to.
I’ve heard that as small businesses become the driving force in the economy, people with broad general skills such as mine are being recognized as more valuable than those with specialized skills. Smaller companies need someone who can do whatever needs to be done, which my resume shows very clearly. I’m a lot more hopeful than I was even a month ago on this score.
The economy is something to worry about, but we need to focus our concern where it matters most. We measure things like GDP in Dollars, but an economy is really nothing more than the sum total of the talent and effort of people. Restructuring is all about getting people into jobs that reflect the new economy. It’s not easy, but it appears to be moving forward. I’m hopeful.
If anyone needs a strategic thinker who can develop new products, write patents, write successful grants, and/or develop a social marketing plan, let me know – I do need work. Thanks!