As hiring rebounds, make sure you have what it takes, and be prepared! Here are some thoughts to consider…
Many of you may remember what I wrote last month. I said, "There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel". While no one knows for sure how much light, or if it might even be ambient light, there is definitely some light, and many experts are saying the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.
Experts are saying that housing is "starting to see bottom" in many parts of the country. At least one major bank, Barclay, claimed that the recession ended last month. Chief economist for Charles Schwab said the recession ended in April, and the upward turn has started. Understand, that the term "upward" is a blip, a small uptick on a graph, but the point here is, it was an uptick, and while things are not steaming along, the fire certainly seems to be burning under the pot. Need I say that from fire under the pot comes steam and that is what we are all waiting for; I know I am. That upward turn (tick) happens first, before it becomes "obvious" that we are in a real turnaround. Unemployment turnaround lacks the aforementioned, the recovery, some say by 6 months or so. That puts us on a turnaround in hiring Q4, beginning Q1 2010. Now these are all predictions mind you, and no one knows if hiring will start considerably earlier, or even marginally later, but from what I am hearing, I am banking on the earlier.
Be clear, sporadic hiring is still going on. We are already starting to see new reqs, and the resumes that are coming in as of late, are from employed candidates looking for better opportunities. To me, that, in and of itself suggests the beginning of normalization, a continuation of how hiring typically happens, and more like the way it has always been. So lets talk about looking, and when might be the best time to do so, but one quick point first.
Just because a company is hiring, doesn't mean that you will be a fit. The worst thing you can do is to waste your time/their time by trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Companies (especially start-ups) are not interested in re-training or further-training candidates. If you are say 75% in the domain, and it is a matter of fine tuning your knowledge, that is acceptable. But, with the large pool of candidates out there, no start-up today wants to hire and wait months for someone to come up to speed. (Never really understood that concept in its entirety, say a decent trainable candidate comes along, why wait months to hire the more experienced? As long as it is clear that the candidate can come to speed quickly, why not make the move timelier, when it can help. (I suspect though the answer is, that the company has no one to take time out of what they are doing, to do the necessary training)…anyway, I digress, but it is something for you to consider). Trust me in this; opportunities will eventually come in your affiliated domain, and you are better off waiting for such opportunities, as difficult as that might be.
No one has "time" to look for a new position, but those that truly want to advance their careers make time! Also, those that are simply not satisfied, or are not enjoying their work at a particular company, should make the time to look. Remember work is like a spouse/partner. Think of it like this…you should have a good mattress, as roughly 1/3 of your day is spent there; why not enjoy what you sleep on? You should have fun activities, and a happy home environment, to enjoy the next third of your day. It makes it nice to be home, doing the things you enjoy. (Unless you have a spouse and kids ;) (Just kidding). The other 1/3, should come from a satisfying job, both in environment, and in what you contribute. You should "like" being there, and "like" what you are doing. Not being ZEN or anything, but those things in part contribute greatly to a happy life. (Maybe I should go in the mattress business and focus on the folks in EDA)! Call me if you need a mattress. So here are a few things to always consider when deciding to look while still employed.
Be careful of lurking bosses peering in to see what you are doing. It is very uncomfortable to quickly switch screens and smile. That quick switch to a different screen might give your boss the wrong idea about what you "MIGHT" have been looking at. (Even though looking at the right website might be more fun than looking for a new position). Use alternate emails (G, Hot Yahoo) just in case watchful eyes are checking yours, (even though it is highly unlikely).
When talking to prospective new employers, be careful not to make disparaging
remarks about your current or former employer. Better to say perhaps: you feel like you are in a stagnant position, recent changes in the company have made me decide to look and see what other opportunities are available to me etc. Always be positive, and show you are indeed a good team player.
If you are going to use the services of some one like me, do not post your resume on a job board until such time as you have given me (or your recruiter) adequate time to find you something.
When using a recruiter, never feel embarrassed about calling and asking questions. Checking in from time to time keeps us thinking of you, and that my friends, is a good thing. Most important, ask your recruiter to make sure your resume shows your talents and knowledge as thoroughly as possible.
Should you be lucky enough to get the call to come in, try and schedule early, before work, or late after, or even during lunch so you take minimum time away from your current place of employment. If necessary come in a little late, leave a little early or take a little longer lunch break. Last, make sure you are totally prepped and ready. We are always glad to help, even if you are not our client.
(Archived Careers Corner Articles are available on the home page, with each month offering different advice and opinions).