I have been making sure I allocate time to trying to help those who reach out directly to me. In trying to help friends, I have come to believe that:
the job search process is yet another relic from the past that needs to be re-invented.The most common advice being given by career counselors seems to be "network, network, network." Inherent in that advice is the premise that there are jobs and that one networks to find the proverbial needle in the haystack. Perfectly appropriate advice for the times fading in the rear view mirror.
But, today the number of openings is miniscule. People who have jobs are holding onto them for dear life. They have stepped up their performance and are working diligently to avoid giving their employer any opportunity to lay them off.
I have come to believe that the economy is reaching the point that the only way to get a job is to take a job away from an incumbent. Ouch! Not a nice thought, but the reality of today's market.
In essence, you have to convince an employer that you can do a given job much, much better the incumbent. With the total number of jobs shrinking by the day, you can't rely on job growth to create opportunities. And, you can't count on job mobility to do likewise. You have to go after a "seat" that is already filled.
Now your mission is not to "per se" take a job away from an incumbent. But, that is the effect. Your mission is to demonstrate that you could and would do a much, much better job than one of the incumbents.
Now networking can help identify some targets for this approach. But, classic networking for the purpose of finding an open “seat” is a perfectly appropriate strategy….for a different era. And, yet that is what the crowd is largely doing.
Sad! Really sad!! Following the crowd is seldom the way to go. In this case, it seems to me to be the complete wrong way to go.