It’s been just over a year since I officially started my job search. Since then, I've been offered six jobs — three of which were cancelled due to the economy, just as the employer and I were in final negotiations. I've also come in 2nd for nearly a dozen other positions. Darn frustrating, let me tell you! So in one sense, I’ve been successful in my job search: I have received several job offers, landed several contracts, and directly assisted a number of my peers in finding employment. But I have not yet achieved my own final goal. I've analyzed why this is, and I’ve come up with four major issues that I need to address.
ISSUE ONE: THE US ECONOMY
My job search has mirrored the recent financial crisis. I started my search when my most recent employer, a midsize bank, sold the mortgage division I helped create. That was at the very start of the US mortgage industry’s meltdown. The bank itself was recently acquired — around the same time that several other major banks, like Washington Mutual, Merrill Lynch, and Bear Stearns were acquired, too. As the overall market has continued to decline, so too have my opportunities for comparable full-time employment in the financial industry.
I am hearing from a wide cross-section of the job market just how difficult this market really is, and not only for executives. Some recruiters tell me that significant percentages of their clients' positions have been put on hold or cancelled at all levels. Everyone seems to be taking a wait-and-see approach to the economy before committing to their hiring needs. I've also had more than one executive tell me that they believe the market is going to remain unsettled until after the 2008 US election. Together, these statements indicate a willingness of the general market to create a self-fulfilling prophecy, which certainly makes it extremely difficult for job seekers like me to help them find new opportunities to build their business!
I can only hope that I will see the same incredible improvement that the stock market saw yesterday !!!!
ISSUE TWO: DIFFICULTY ACCESSING MY TOP TARGET INDUSTRIES
In addition to finance, investments and banking, I am targeting other industries where I have significant experience. These include strategic management and technology consulting; commercial software; insurance; data warehousing, business intelligence and CRM; manufacturing; and related IT management positions within corporate enterprises.
I am also targeting the defense industry, based on my experience as a US Marine. Unfortunately, I underestimated how steep the barrier to entry would be since my security clearance expired. I continue to highlight my “clearable” status to my networking contacts in this industry.
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