How to Win in the Current Job Market
Job seekers are experiencing a lot of nervous energy about the job market considering the Covid-19 pandemic and the contentious election. While this is understandable, there are many good signs for executives actively looking for a job today. Here’s our perspective of the job market based on conversations with hundreds of executives each month from all over the country.
Overall, the Economy is Doing Well
As in contrast with the early part of 2020, jobs are being added across nearly all sectors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for the overall US economy shows a sharp and steady decline over the last several months. In April of 2020, the unemployment rate was nearly 15%. By July, it was down to just over 10%. At the end of October, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.9%. This is across all segments and all geographies of the US economy, which is not far from the recent historical average of roughly 4%. A large percentage of those in the unemployed category are entry-level workers in retail, hospitality and entertainment. Clearly, things are improving rapidly. We can see this trend taking place in our own client portfolio. More of our clients landed new jobs in Q3 of 2020 than in the first two quarters of 2020 combined.
Your Individual Actions Determine Your Success
While it’s good to understand what is happening in the overall economy, the greatest determinant of success for anyone in the job market is the action they take as individuals. There are plenty of candidates who will find success in the worst of economies and plenty of others who struggle in the best of times. Your commitment to partner with Endeavor Agency demonstrates you are taking action to find the individual success you desire.
The executive clients who are finding their personal success right now are taking every advantage of the time and resources available to move themselves forward. There are always challenges in any economic environment. The main ingredient needed to succeed is the perseverance and determination to keep moving forward day after day. What are some of the actions you need to take now to find your success?
Why is it important to focus time and effort on mastering the interview before you have interviews scheduled? The short answer is because it is too late to work on mastering the interview when you have one scheduled. Proficiency with the interview model takes time and lots of practice. Most clients initially believe their interview skills are already strong and just need a little polishing to find the success they need. This belief is founded on the fact that they have performed well in interviews earlier in their careers. Unfortunately, this does not take into account that those positions were for lower-level jobs and were usually many years ago. It also does not factor into the equation the new level of competition they will face for the level of job they are now targeting. Pretty good simply isn’t good enough in this new environment.
Take the time to schedule mock interviews with your agent. Work on your opening statement / value proposition out loud dozens of times until you can deliver it powerfully without hesitation. Master how to address the question of why you are in the market for a new job. Practice the progression of handling the questions about compensation over and over until it is just a natural and conversational flow. Our team is ready and willing to work with you on as many mock interviews as you would like. The clients who do this improve dramatically and win far more often.
Start Conversations with Targeted People
We all have a certain level of fear about reaching out to people we don’t know to start a conversation. It’s a normal part of being human. The people who can overcome this fear to reach out on a consistent basis are the ones who find more opportunities and get their foot in the door for interviews.
Your Endeavor agent, and our data team, can help you find more places to look for job postings. They will help find recruiters to target. Our team will build lists of companies that might be good places for you to work. Then we can help you find the key people on the inside and their contact information, and help you craft verbiage to use when reaching out. The clients who proactively engage with their agents to fully utilize these resources achieve success faster and more reliably.
Follow Up and Analyze
It often takes several follow-up attempts to get someone on the phone when you are prospecting. Most people struggle to send a second email if the target didn’t respond to the first out of fear of being pushy. Many will not utilize other communication mediums outside of email, such as LinkedIn or calling on the phone. It’s a lot of work and requires getting outside of our comfort zone. Additionally, follow up is needed even after you have conversations with targeted individuals. It might take a few more conversations with people inside that specific company before you land a formal interview. Your Endeavor agent can help you overcome these obstacles.
Sometimes we have clients who will try for a few weeks to do the steps outlined, but then give up if they don’t find success in the short run. The process works but often needs adjustments along the way. Your agent can help you analyze the specifics of the outreach efforts you are using to find where adjustments can be made to improve the outcomes.
Call to Action
The individuals who succeed in finding and securing the jobs they want now are the ones who won’t let the “bad economy” be an excuse. They are using this time to build their networks. They improve their professional brands, practice their interview skills. The ones who succeed overcome their fears to start conversations with people they do not know. The economy is steadily improving. It will continue to do so regardless of who occupies the White House or what is happening with the Covid-19.
Your individual career success will not be determined by the global economy. It will be determined by your willingness to take action now.