Career Coaching Mantra–Dig Deeper For Your Job Search

I just read a good article in Fortune about job opportunities.  It spoke of possibilities in health care and green jobs, as everyone is.  But what is great about this article is that it illustrates a principle I keep repeating to my career coaching clients and in my ezine–Discouraged?  Then dig deeper.

Digging deeper means, as the article shows, that the horrible unemployment rate (7.2%) is actually much lower for college grads at 3.3% (hint for anyone wondering about the value of completing college).  By digging deeper, you may find such relatively encouraging statistics to replace the more depressing ones we keep hearing.

 It also means finding what is opening up even in fields that are otherwise depressed.  For instance, construction has over a 13 percent unemployment rate, but maybe if you are an expert in green construction–a rapidly growing field, you may be able to stay afloat and be in great shape as the economy takes off again.

The article also points out that unemployment may be hitting some companies very hard while others may be hiring.  You have to know where to look. Don’t assume every company in a field is in the same situation.  Dig deeper. It also points out that being able to move can give you a big advantage, especially if you an executive.   Not every city has the same opportunities for every field.  Dig deeper.  According to Fortune, “ researchers looked at metropolitan areas around the U.S. and found that out-of-work executives have the best chance of getting a new job in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, two cities where the ratio of candidates to openings is lowest (3-to-1). … Los Angeles is the most crowded (hence most competitive) executive job market, with a 7-to-1 ratio.”

Of course, digging deeper can give you info that is not encouraging, but still necessary.  For instance, if you assume hospitals are steady places for jobs because medical care isn’t a luxury (and please tell that to your legislator this session), insurance pays claims, etc.  But hold on.  All the VPs I talk to even here in Minnesota with a great health care environment, are upset with the layoffs they were forced to make.  This includes nurses and is due to a lot of red ink on the books.  One friend of mine was a successful manager at a hospital for over 30 years and was laid off. 

I’m not adding that to discouarge you (and especially not into going into nursing or managing in health care which are still expanding fields over the long term).

What I do suggest is that generalizations and headlines often depress us or mislead us without intending to.  If you are want a job in a particular field, dig deeper than the usual classifieds and headlines about it.  Go find where the openings are–the specific companies, the specific cities, the specific niches in the industry–and seek results there.

Good luck with your virtual shovels!

© 2009 Leonard Lang and .  Feel free to reprint this article as long as you include this entire copyright notice. 

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