You're Unemployed. What's Next?

Julie Shenkman
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With the national unemployment rate at a 26-year high and more than 6.9 million jobs lost in the first eight months of 2009, it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And, many economists are predicting that a recovery may not appear until 2011. With each passing day, more and more business professionals find themselves out of work and searching for a new job. With the flood of job seekers in the market and the lack of available jobs, it would be an understatement to say that it is challenging at best to land a job in today's economy. So what would you do if you found yourself unemployed? In a recent poll of more than 6,800 business professionals across the Nexxt Network of thousands of niche career communities, more than 58 percent said they would take any job they could get. Surprisingly, more than 18 percent said they would pursue their passion and nearly 17 percent said they would go back to school. The remaining 6 percent said they would wait for the economy to recover.
If you are someone who would take any job that you could get, it doesn't have to be that way. You can still find a job that is satisfying! Before you compromise your career, it is important to exhaust all of your options first. Below are a few steps you can take to ensure you are making the most out of your job search despite the current economic circumstances.
  • Research Industry Trends. Before diving head first into a new profession, it is important to know which industries are thriving and which ones are not so that you can make informed career decisions. Read trade journals, join local associations and network with professionals in various industries to determine which employment sectors are currently thriving and offer the most opportunities for career advancement.
  • Learn How to Apply Your Skills to Other Roles. Another option to consider is to apply your existing skills and experiences to a slightly different role. Start by identifying all of your work-related skills and then pinpoint which areas allow you to exceed your expectations. Expand your job search to include a variety of positions that would allow you to leverage your skill-set and easily transition into a new role. Perhaps now is a good time to consider a freelance position to test out a new role.
  • Explore Your Passion! Now is the perfect time to explore career opportunities that will allow you to pursue your passion. Whether you are excited by a creative hobby, social interest or the idea of owning your own business, it is worth your time to consider all of your options. Start by researching your field of interest and contacting others who have been successful in this type of business to determine if it is the right career move for you.
  • Evaluate Your Job Search Progress. It is important to monitor your job search progress and determine what aspects of your job search are working and if there are areas that could use improvement. Focus on the tasks that you can control, such as the number of resumes you send out, networking events you attend and hours you spend researching. Set realistic milestones and reward yourself each time you achieve a small goal. Also, don't be shy to look for help from others who specialize in providing professional career services.
  • If You Must Compromise, Make Sure Its Temporary. If you run out of options in your job search and make the decision to accept a lower-level position, keep in mind that it doesn't have to be forever. A temporary job should be used as a stepping stone in your career and can be a great opportunity to diversify your skills or pursue another interest. Remember to always put your best foot forward in everything you do, because there is always a possibility that your temporary job could turn into a permanent and rewarding career.
Whatever career path you choose to pursue, just remember that it's not always necessary to settle for any job you can get. Job searching in today's economy takes persistence, patience, determination and thoughtful planning. Do your best not to let desperation set in and remember to keep these tips in mind when searching for your next career!
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  • Cathy
    Cathy
    Kudos to you! I hadn't thought of that!
  • Joe Borghi
    Joe Borghi
    Outstanding, well written and well worth consideration.Thank you!
  • Rahul Dhole
    Rahul Dhole
    Thank you very much for the article. It is a good one.
  • Devendra
    Devendra
    Article is good.
  • Pamela Guthrie
    Pamela Guthrie
    I made notes based on this article, I found in to be informative and a helpful resource.  Thank you for being there!
  • Frankie
    Frankie
    This article is interesting.  This is the second time I have found myself unemployed during a shaky economy.  The first time, I did go back to school and get a Master's degree.  This time I chose to pursue exploring my passion.  With the H1N1 virus scare and the aging population, I figured it was time to go into a home based business in the health and wellness industry.  What a change from the world of IT. But I am loving it.  I no longer have to work those crazy hours to make the same kind of money and I don't work for anyone but me!  I highly recommend that everyone look at a plan B because it will only get worse before it gets better.
  • Ganesh
    Ganesh
    A nice article to keep one's spirits high.
  • Gina
    Gina
    Thanks for this article.  I was one of those people that are about ready to take any position.I send out about 15 applications a day, and hardly ever get any response except for scams.It's very depressing...this new economy.  I am getting tired of dealing with it, but have no choice.
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