7 Tips to Career Preparedness in a Slowing Economy

by Karen Armon, CEO/Founder, MarketOne Executive

Economy to skirt recession, but growth said to crawl

U.S. economy will likely avoid a recession but growth will slow to a crawl during the first half of this year, a panel of business economists forecasted. Among the panel of 49 National Association for Business Economics economists surveyed between January 25 and February 13, about 45 percent said they believe a recession will have occurred by the end of this year. But most believe it will be short and shallow. The remaining 55 percent said a downturn will be relatively muted.”

Reuters, Joanne Morrison, Feb. 25, 2008

Trend:   The first half of the year will experience a slowdown in hiring but that doesn’t mean that executive recruiting will cease. Execunet reports that their job postings are robust for executives. Segments will have it harder than others – financial services, retail, and consumer goods – but others will use this downturn to use their resources to hire the very best including energy, telecommunications, and high-end consumer goods.

Tip: Two areas to work on during the first half of 2008: 1) building your networks and 2) building your visibility on the Internet and within your industry.

Confidence in the Executive Employment Market

“While economic headwinds continue to dominate the headlines, the first two months of 2008 have been marked by a moderate increase in six-figure job opportunities,” says Mark Anderson, President of ExecuNet.  “This job growth may not be as pronounced as it was one year ago, however, in light of the current shortage of leadership talent, it presents a challenge to companies focused on reducing turnover.”  Recruiters’ short-term confidence also improved in February, as 41% were confident or very confident the executive employment market will improve during the next three months – up from 39% in January.  During this period of time, 44% of all search firms are planning to hire additional staff.”

ExecuNet’s Recruiter Confidence Index, February 25, 2008

Trend: Top Talent will be in demand regardless of what happens in the economy. But definitions of what top talent is and does will continue to be refined as organizations look to build in new competencies within their ranks.

Tip: Become “employment-ready” by presenting yourself, both in print and in person, as a Thought Leader who has macro solutions for the industry.

Post Retirement Jobs

Most experts are upbeat about the future of mature workers. With baby boomers (more than 76 million) retiring from primary careers, and fewer younger workers (48 million Gen Xers) to replace them, labor shortages will force companies to retain, retrain (if necessary) and value the older employee. For many employers, the bottom line will be whether an employee meets their company’s needs, but the experience, dedication, confidence, work ethic and maturity of older workers will become valuable commodities in the job market.

Post-Retirement Job Hunting, Forbes.com, Jan Cullinane, The New Retirement, Jan. 10,2008

Trend: Corporations will continue to comb the universe for the very best talent that they can afford, regardless of age, location, or functional expertise. Rather, leaders that can guide an organization to its future state and can understand larger issues as it relates to execution – across functional lines – will be in demand.

Tip: Shift your presentation away from technical expertise and focus on how to position your value proposition to your industry based upon your past.

7 Tips to Career Preparedness in a Slowing Economy

To make a move this year, you will have to do your homework and make a clear, concrete plan.

If you haven’t already done so, take the time this year to build your network. As well, get visible on the Internet so that recruiters and top decision-makers can find you.

Here are 7 Tips to Get you Going in a Slow Economy

  1. Reconnect with business associates that you’ve let lapse.
  2. Get your resume updated and in order.
  3. Go to networking events in your community.
  4. Attend professional business association conferences.
  5. Hire a coach to help you position yourself.
  6. Update your Internet Profile on business networking site.
  7. Reach out to Power Brokers often.
The MarketOne Executive Bottom Line

If you are landed and want to move, think about pulling the trigger this year.  If you are in transition, increase your networking activity by a power of 2.

Good talent will always find opportunities as long as they are prepared.

© Alliance Resources LLC, dba MarketOne Executive. All Rights Reserved, worldwide.

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