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Career Corner: Tips for Job Hunting During a Recession

The "R" word tends to scare people in the workplace. We think we’d
better hold onto our jobs, or if we’re looking for a new job we think
the task is going to be that much more daunting. People get fearful and
freaked out. It doesn’t have to be that way! Yes a recession affects
the economy and therefore the hiring decisions employers are going to
make. But if you approach your job search from a place of fear or
desperation it’s not going to go well – period. So don’t do this.
Assume that you will be able to find something that works for you
regardless. Just be smart about it and re-consider what you’re looking
for if you need to. Here are some tips:

1) Be money-wise:
Re-evaluate your budget if you need to. If you can’t find a job for the
next few months, do you need to dip into savings to stay afloat and not
feel strapped and scared? Are there things (like consulting, taking odd
jobs you find on Craig’s list) you can do in the short term to bring in
some income. Remember you don’t want to come from a place of fear when
job hunting. Feeling cash strapped can make you fearful and feel
desperate. Do things to manage your finances so you don’t get into that

2) Be ok with something less: If you need immediate
income, be ok with taking something you may consider beneath your skill
or experience level. Money is money and if you need it, do something
about it. It’s ok to do temp work, or take a short term part time job
that isn’t your ideal. There’s nothing wrong with this! It serves a
purpose. I did temp work for months while I was in career transition.
It got me out of the house and made me feel better. Which in turn,
helped my job search. Remember it’s only temporary while you’re looking
for something bigger.

3) Be realistic: Is the job you’re trying
to land realistic for you, or do you need to gain more experience/learn
new skills to get it? People are probably less willing to take a chance
during a recession so make sure the job you’re applying for is
realistic for you.

4) Know your limits: You may have to accept
less money, benefits or something else during a recession. Before you
go on the interview, know your limits. What’s the least you can accept
and still feel comfortable? Remember to ask for more than you need at
the beginning. You can negotiate down but it’s much harder to negotiate up.

5) Amp
up your networking efforts:
Knowing someone who works in the field you
want to work in always helps, but is even more critical during a
recession when companies aren’t necessarily combing the internet for
resumes. Brush off your list of networking contacts and see who else
you can add to the list and get in touch with to network.

Look for local networking groups. Don’t be shy! This is the time to brush up on your networking skills.

remain positive and optimistic: Don’t assume the worst, assume that
you’ll find something. It will help you attract what you want!

Here’s to having a career you love!
Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach