Friday, October 24, 2008

Five Things You Can do to Take Charge of Your Career During Harsh Economic Times

With recent shortages in employment and with unemployment agencies in most States reportedly running out of funds, American workers are taking charge of their own careers and what they are doing to survive today's economy may surprise you. Below are five things you can do to backup your current employment, ( and if you are currently unemployed you may still benefit from the information here.

1) Be prepared to engage in a major job search:

Career experts have always advised that if you feel threatened by job-loss you should up-date your resume, make sure that you have all your current skills and experience listed and then start your search. Recruiters are better able to place candidates that are still employed, since employment is one of the elements that make an individual what recruiters call a "Most Placeable Candidate" or an MPC.

Here are some tips:

• Update your resume.

• Contact recruiters or start contacting employers.

• If you plan to work with recruiters, try not to post your resume on every search engine. This will make you an active job-searcher and may reduce your chances of being placed by a recruiter.

• Submit your resume to the right sources. Make sure you are getting your resume in front of the hiring manager and not just sending it to a resume bank. The best way to do this is to call ahead of time and ask who is in charge of hiring for the particular position you are interested in.

• Follow-up. Make sure you call the contact person for the positions you applied to and find out the status of your applications. This is the one step that makes the difference between a high chance of success or failure in any job search.

• Finally, do not wait till you lose your job to start searching; start today.

2) Get a second job

Another option to consider as a back-up is to get a second job. Be careful with this option, since it may alter the balance of material aspects of your life. Also note that in hard economic times, getting a second job may be as difficult as keeping your first one, but still it may be worth a try. The advantage to having a second job is that you do not fall flat on your behind when you lose your main job.

A few things to bear in mind when looking for a second job are:

• Make sure that you are in agreement with your family or any other person that is an important part of your life, or who may be affected by changes in your schedule; since this will alter your available time and lifestyle greatly.

• Try not to engage in full-time work as a second job option. Doing so may affect your health and your efficiency at both your first and second jobs.

• If working part-time, try to find a job that offers flexibility.

• Find a second job that you have the skills for so that you can hit the ground running. Training may tend to be stressful and may affect your first job.

3) Become a recruiter

You can start a recruiting or staffing business ( and work from the comfort of your home at your own time. The home based recruiting business environment is booming and seems to offer workers a lot more stability than the traditional work environment, especially in hard economic times. Individuals with a will to succeed enjoy 100% control over their careers.

The employment recruiting industry is especially booming; In general, employment recruiters find candidates for organizations (typically hard to fill positions), and are compensated quite handsomely for this service. A recruiter's fee is approximately 15-20% of the total first year's compensation of the candidate placed; with the average fee being $15,000

Employment recruiting, which includes staffing continues to rank amongst the top home based business opportunities today, by, The Fordyce letter and The Recruiter's Network. This may sound ironical given the current reports of increased unemployment and job shortages. The fact remains that there are skill sets that are always in demand regardless of the economy. Further, there are some organizations that depend completely on particular positions to function. These include positions in information technology, nursing, allied health, accounting/finance, legal support, consulting and various levels of management.

Employment recruiting ( is easy to get involved in and therefore makes a great career backup opportunity. The following pros puts recruiting at the front of other home based opportunities. 1) The start-up costs are unbelievably low. 2) Individuals can do this effectively with minimal time investment, given advances in technologies and increased networking opportunities. 3) Recruiters work comfortably from their homes or offices. 4) There are a myriad of industries to choose from including employment, sports or even college recruiting; and 5) The financial rewards are outstanding.

The great thing about joining the recruiting industry is that the employers you will be working with really do not care how long you have been in business, as long as you can produce the perfect candidate for their open positions. This puts brand new recruiters almost at the same standing as experienced recruiters. All you need to get started is the right training, and there are numerous resources and recruiter training materials ( available online.

4) Go back to school

If you are threatened by job loss, as a significant percentage of Americans are today, and you are not sure you can find a new job; it might be time to consider going back to school. There are three main advantages to this.

To begin with, your perceived value to your current organization increases. This may help you escape the down-sizing list if one ever pops up; and even if you do lose your job, you have something positive doing towards the sustenance of your career.

Secondly, increased education boosts your marketability. If contacted by future employers or recruiters for a position, the fact that you are enrolled in program that may be a requirement for the position might help your qualify for an interview. Also, employers will perceive you as more focused and growth-oriented than most.

Thirdly, increased qualification means a larger pay check. Not only do you become more marketable, but you can easily enter a higher pay bracket. As a matter of fact, you have the potential of increasing your income by up to $30,000 in annual pay, just by increasing your level of education.

5) Start a home based business:

An option that you could consider whether or not you are at risk of losing your job, is to start a home based business. On the positive side, you do not need to quit your day job to start this. Also, there are millions of possibilities available from home based recruiting, ( consulting, selling online, network marketing to offering services such as pet grooming, tutoring and so on. Gone are the days when home based businesses meant clipping, cutting and stuffing. Today, there are lots of professional work that can be done from home. The income potential is huge; and as mentioned earlier, recent technologies mean that everything that you could do from a traditional work place setting can be done anywhere today. On the down side, there are too many scams out there purporting to be legitimate opportunities. Do your homework first. Check out scam reporting websites or search the organization on