Feb
18
2009

I am a Serial Job Seeker – The State of The Current Job Market from The Trenches

Some of you might’ve known that recently I was made redundant (that is 3 weeks from today). Not many of us could’ve predicted what is happening today, and the ones who could, most of them just turned a blind eye away from it (damn those bankers!). Unfortunately, the recession is real, is here and is definitely not getting better very soon. And, again, unfortunately I am pretty much in the ‘thick’ of it.
The funny thing is, this is the 4th time that I’m back in the Job Market in the past 3 years, which means that I’m out of job almost ‘every year’. You can say that I’m a ‘Serial Job Seeker’.

As hundreds, thousands of people are losing their jobs almost on weekly basis, the market is becoming more and more saturated. Consequently, the chances that we get a job, any job (let alone the job that we want) are very slim. To make matters worse, as job seekers are coming flooding in to the market, employers can now hire very good, very skillful people at a very competitive salary rate, sometimes almost half of what it was 6 months ago.

I can feel this straight away. Six months ago, as soon as I put my CV online, I got almost contant stream of calls from Head Hunters. In one week I had already secured a few interviews, and I got an offer by week three. In addition, I could still negotiate a decent, above average salary rate a little bit more freely. All these without me actively looking for job openings.

This time, the situation is completely different. I can’t anymore rely on agencies stumble upon my CV online and call me, and when they do, there haven’t been many of these calls. I have to be more pro-active in looking for new vancancies, and sending CV directly to these openings. The worst part is, the salary rate has been much going down, that I have to take a substantial pay cut to make myself more marketable.
This time, employers are really have the upper-hand in term of commanding salary rate, not that there are many of them hiring, most employers are freezing their hiring process, as they are sacking half of their work-force.

But, not everything is doom and gloom. There are in fact employers out there that are still hiring, and eventhough I don’t get as many phone calls as I used to, the fact remains that there are still some of them that needs people (thanks God).

After three weeks looking pro-actively, finally I got my first interview early this week, and more interviews line up next week. So fingers crossed !

For my fellow job-seekers, don’t lose hope, there are still place for you there, you just need to wait a little longer. My advise is,

  • Let yourself known, put your CV on all Online Job Boards you know (I list some of my favorites in the bottoms).
  • Join LinkedIn, put your resume there, and start connecting with people.
  • Use your Social Networking’s Network (Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, etc) as much as possible, don’t be too shy to ask around for vancancies, you never know what your friends might have.
  • If you want you can Tweet your Resume to me (my Twitter acount is mahadewa), and I will Re-Tweet it to my network, everybody could do the same I’m sure.
  • If you are used to get paid a high salary, this is not the time to hold on that, you need to go down on your rate. But it doesn’t mean that you have to get too low that you would be forced to skip meal every other day so you can pay the rent.

For people that still has a job and surviving, don’t think that your invincible (I thought I was untouchable, but I was actually just too proud).

  • Get the dust off that old CV of yours, and start writing a new one, so when (if) the time comes you are ready.
  • Go and do some scouting to see how’s the your job market for your sector out there, it will give you some idea of what are available.

Finally, this is probably the perfect time for us to re-think about what our goal in life and if what we are doing right now is the right path if not the only path to reach that goal. Think about other alternatives, maybe you want to start that restaurant business that you always wanted to do (people still need to eat), or you want to free yourself from the shackle of corporate life and becoming freelancer. Or how about getting together with some of other friends and form your own business (we’ve seen some successful stories like this after the year 2000 ‘Internet Doom’). I believe this recession is the best time for enterpreneurs to start to make a move. Quit procrastinating and get moving, because now you have the perfect excuse to do it.

The recession is real, is here, and is not going away very soon. You need to be more pro-active, this is not the time to sit around and hope that you can get through the storm unscathed, for we are in this for a very long time.

Good luck for your job hunting !

Here are some job resources that I’ve been using, mostly for the UK cause that’s where I live. If you have your own favorites, please do share:

Online Job Boards:

Monster.com

Jobsite

Jobsearch

SimplyHired

LondonCareers

Startupers

Global Career Company

CWJobs

Jobster

Crunchboard

http://twitter.com/topjobsinlondon

Programmer Meets Designer

LinkedIn has it’s own Job board, but you need to join in first.

Freelancing:

RentACoder

The On Demand Global Workforce - oDesk

3 Comments + Add Comment

  • Been thinking about working in UK but US called me first, let's see in the next one or two years ;). I've been falling in love with London years ago but for now, New York is still captivating me.

    Not that I will reject any chance to move to London tho.

  • Reading your post about New York, London doesn't seem to differ that much. Like NY, London is not UK, it's completely different place, with its own multi-cultural ecosystem. The only different probably is that we are closer to Europe and Asia geographically, hence probably we don't feel too isolated (and more vulnerable) than the US.
    Whenever you decide to come here, I'll be welcoming you :)

  • [...] know what is going to hit you along your way (bad economic recession for example?). And when ‘the shit’s starting to hit the fan‘, you will really need all leverages you can get to get out from the deep-end.  Having keep [...]

Leave a comment