Sunday, January 27, 2008

Job search in a transitional market

I describe the current job market conditions in the Bay Area as transitional, because we’ve yet to feel the full impact of a slowing economy from a hiring perspective, yet economic indicators point to a slow down in employment in the coming months. When I ask my recruiter colleagues, both inside and outside of my firm, how things are going, I receive similar responses: things aren’t as robust as last year, but they are still busy working on searches for key roles.

What I’ve seen personally in the last six months is a decline in demand for senior management to executive level positions, while the demand for middle management and senior-level individual contributors has stayed consistently strong. What does this mean for the 2008 job seeker? Stay tuned, because as employment is a lagging indicator for the health of a local economy, I think the Bay Area employment climate will evolve in the next six months. However, there are things one can do to take advantage of the current transitional employment situation. In the coming weeks I will share more thoughts about job search in a transitional market.

The point for this week is DON’T WAIT! Right now, I believe it’s prudent to seize viable opportunities as they come. If you were planning on waiting until the middle of the year to make a job change, due to a slow down in the market, a viable opportunity may not be available to you in the next six months.

If you are currently in the middle of a job search, and waiting for that PERFECT opportunity to surface, you may want to rethink your parameters. Get it, while the getting is good. Given that it looks like the Bay Area economy may be slowing down, that PERFECT position may take longer to obtain than you initially thought.

Finally, and this point goes back to what I said about not waiting to get started, plan for a longer job search process. As demand slows, so will the availability of opportunities, thus it may take longer to identify the right opportunity for your next career move. Thus, you may want to start your transition process sooner, and plan for it to take longer.

For more insights about the Bay Area job market visit:

--Steve Hernandez