Sunday, November 2, 2008


In sports, the most successful athletes and teams are usually the ones who can effectively make adjustments. The player who has multiple facets to their game, the one who can successfully adapt their performance to exploit the environment they are operating in, usually prevails over their opponent. I think the same can be said for business, and job search.

Clearly things have changed in the job market over the last three months. And chances are they will continue to change in the coming months. For those who find themselves in job search or career change mode during this time, having the ability to adapt to market conditions will be critical for their success.

Because our marketplace is changing, what job search parameters that worked for you in the past, may not necessarily work this time. In previous blog entries we’ve talked about adjustments relating to job search methodology and approach. Another key element to consider is changing your own expectations.

One usually enters the job market with a basic set of parameters of what they are looking for when it comes to role, industry, salary, growth opportunity, location, etc. When the perfect storm hits, all of these things may come together. When that happens, obviously one should seize that opportunity. That perfect storm is more likely to happen in a robust job market. However, right now we’re looking at modest job growth over the next year, thus that perfect storm is less likely to hit. Or, it certainly may take a lot longer than it did a year ago. Plus, now unlike the last two years, their may also be more individuals in transition competing in the market for that perfect job you want.

Given these circumstances, on way to give yourself a more competitive advantage, and shorten your job search is to adjust your own expectations. You may want to reconsider the parameters of what is the “the perfect job.” Perhaps what you choose to pursue now, in the short run, could be the job that is most perfect considering current market conditions.

I’m not suggesting that one settles for any form of employment. But if the job is close to the mark, not perfect, but good enough, it may in fact be the best you can do for yourself right now. And by relaxing some of your requirements for role, salary, industry, and location, you may be giving yourself an edge over your competitors who are turning down reasonable opportunities, because they are holding out for that perfect job. Unfortunately for them, they may be holding out for a while.

--Steve Hernandez

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