Four tips for jumpstarting your career during harsh economic times

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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 four things you can do to back up 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 update 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 backup plan 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. 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.
    • Second, increased education boosts your marketability. If contacted by future employers or recruiters for a position, the fact that you are enrolled in a program that may be a requirement for the position might help you 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.
  4. Start a home-based business
    An option to 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. Also, there are many possibilities available from home-based consulting, selling online, network marketing, to offering services such as pet grooming, tutoring, just to name a few. Gone are the days when home-based businesses meant clipping, cutting and stuffing. Today, there are many professional work options that can be done from home. The income potential is huge; and as mentioned earlier, improved 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 scams that purport to be legitimate opportunities. Do your homework first. Check out scam reporting websites or search the organization on wwwthe Better Business Bureau's Web site.

Don't wait for the economy or anyone for that matter to decide your future for you. Take charge of your own career today!

This information has been provided by FRG Careers

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