How to Persevere Through This Year’s Job Market

Image courtesy of Andrew Neel on Unsplash

We’re practically seven months into the Covid-19 global pandemic — with no end in sight. Some individual's nerves are tattered and tensions are running high. If you’re in between jobs, panic may be setting in right about now. Personal savings and unemployment benefits could be depleted and you may even be facing rejection after rejection on your job hunt. I am aware because that’s been the case for me too.

You read about 50+ million Americans filing for unemployment benefits since March, the unemployment rate being at 10.2%, and start fearing that it may take many more months before landing a new job or even years for the economy to be back to where it was. In the back of your mind, there are obvious worries that you may never find another job or it won’t be anywhere near the career level and compensation of your previous position.

However, that isn’t the mindset to have to go into this. You have to shatter those limiting beliefs and realize you are worthy of the positions in which you’re applying. You’re worthy of producing results and building strong relationships with others. Tough times don’t last but tough people do. This time period is only going to make you stronger and realize your abilities to persevere through almost any situation.

This is a uniquely brutal job market, unlike anything we’ve seen before. In the past employees have had leverage on employers from transitioning to one high-paying role to the next one. But today that looks much different. We are now living through an employer's market where the ultimate decision lies in the hands of the hiring manager, recruiters, executive levels, Founders, and CEOs. What worked in the past won’t necessarily work today. You have to cultivate, develop, and execute these skills to survive and thrive in this unprecedented, fierce job market.

Get Gritty

Grit is defined as possessing perseverance, fortitude, and resilience. If you haven’t yet read Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth, I’d highly recommend it. Grit builds a coat of armor around you to endure and withstand the blows that you’ll take throughout life. Grit is the steely determination to make yourself strong and impervious to the challenges you encounter. It’s digging down deep inside yourself and finding the fire in the belly to become unstoppable.

You will face unrelenting rejection, disappointments and dead ends in your pursuit for a new job. After spending hours, days, and weeks completing dozens of applications and submitting hundreds of resumes, you won’t hear a peep from the companies or recruiters. You’ll go on half a dozen interviews and then get ghosted and never know what really happened and why you didn’t hear back.

This has been my personal experience for months now…

Hundreds and hundreds of resumes sent out.

So many emails and phone calls with recruiters.

In addition to figuring out why and how to transition through this entire year and global pandemic.

Rejection upon rejection.

Making it to the final round of job interviews just to have them say we like you but we decided to go with the candidate(s) who had more experience.

No answers back from recruiters as to why I wasn’t chosen, people not having the decency to call back and sending emails instead because it’s the easier thing to do…

Thinking all of these negative thoughts and believing I am not good enough.

Wondering if working for an employer, boss, manager, Founder or CEO is even worth it, let alone my time, energy, resources, skills, and time away from family, my girlfriend, and friends.

But with all of that being said, having grit provides the inner strength, mental rigor, and toughness to keep going in the face of adversity. It will push you to jump over all of the hurdles in your way, run through society's walls, and kick down doors to get to the opportunities you truly want and deserve.

Stay Agile And Flexible

Prior to the pandemic, the job market was relatively hot and it was much easier to interview and find a great, new job. Now, it’s even tougher than it was in the aftermath of September 11th and the global financial crisis of 2008. It’s possible that the type of job you previously held doesn’t exist any longer, relevant appropriate jobs have relocated to less-expensive cities or outside of the country and companies want to hire applicants for a lower salary than you’re seeking.

As time goes on, you’ll need to reassess the situation. If you’re doing the same thing each and every day, it may be time to start considering other options — as opposed to continuing to knock your head against the wall. Think of pivoting into something a little different. For example, I am looking to pivot out of previous sales roles of the past and into copywriting/marketing again fulltime.

Assess your core skills, background, and experience and check into how you can apply them to a different job or career path. You can then expand your search to include these other types of roles. Casting a larger net will yield more results.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

This is the time and year in which you have to reinvent yourself. It’s a little more challenging than a pivot. It will require you to take a few steps backward to later advance. Consider what you really want to do next. Ask yourself what’s your passion and love — that can also pay the bills, help with your investments, and future savings goals as well.

Find out what you need to learn or the credentials required to start anew, then re-create your career. It’s not easy to start all over again, especially if you’re of a certain age and previously earned a good living wage. However, in desperate times like these, you need to take desperate measures.

You may also have to consider relocating to other locations that offer more job opportunities or a lower cost of living. Remote work isn’t going away in the future so be open-minded to those kinds of opportunities too. Try applying for jobs outside of your commuting distance and tell them that you’d like to work remotely, if possible. The worst they could do is say, “Sorry, we can’t do that.” You could simply reply, “Please keep me in mind as remote/work-from-home is becoming the new standard.”

“Find a way to serve the many, for service to many leads to greatness.” — Jim Rohn

Become Obsessed With Sales And Marketing

Ages ago, back in 2019 and early 2020, you could have an adequate LinkedIn profile, contact a few friends and former colleagues, send out some resumes, and have a good likelihood of getting interviews, which could lead to job offers within a reasonable time frame. Those days are now from an old era. You now have to work 10X harder to get a fraction of the results.

Since it was a good job market for many people, it’s natural that your interviewing skills atrophied a bit. You didn’t have to be hardcore to get a job, so you likely became somewhat complacent — expecting that the job opportunities would just fall into your lap. That doesn’t work now. You have to be energized and do everything in your power to get noticed and attention.

This entails actively and effectively networking on sites such as LinkedIn. Approach networking with thoughtful purposes and an endgame in mind. Reach out directly to hiring managers and the internal human resources professionals responsible for hiring. Be of service to them and don’t just beg for a job…

Cold call or email recruiters who are active in your space. Request a video meeting and sell them on yourself for 10–15 minutes. Ask them to share opportunities and feedback with you. Do this with a number of other recruiters so you have several people championing your cause. If — and when — your calls and emails aren’t answered, don’t let it discourage you. Keep knocking on doors until one opens up for you because one inevitably will.

It may feel awkward and uncomfortable, but you need to contact old acquaintances, former colleagues, college alumni, and anyone and everyone that you can think of who could potentially put you in touch with the right people at a company that has the right fit for you.

Salespeople develop a thick skin and accept “no” and “rejections” as part of the process. They view rejection as all part of the game and one step closer to a “yes.” Sales is all about the law of large numbers. The more people that you get in front of, the greater chance you have of someone purchasing your product or service. If you keep plugging away, not letting the rejections get to you, something will eventually give. Statistically speaking it has to upon contacting enough individuals with the right purpose and intention.

In this current job market, the key to successfully finding a new job is having grit, allowing yourself to be agile and flexible, and learning how to effectively sell yourself to recruiters, people who could offer introductions to opportunities, and prospective employers.

My Very Best,

Donovan E. Vogel

Philadelphia based teaching financial literacy | Prospering all other hours | Writer | Lifter | Reader | Traveler | Freedom & Wellness

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