EDITOR’S NOTE: In this blog, Skip Freeman, veteran professional “headhunter” and author of international bestselling job hunting book “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever!, provides a glimpse into the content and overall focus of his new, soon-to-be-published (fall 2012) job hunting book, Career Stalled?
Do you feel as though your career has essentially “stalled,” that it is virtually “dead in the water,” and has been for quite some time? Do you feel that there is not much realistic hope for career improvement in the foreseeable future? Well, you’re certainly not alone. Tens of millions of currently employed men and women feel exactly the same way! Why? Essentially two general reasons:
- Many feel “used and abused” by their current employer, i.e., they are doing the work of two (or more!) people because of layoffs, downsizings, etc., are unappreciated (or at least, underappreciated) and even sometimes treated with utter disrespect, by constantly being reminded about how “lucky” they are to still have a job in the current job market, strongly advised to keep their heads down and their mouths shut, ad nauseum.
- Employee raises (top company officials usually being the exceptions) in recent years have been either non-existent or bordering on being insulting, with no apparent end in sight. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, and based upon this year’s survey of nearly 1,500 large U. S. companies, the average pay raise for salaried employees in 2012 is 2.9%, up slightly from 2.4% in 2010 and 2.8% in 2011. Pay increases for hourly workers are averaging only 2.7% this year. Even raises for “high performers”—yes, the “walks on water” folks!—this year average out to only 4%!*
If you currently find yourself in this situation—or even worse!—with regard to your job, I’ve got some GREAT news for you: It doesn’t have to be this way! You don’t have to accept your career “fate.” You can have a constant flow of current and useful information about new, genuine career opportunities actually coming directly to you—discreetly and without risking your current job! But, in order to take maximum advantage of this information, you must first ensure that you have . . .
- Branded yourself as a professional who has both current and relevant experience for any positions/career opportunities which may interest you or that a hiring professional may contact you about.
- Positioned yourself as a candidate who can clearly and unmistakably a.) make a company money; b.) save a company money; or c.) accomplish both goals.
- Created (and have diligently maintained) a powerful profile on LinkedIn, one that has IMPACT, as well as one that is designed to make it easy for “headhunters” like me (and, of course, hiring managers and Human Resources professionals) to contact you with career opportunities that may be appropriate for you to consider.
Sites That Can Get Jobs, Career Opportunities News Coming to YOU!
The four sites that you should immediately investigate and consider including in your repertoire of great sources of job/career opportunities news are these:
- www.indeed.com – This is one of the easiest job sites to navigate on the Internet, as well as one of the most widely used by job seekers. To get started searching for job/career information, you merely provide the information for the “What” (job title, keywords, company name, etc.) and the “Where” (City, State, ZIP). You can post your résumé on the site and set up automatic alerts on career opportunities you want to consider.
- www.googlealerts.com (offered in FREE and paid versions) – At this site you can have up-to-date, current and relevant job information coming to you on a daily basis. (Currently, I have an alert set up for “LNG Tank Engineer,” and get frequent alerts on companies that are hiring such professionals. I use this information to network with the hiring companies, as well as with professionals who may be good potential job candidates for the openings. Obviously, you, as a professional seeking new career opportunities, can use such information for job leads in your professional niche.)
- www.google.com/alerts – Like googlealerts, which, by the way, is not owned by Google, this site, which is owned by Google, can keep a steady flow of current, relevant job/career information coming into your email “in-box,” either on a daily basis, or even on an “as it happens” basis.
- www.bizjournals.com/search - This site allows you to keep fully and completely up to date on and informed about what is happening across the spectrum in business circles. By knowing what companies are growing, learning about emerging new products and markets, etc., you will be able to more efficiently and effectively prospect for jobs and career opportunities. You will be able to find people in these companies whom you can link in with on LinkedIn, use the information to launch a powerful direct mail campaign, etc.
Take Control of Your Career, Your Professional Destiny
Most people dread change, or at least most have some degree of fear about making a change, any change, in their lives. That’s understandable, but in today’s economic climate, that can also have devastating results when it comes to your job.
Make no mistake about it, a great deal of uncertainty remains in the economy in general and in the job market in particular. Not only are salary increases lagging for the currently employed, opportunities for promotion have also dried up considerably in many companies. Today, many companies are—and have been for some time—running “lean and mean,” and many seem intent on maintaining that approach—indefinitely. Budgets continue to be slashed, divisions, teams and offices are being reduced in size or eliminated completely in some cases. “Pink slips” are still very much a real threat in today’s anemic business climate, regardless of employee tenure or past contributions.
Now is the time to take charge and FULL control of your own career destiny—while you are still employed. (It definitely is true that it is almost always easier to get a new job when you already have one!) Don’t unnecessarily expose your career prospects to the fickle whims of your current employer. Don’t be caught unaware. Don’t risk being “blind-sided” by your current employer. And certainly, don’t commit to “riding it out” with your current employer out of some misplaced sense of loyalty—a loyalty, coincidentally, that probably will not be reciprocated to you if the company, at the end of the day one Friday in the not-too-distant future, without any prior notice whatsoever, decides both your job and you need to go!
*Compare this information to what my executive recruiting firm, Hire to Win, is currently experiencing: Successful job candidates we are presenting to our client companies are realizing salary increases in the 6% to 10% range when they move to new, better jobs!
Skip Freeman is the author of “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever! and is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The HTW Group (Hire to Win), an Atlanta, GA, Metropolitan Area Executive Search Firm. Specializing in the placement of sales, engineering, manufacturing and R&D professionals, he has developed powerful techniques that help companies hire the best and help the best get hired.