Keeping Up in a Down Economy

By: Allison Rapaport,

Keeping Up in a Down Economy

How do you get a job and keep a job in this tough economy? There is no magic formula that will guarantee success, but here is some straight-forward advice that will help you be a stand-out and improve your odds:

1. Work with a professional. According to Career Coach, Graham Caulfield, "a skilled career coach can help you to develop targeted job search tools, hone your skills for marketing yourself to employers, and design a strategic game plan for finding your next job." He goes on to say that career coaches provide job seekers "with an understanding of how to use their time and resources to the greatest advantage. [They] help by listening, providing feedback, and asking powerful questions." Can't afford a career coach? Identify someone in your life whom you respect and whose career success you would like to emulate and ask if they will serve as a guide and mentor.

2. Expand your knowledge and skills: Take seminars and classes whenever you can: read industry periodicals regularly; follow industry leaders on Facebook and Twitter; and volunteer your time and expertise. With every new experience you acquire, add it to your resume and/or bio.

3. Be resourceful. Don't have money for school? Look into government grants and employer education reimbursement programs. Don't have a computer to learn the software you need to know? Borrow a friend's. Whatever you do, think outside the box and don't let perceived obstacles stand in your way.

4. Develop a reputation . . . as the kind of person who goes the "extra mile" and takes the "high road" whenever possible. You will be known for your integrity, maturity and consideration - the kind of person every employer wants to hire.

5. Be aware of emerging trends. As many jobs are being eliminated, waves of new jobs will emerge, especially in healthcare. And not all of these jobs require a background in medicine, but rather a willingness to recognize your transferable skills and an openness to learning a new field. Look for jobs in emerging markets rather than in sectors that will be obsolete within a few years.