Four Steps to Find a Good Job in a Bad Economy

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Job hunting is tough right now, but absolutely not impossible. The key to finding and keeping work in tough times is the same as in good times: action. The more positive action you take, the better your chances of landing a great gig. 1. Be smarter, faster and better. I wish I could offer you a magic piece of advice about job hunting and working in a bad economy, a piece of wisdom that I’ve been saving for this type of situation. However, my best advice is to use all of the same job hunting and career management tips I always advise, but do them smarter, faster and better (which, by the way, is the title of a book I co-wrote with the fabulous executive coach Karlin Sloan). 2. Try new strategies. We all get into ruts — going to the same networking events, talking to the same people at our association meetings, setting up the same keywords on the same employment websites, writing the same phrases in every cover letter. 3. Find ways to make some extra money so you aren’t desperate and panicky. Potential employers can smell desperation and it isn’t attractive. If you are totally stressed out about paying the rent, you won’t be in the best frame of mind to conduct a proactive job search. One great way to make some extra cash without working fulltime is tutoring (for high school courses, college application essays, SATs, GMATs, etc. You can apply to tutor forKaplan, Princeton Review or advertise your services on Craigslist). Bootstrapper has a list of 77 more ways to make money on the side so you can stay afloat while you look for your next career move. 4. Freelance full-time. You may find that your “on-the-side” gig turns into a new career. That’s actually how I started my own business as a writer and speaker. It happened during the difficult economic period following 9/11. My dot-com job had disappeared and, while I was networking with former clients and colleagues, I started receiving offers to complete small projects for them. I said yes to anything and...
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