How to Navigate a Hot Job Market


Looking for a job is a job. We all know that. Let’s admit that even in good times job searching is not very enjoyable. The good news is that many economists say there has never been a better time to look for work. Is that truly good news? Well, yes!  But…looking for work in good times has challenges of its own especially if you are old enough and weathered enough to remember that good times are often followed by less good times. With that in mind here are five things to consider when looking for work in a bullish job market.

Keep your bridges fully intact

With the new job searching sites, it’s easy to post your resume and it’s easy for people to invite you to come interview. I have friends who post jobs online and get 60 responses and no one shows up for the interview. That strategy may work in a hot job market but the much smarter play is to self-examine exactly what you are doing now and what you want to do and only apply for jobs that you feel like you can get you to a new place financially and in many other ways too. In other words, show up, look sharp, impress everyone and get the offer. Then you can begin to sort out your options. I’m not suggesting that anyone should do that for 50 companies. Five maybe. And if you take a job with one, let the others know how much you appreciate their time and effort. They may end up throwing you a life raft one day!

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Remember: today’s hot market is tomorrow’s recession

Times are good. Options are plenty. With a need for workers can come higher pay and better benefits.  But if times get bad will this company be able to pay you what you are making now? Are they able to weather bad times or are they a start up with a lot of risk involved? In her article “Ways To Make The Most Of The Hot Job Market” Nancy Collamer at says “Try to work in the kind of industries that hold up best during an economic downturn.” It’s worth asking yourself those questions and comparing where you are now to the risk of moving? Often times it is worth it! Just remember, knowledge is power.

Stay Objective

Does anyone remember the commercial where the interviewee says to his potential employer “AND….” Next thing you know the offer has added a condo in Miami. The commercial is a joke but the thought is not. Listening and asking questions plus not being over eager and not committing to the first interview is a viable tool when looking for work. Paul McDonald at Kiplinger says “Stay objective and ask yourself these questions: Does the second offer fulfill every aspect of my career plan? Will [moving] meet my financial needs and offer stability? Will I learn the skills that will help me advance in my career?” Often the answer is, yes.

Money is not the only factor

It’s hard to kid ourselves into thinking more money isn’t the primary reason for changing jobs. It is. It has to be. But, keep in mind that there is more than one way to judge the value of money. Is the work twice as hard? Could you take a 2nd job and make more with less stress than taking a much more stressful but higher paying first job? Are you doubling your responsibility but only adding a quarter of your salary? This is truly where a staffing agency like Automation Personnel Services can help. Having an outside objective partner can help you see things other than dollar signs. Another positive thing about a temp agency is it allows you to kick the tires for a while and get to know your new job without being judged if you decide to leave.

Now is a good time

I am not simply saying that now is the right time to look because times are good though that is a good reason to look. I’m saying that for better or worse often employees get judged by what others are willing to pay them. With that in mind it’s good to keep a toe in the water at least once or twice a year to see what else is out there and how you stack up? Hemingway said “You make your own luck.” Networking with others helps you understand your value in the marketplace and how you can increase that value.

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