Enough of the gloom, doom and despair, already.
In spite of the challenges of the last few years, plenty of people are succeeding at finding a job and surviving the current job market. Many, in fact, are thriving.
You can, too. Here are 8 practical things you can do right now.
- Get fed up. That’s right. Get mad. Be radical. Refuse to buy into the “everything stinks” and “nobody can find a job” mentality. Studies show that those who change their mindset can achieve their potential. Being motivated in the face of failure requires unsticking a fixed mindset, says Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Train yourself to adopt a growth mindset instead.
- Find a burgeoning field. Healthcare, education, government and environmental sciences. These are just a few of the fastest growing and recession-proof careers in the U.S. right now. Align your skills, talents and interests with high-demand industries and you’ll up your success quotient another notch or two.
- Arm yourself with education. There’s no denying it: Education leads to more career opportunities and higher salaries. Besides, when it comes to going back to school, choices like these abound:Finish your degree.
Enroll in online learning.
Take a career development workshop.
Earn a professional certificate.
- Upgrade your skills. Lousy typist? Poor at interviewing? Shy public speaker? You know where you’re lacking. Be bold. Be brave. Sharpen those skills. Face those fears. Take a class. Join Toastmasters. Become self-taught. Not only will you add a new skill set to your repertoire, upgrading your skills is an opportunity to build (or rebuild) confidence in a job-enhancing area.
- Network, network, network. Most people wait until they are unemployed before they begin networking. Don’t wait. The key to maintaining visibility and top of mind awareness continually connecting. Join your college alumni forum, maximize your LinkedIn contacts, have monthly coffee dates with colleagues; do whatever it takes. Just be sure to give as much (or more) than you take. Remember, networking is about building relationships. Pick the networking opportunities that are most relevant to you and then invest time in them.
- Volunteer and expand your credentials. Don’t let the idea of volunteering fool you. Volunteering is real work. It requires diligence, perseverance, skill and work ethic. If you volunteer, you will work hard. But you’ll also pick up new skills—both hard and soft. Hard skills are specifically related to a job; soft skills are behavioral in nature, such as problem solving and critical thinking. In addition, volunteering puts you in contact with others who can mentor, train and ultimately connect you to those in a position to hire.
- Work hard. When competition is stiff and credentials are similar, the thing that sets people apart is their ability to work harder and smarter. Pursue excellence in your work, regardless of the type of work. Even if you’re working on a restaurant line while going back to school or mopping floors on the weekend to make ends meet, hard work gets noticed. There’s a plethora of real-life stories of ordinary people being tapped for key career positions simply because a business owner or corporate manager was on the receiving end of excellent service by a hard-working employee.
- Stay positive. Remember the first tip on mindset? Keep negative, doomsday thinking at bay by cultivating round-the-clock positivity. Studies show that positive people live longer, as well as outperform and outsell others. Simply put, positive people are more attractive to current and prospective employers. Make yourself one of them.
More Recession-Beating Resources @ Franklin University