What Does it Take to Get Hired in 2011?

According to economists and experts the recession has been over for some time and we continue to show signs of recovery. Yet, for many average Americans, the recovery has not yet become personal. Some remain unemployed or hanging on to jobs they hate for fear of being unemployed. Employment is expected to grow this year in all metropolitan areas, but the gains will be slight. So, what’s the real story, are there jobs and if so are they impossible to get?

In the worst of the economic downturn with unemployment swelling to record levels in many states, many people managed to find work. Yes, the job market is tough but it it not impossible to earn a living. The economy forced a hard shift but the changes in the job market have been a long time in coming. Now, what needs to change, and quickly, is our attitude about work.

The very nature of work has changed. In  the past you united with a company, received regular raises and promotions and were rewarded for loyalty. Those days are long gone. This is the age of creating and managing your own career. Just as we no longer depend on a pension to fund our retirement, your employer is not responsible for managing your career. You can create an income by outsourcing your expertise to several employers or create an opportunity in a company that is a suitable match. There are choices available to anyone willing to make them. And therein lies the rub.

Many job seekers are not quite prepared for the hustle and innovation of today’s market. They are looking for a job rather than working to create an opportunity. They remained in jobs far longer than they should have, failed to keep their skills or networks updated and have no idea how to get employed in this environment. It may sound harsh, but it’s time for a dose of tough love.

The good news is you have the choice to own your now and change your future. Getting hired in 2011 requires the willingness to hustle for what you want. Your job search should not be a passive activity. You need to make things happen not depend on the forces to align to serve up your next career move. Step away from the computer and do some old fashioned networking. Gain new skills by volunteering, shadowing a mentor or taking a class. Be creative in your approach. Can your skills be applied in a different industry? How about a different geography? Can you offer your expertise to several companies to create a full time income?

Change can be scary but getting left behind while the world moves forward is far scarier. The market has already changed, now it’s up to you to make the shift. Are you ready?

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