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Want a job? How well do you know how the job market works?

I’m often asked what’s the best way of finding a job. I don’t often give the answer that most people would expect to hear; How well do you know how the job market works? If you don’t know how the job market works you won’t be successful.

The most powerful job search strategy of all

Without doubt, the most powerful job search strategy – bar none – is through networks. Many already know the value of networks. In more normal market conditions their work comes to them via their network. However in weak markets, they quickly exhaust their network. And then they are stuck. It may have taken years to develop and build their network so when they stop working so do they. Learning to build and sustain networks is a skill that few possess due to a general lack of understanding. Like all skills, building networks or networking can be learnt. This is something that all professionals should invest in.

Understanding how market conditions affect your search strategies

While many people know that the job market is driven by supply and demand most don’t have the strategies needed in a weak demand market. Think back a few years. Most will remember that Australia was a net importer of workers. The Federal government facilitated this by introducing new visa’s which made it easier for skilled workers to enter the country. Many companies, particularly in the resource sector, held international expos to attract workers to our shores. During those heady days, if you didn’t like your job, you simply accepted one of the many offers received via phone or inbox. Life was good.

Today’s Job Market is different

However today, the job market has contracted dramatically. It is the job seeker that must go to the extra effort of finding jobs. Whilst there are still jobs advertised there are literally thousands of applicants to every job post. Applying to jobs on job boards is simply not cutting it as many job seekers have discovered. Additional strategies are required. In a job market where demand is low and supply is high many jobs are not advertised. It makes sense. It’s cheaper, faster and some would argue, less risky to find and hire people that are referred or recommended. Furthermore, its estimated that between 70 – 85% of jobs won at present are not advertised.

Finding the right job for you

While you might find “a job” looking thru the wanted listing, your unlikely to find the “right job”. This requires research, the right type of research. Start by researching something close to home…You! Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? What are your goals, your values and interests? What is your purpose? If you are looking for just a job then it is highly unlikely that you will gain a satisfying and fulfilling career. Next, just as companies are (or should be) looking for the right fit for their organisation you should be doing the same. The sort of things you should be researching is culture, fit, structure, market, competition and conditions.

Invest in Yourself

If you are stuck in your job searching then you should invest in job search skills. Basic job search strategies are relatively easy to learn, however developing advanced skills and strategies requires more sophistication. The best way to do this is to seek out the help of a professional career coach. Ironically it will save you time, money and get you into the  “right Job” quickly. 

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