The economy may be slowly recovering, but it’s still tough to find a job

Millions of workers have been unemployed for far longer than they’d like. As of March, more than 6.5 million were unemployed for 27 weeks or longer. Not only can unemployment drain resources, it can take a toll on the psyche of the unsuccessful job seeker.

Network, network, network

Job seekers should never lose sight of the importance of networking, experts said.

Getting “lost in the Internet” is disheartening, and actual face time is critical. A lot of people see potential jobs [on the Internet], and they apply and they are not getting called and they decide there is nothing out there. The way people are really getting jobs is by meeting people. The face-to-face interaction makes such a huge difference.

Unfortunately, long-term unemployment can discourage job seekers, and they lose the desire to network.

But that’s exactly what you need to do in order to access some of these jobs. It’s about developing a relationship. To really know what’s available you really need to get out there and meet people and talk to them about your skills.

Unemployed workers should go to industry events. You need to stay fresh and alive by being around people who are working. It’s not just trading business cards. It’s more about how many of these people connect with the story you tell about yourself.

Volunteering can also help long-term unemployed workers network. It has the side benefit of creating new relationships and getting in touch with people you might otherwise not be in touch with in the normal course of your daily routine. Due to budget cuts, there is much need for volunteers now. You can make great contacts and this is something you can put on your résumé and show that you have been doing things even though you have been out of the job arena for a while.

Repackage yourself

The labor market is tight — there are more than five potential applicants for each job opening — and workers need to repackage themselves, and be willing to work in a new industry or function. You need to keep an open mind, especially if you are in an industry with lots of job losses.

Almost half of workers, 47%, who were laid off in the last 12 months and found new jobs work in a different field than they previously worked in, according to a recent survey from

Companies are starting to change focus from cost containment to growth, first bringing back areas that are most closely tied to revenue such as sales, marketing, customer services and information technology. Look at how you can make your experience relevant to those functions.

A lack of openings in a worker’s chosen profession can be depressing, “think outside of the box.” Go to networking events not in your field. This would also be advice for someone out of the labor market for some period of time.

Keep busy

Long-term job seekers should set daily goals, such as crafting a new résumé, adding information to a social-media profile or taking someone to lunch who can offer advice or make introductions, experts said.

It can be tough day after day if you are not finding a job in a timeframe that you’d like. You want to make sure you are setting goals for each day that are realistic.

Job seekers write their own blog to showcase their creativity and knowledge base. Promote your personal brand.

Job seekers can go to school to make themselves more marketable. This could be a formal degree, or a seminar. Actively pursuing knowledge shows employers that you are staying active.

Long-term job seekers evaluate themselves by considering their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This engages you so you are not sitting there wondering about why the phone is not ringing. This is a good objective way to do an appraisal and give yourself direction about what you might want to build on or avoid.

Job seekers should also consider offering their services as an entrepreneur. Many people are surprised by how much money they keep in their pockets as an entrepreneur, compared with their take home as employees.

Network marketing

More and more people are turning to jobs that allow them to work from home. Many have turned to network marketing as a vehicle to achieve there success and fulfill there dreams.

Network marketing, also known as multilevel marketing (MLM) or direct sales, is one business opportunity that just may fit the bill. Many recognizable brand names–Tupperware, Mary Kay Cosmetics and Amway, for example–fall under the network marketing umbrella.

These type of programs feature a low upfront investment–usually only a few hundred dollars for the purchase of a product sample kit–and the opportunity to sell a product line directly to the people you know or meet in your daily routine. Most network marketing programs will also ask you to recruit others as sales reps like yourself who will then become your “downline”. As their recruiter, you’re entitled to earn commissions on their sales as well as your own. By recruiting others into your business downline, you earn residual income from the work of others. It’s the accumulation of associates and their ongoing efforts, along with yours, that can create a substantial business and ongoing residual income.

In some cases this can produce results quickly, but in most it will take a little time. But once you’ve built your business, it can run on auto pilot, with a little guidance from you. Many successful business entrepreneurs like Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki and Warren Buffet have professed the wisdom of joining a network marketing company. In some cases they own more than one. More on network marketing in my next post.

1 Comment

  1. Hey Don,

    Yes, it’s getting better, but also getting worse.

    More and more people will keep losing there jobs, companies will keep downsizing. The idea of getting a secure job with long term benefits are non existent.

    People will need to start relying on writing their own paychecks and being a network marketing entrepreneur is the perfect vehicle for that. 🙂

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