Revitalize Prolonged Job Search

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<p><strong>Boston &mdash; Sept. 20</strong><br />Even with a relatively low unemployment rate, one-third of unemployed people are still out of work for four months or longer &mdash; with almost one in five out of work for more than half a year.  </p><p>And the employment situation might be worsening, as the number of Americans with jobs fell for the first time in four years in August.  </p><p>Unemployed workers need to know how to revitalize a job search that might become prolonged, according to ClearRock, an executive coaching and outplacement firm headquartered in Boston.<br /><br />Although the national unemployment rate remained 4.6 percent in August and has ranged from 4.4 percent to 4.6 percent since September 2006 (which is low by historic standards), 33.4 percent of employees are out of work for 15 weeks or more, with 17.4 percent of the unemployed out of work for more than 26 weeks, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).<br /><br />Further, the number of unemployed people who are out of work for 15 weeks or longer has risen from 30.1 percent in January to 33.4 percent in August.<br /><br />&ldquo;Even though some organizations have been complaining about how difficult it is to recruit and retain good workers, it is taking longer for more people to find a job,&rdquo; said Annie Stevens, ClearRock managing partner. </p><p>Greg Gostanian, ClearRock managing partner, agreed.</p><p>&ldquo;It&#39;s important for unemployed people not to get discouraged and not to get down on themselves for being unable to quickly find a comparable new job,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;They need to know how to revitalize and jump-start their job searches when the weeks start stretching into months.&rdquo;<br /><br /> ClearRock offers the following advice on revitalizing a job search that is becoming lengthy:<br /></p><ul><li><strong>Do an inventory of your job campaign to date.  </strong>&ldquo;Use an organized tracking system to record how long your search is taking,&rdquo; Stevens said. &ldquo;Include the number of networking meetings you&#39;ve had, number of positions for which you&#39;ve applied, executive search firms you&#39;ve contacted, employment interviews to which you have been and any job offers that you have not accepted. This kind of inventory will tell you immediately where you stand, and where you need to shore up your campaign.&rdquo;</li><li><strong>Step up your job search activity. </strong>&ldquo;Job seekers should be conducting from three to five networking meetings per week, sending out up to 15 letters and making between 20 and 40 phone calls weekly,&rdquo; Gostanian said. &ldquo;Part of job searching comes down to a numbers game, and the more activity, the better the chance for desirable results.&rdquo;</li><li><strong>Target your career network. </strong>&ldquo;The more targeted your career network is, the better the likelihood of finding the right types of potential positions,&rdquo; Stevens said. &ldquo;Most jobs found through networking come about as a result of deepening your targeted network to include referrals from your prime contacts, and second- and third-generation contacts created by continual vertical networking.  About seven out of 10 people get their next jobs through networking, and about 80 percent of job openings are never advertised and have to be uncovered through personal contacts.&rdquo;</li><li><strong>Try to transfer your skills and abilities to another industry. </strong>&ldquo;Some industries such as health care and high-tech continue to grow, while others, such as banking and manufacturing, continue to contract,&rdquo; Gostanian said. &ldquo;Job-seekers need to be able to translate the functional experience (the kind of work they do), they have built up over the years in an industry that may be shrinking, to other industries where it may be easier to find employment.&rdquo;</li><li><strong>Improve your flexibility. </strong>&ldquo;Although you may have ruled out relocating or taking a job at a smaller salary or lower level, re-examine your feelings about these issues if money is becoming tight,&rdquo; Stevens said.</li><li><strong>Maintain a positive attitude and good physical condition. </strong>&ldquo;Make sure you are exercising, getting plenty of rest and keeping yourself in good physical shape,&rdquo; Gostanian said. “To stay active, perform volunteer work and take advantage of every opportunity to network, such as parties, reunions and family functions. You may also want to learn new skills or sharpen old ones, such as computer skills, foreign languages and gardening, to help you keep a positive attitude.&rdquo;<br /></li></ul>

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