Friday, February 27, 2009

Take the Long View on Your Job Search

Not that you don't already know this, but this economy officially blows ... and it's going to last awhile. Especially in our industry.

The hardest hit? You. (Or at least it feels that way.)

So, what should you do? Stay in school (or go back)? Find a job in another industry? Try even harder?


You need to do whatever is right for you – with one huge caveat. Continue your job search while you do whatever else you need to do. Just make sure you take the long view on your career.
  • Interview at places that don't currently have openings.
  • Get involved in local industry organizations and meet as many people as possible.
  • Regularly follow up with people you've met. Build relationships.
  • Continue to build/improve your portfolio.
  • Do creative work for non-profits that otherwise couldn't afford creative services.
  • Keep your skills sharp.
Think of this as setting yourself up for a job in three, six or 12 months. And if you get one earlier than that, bonus. Eventually, hiring will pick back up and you want to be top-of-mind when it starts. (I know the first three people I'm going after when I'm ready to add staff – one's in college and one graduated a year ago.)

The key is persistence. With this economy, unfortunately, you have to change your expectations. It's going to be a long, hard search process. Prepare yourself for that fact.

There is no better way to make a living than as a creative. After all these years, I still find myself thinking "I can't believe I get paid to do this."

And you will too. You just have to stick with it.


Fishdogs said...

Kevin, I love this post. Job candidates can't stop doing the things that get them hired, especially if they want a better job eventually. Keep up the campaign even after you get that temporary job.

Hudson said...

Geez. That article is pretty grim. Maybe I'll be one the few optimistic ones?